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Can people who have dementia issues figure out themselves that they have dementia issues? Is this possible? She (my mum) knows that I'm thinking something's wrong with her, she's aware of me watching her. I want to sit her down and question her so bad, but I'm afraid she would get hurt emotionally. She's humming around the houses so much now. Jesus the humming is sounding like a scary old women in a hunted house. I can't believe this is happening. She eats terrible. How is she able to drive and work at her job? Do people with dementia have the ability to still have a job???? Can people with dementia still able to drive a car? My mum does both......she gets home with no problems. She wakes up on time. She's 73 and moving good but I still see something wrong. Thank you

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Have her checked for bladder infection. It's the number one cause for confusion in people over 70. It happens to my Mom every time she gets an infection or is dehydrated. Then when the bladder infection clears up, she's ok again, but it is scary because it comes on quite quickly.
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My Mom is just starting with vascular dementia. That means it's an on and off thing, shows up then goes away, but is expected to cause longer periods of confusion. She DOES tell me that she's just not thinking right when she gets confused. She can carry on a sensible conversation, but to try to do a process like planning an event or balancing a checkbook, she can't do it. So she knows she is getting "memory problems". When she has bladder infections, she is just lost and screams at her kids that THEY are the ones thinking backwards and all mixed up and she has no idea that she is not reasonable or logical. So I guess in a while when she gets permanently more confused, first she will think it's everyone else, then she will become like my Dad was, unaware of much of anything or why things are happening. In the beginning, many are aware of thinking problems.
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Pamstegma, how could you possibly give an answer like that to someone? Elderly try to hide their declining functions. Rich 2015 was trying for support. It sounds to me like his mother IS declining. I cannot believe how stubborn my parents are. My mother refuses hearing aids and glaucoma operation to clear her vision. My Dad will soon be blind with glaucoma from diabetes, and refuses to change his diet. I am only here with them as their daughter, but mom is very cold towards me and dad is insulting. Everyday day I swallow hurts, that are accumulating into resentment. I try to make sure their blood levels don't get too high, but they want to eat whatever they want. I have a sister who never helps out, and she is their favorite. Since mom had a stroke, I have been here 24/7 doing everything in the house and outside. Since I am retiring, this is not how I wished to spend my life. I have no social life. They refuse to have help come into the house. Any suggestions from anyone's?
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Yes, they can know they have dementia. My husband told his family when he went back home to visit. Another lady regularly posts helpful insights on dementia and her personal experience with having it on a different site than this one. She is a tremendous help to all because she's one of the few who can describe what's happening to her and how she feels.
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Hi caferun, My Mom keeps saying that she does not have it all up-stairs. I have to agree with her so the answer is YES they know.
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Mom with alteizmers replied, "I don't know any better."
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Maybe it's time for mom to have a complete medical workup, there could be something medical going on. Some disorders can mimic dementia or mental illness. Keep a notebook, write down each incident where mom is not 'herself', you will have it to refer back to should you need to. Do other people see her changing? Definitely speak with the doctor and encourage her to go in for a check up.
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I hope you can get a mental health evaluation for your mother. My father began acting abnormally when he was 64; then he went completely insane. They diagnosed him as bipolar. It's very unusual to be diagnosed with a mental illness late in life. This is what you need to do. Go to http://www.nami.org/ and entire in your state and find your local chapter. Contact them. Most areas have hotlines for "mental health emergencies." If you are scared that your mother might hurt herself or others (on purpose or not), they will come out and talk to her, and they decide if she needs evaluation. They will take her to the hospital (it's rare for someone to agree to go). When my father was in the psych ward, there were also many patients with dementia and widows/widowers who were in trouble. It's often hard to tell dementia from mental illness. I still don't know 11 years later if my father just has bipolar with depression now or also has true dementia. They can be similar. A lot of things you described with your mom sound similar to things my father said/did. Good luck!
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I can attest to that, partsmom. My 94 year old mother with dementia (not severe at this point, but bad enough) has been making her own cup of instant coffee for so long that assembling the ingredients, filling the kettle, shutting off the stove when it comes to a boil, pouring the right amount of water to leave room for cream, etc., is all second nature to her. I'm always concerned that she'll get a steam burn or leave the stove on, but she never skips a beat. Other aspects of her life? She's more like a 4 year old and in some cases a toddler!
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Someone with a job where their routine has been the same for many years is probably capable of continuing for a surprisingly long time. With dementia, often older memory is still there for quite a long time. They don't make fresh memory well, which means they usually can't learn anything new.
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You said she is diabetic. They do get weird if there meds aren't correct or maybe she isn't taking them. I think u need to take her to the doctor that monitors her. She needs to be tested.
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Can people who have dementia issues figure out themselves that they have dementia issues? Is this possible?

I don't believe so. She will not one day say, "I have dementia and I need help." With my Mom there were phases ~ like what you are experiencing ~ which "we" (everyone except her) know that there is something not-quite-right. We ( I have brothers ) got a Gerontologist on board to do an assessment to confirm.

How is she able to drive and work at her job?

People with memory issues can drive "IF" not distracted ( which is easier said than done ). The assessment from a Gerontologist may help pursued her to seek alternate transportation if the level of incompetence is of concern.

Do people with dementia have the ability to still have a job????

Yes. Depending on the job and her employer. If your Mom is a brain surgeon, probably not...a baker? ( Did she switch salt instead of sugar? ). Customer service? all in all - it depends what the job is.

