Mom still works and seems to function fine mostly. She is 72, lives alone, drives fine. She drinks more than I like, but less than she used to. She just texted us(3 kids) to say she was going to Mexico for 2 weeks. Didn't tell us where she was staying. Normally I would be caring for her dog and her house-she never told us she was going until she was literally getting on the plane. This was at a time when I was scheduled for a critical event that normally she would have been there for. She visits people and takes offence at little things and leaves in a huff. Neighbors complain about something and she wants to move. She picks fights over, literally, nothing. She says mean, unkind things. She speaks about how long she has left to live (says her doctor gives her til she is 79, so why is she bothering for the next 7 years?) She does forget how to use her technology a lot-simple things like basic cable usage. Her bills are paid, she has kept a low paying menial job for more than a decade to supplement bad retirement planning. She actually complained that the doctor who removed her lung cancer a couple of years ago made her miss 3 days of work when it probably wouldn't have killed her anyway(!?!-her mom, brother and my father all died from lung cancer, she was lucky they found it so early)
She says mean things that totally would come under the "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" lessons when I grew up. Just unnecessary observations that have no usefulness other than to make another person feel crappy. She is always talking about peoples weight issues or family issues-gossipy. She sometimes says it like she is just "concerned", but the same family member will come up in conversations repeatedly-its not like church lady "bless her heart" kind of talk. That's another thing. The repetition of recent stories. She can tell me about a visit or an offence or a meal 12 times. She doesn't talk of the distant past. Its current stuff.
Is this dementia or is she just turning into a mean old lady without any medical or mental health issues?