Can people with dementia still able to drive a car?

*My Mom supposedly had some sort of incident ( undocumented mini-stroke ) which gave her the excuse not to drive - she gets very nervous - closes her eyes and also hums/whistles.

"She wakes up on time. She's 73 and moving good" = Count your blessing, pick your battles...get her assessed.
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Rich, there could be a number of things going on with your mother. Even people without what we call dementia often experience mental changes as they age. My mother-in-law didn't have dementia at the time of her passing at age 88, but she definitely was in a different state of mind than earlier in her life. She had always been polite and courteous, but in the last decade of her life was more prone to criticism and expressing strong feelings for or against other persons, usually not based on anything but her personal prejudices. She was also resistant to any changes in routine.

You say your mother is "helping" you, your brother and your cousin. You don't say in what ways or how much, and while it is natural for a mom to always step in where help is needed, nevertheless the responsibility of being an emotional or financial support for others will take its toll.

Perhaps counseling with you and your mom together would help sort out what is going on with her as well as yourself, and point to the next step for your family. If you can, include your brother (and perhaps eventually your cousin). You are obviously experiencing major stress, which will have negative effects on both your mental and physical health. Best of luck!
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I am an OT with a background in Dementia and mental health issues with elderly.
One thing I know is that there are so many different things that cause these symptoms. Your mother could be experiencing some biochemical changes in her brain that could be of various etiology. I think she needs to start with her family doctor and ask for a good work up and referral. She could have depression which also can manifest in a variety of symptoms. It is very natural for you both to be scared and fear can also make things worse. When we are afraid we lose our attention as that is the body's response. I trust you have a good family doctor that can sit down and spend some time with you.
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Have her checked out with a neurologist. People with dementia do recognize at some point there are some things they are forgetting. My husband tells others "his memory is not so good anymore". Talk to her about her behaviors and if the humming is so bothersome, wear earplugs.
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Based on my mom's experience, I would say that people with dementia can figure out that something is wrong with them - but it might probably be the last thing they want to admit. Your mom sounds like she is experiencing some serious stress, but it may not be dementia. Maybe you could keep a journal to keep track of all the odd behavior you are witnessing and discuss it with the doctor.
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The answer to you question is yes. People know when they are starting to get dementia at least 5 years or more before other people start to see anything. My Mother started calling me when she was about 83 year of age and told me that something was happening to her mind. She said that she was scared & she wanted to come live with my husband and myself for 3 weeks to try to get her affairs in order. When I told her she could she said and mentioned it a week later she said that it was too late because now she could not do it. The dementia just kept getting worse and worse after that and now she is 90. So is my Dad and now he is starting. At wits end am I. Her visiting Dr. said that yes people know years before it happens. Doctors are starting to listen to people now so maybe they can start treatment earlier.
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Could a UTI cause this? or is she on any meds that might be? Statin drugs can mess with your mind, and I'm sure there are others. Many people are over-medicated.
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I hope the doctor has an answer for you. I'm sorry you are going through this scary time.
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@teaka123.......this morning she forgot her wallet in the car along with leaving the door half way open. My mum is in trouble. Her appointment is on the 29th of next month. She helps both me and my brother, and she also supports one of her sisters children. She does so much and she believes she's powerful enough to handle everything. She's way to head strong to believe something's wrong with her. Other people don't see it yet, but I know her, I know her personality and its not her. Now I'm back to smoking cigarets again because off this. What can I do
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Are you just thinking she has dementia or have has she had a professional diagnosis? It could be that things are bothering you now that didn't bother you in the past.
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her driving
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Maybe shes nervous because you keep watching her like a hawk its disturbing
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Ok something happened today, something that was a confirmation telling me that my mums may have a mental illness coming on. Btw thanks to all who responded to me so far......Well today I took a trip with my Mum on a car drive together, which is something we always do. She's usually great with directions, but today she was a bit confused while driving. Also when she was driving she drove so fast, which is something she never did. She always drove slow. We missed the ticket lane and went threw s easy pass. She drove into a one lane street which got very scary. Then while all of this is happening she tells me "wow look how color the plans are" we were by a airport. My mum is in some kind of trouble. I have a bad feeling she will lose that job she has soon. She's in bad shape and I'm not sure how long she has. She told me that I make her nervous. Her personality is very passive and cold. Now I wonder what happens when she drives and I'm not there. I will try to get in touch with the doctor and update him. Thanks all
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The suspicions could be a paranoia which is not related to dementia, and might be treatable with psych meds. Ask her doctor about mental health issues..
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My dad had been retired for several years before he starting showing signs of dementia. I can't imagine how your mom holds down a job if she has dementia. Search this site for info on how to recognize dementia.
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Maybe someone really is coming into her home?. I have an alarm system and cameras... lots of people do. I live alone and cannot rest easy unless my alarm is on.
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@MaggieMarshall. What I didn't mention Maggie is that for the past two years my mom has a very strong belief that someone is coming into the home. She believes there are cameras inside the house this person listens to every thing we say. The last few months she brought a new alarm system and chanced the codes twice already. She bought new locks and hatchets for the front & back doors. Just last week she wanted to install cameras on the home but the company told her she can only have either the alarm or the cameras, you can't have both.....I'm not saying that she has this dementia fully, I'm just thinking that maybe these are early symptoms. Thank you
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@pamstegma. It's not me who needs this help. I see changes in my mother and I believe these are early symptoms. I'm a very scared concerned friend & son. She's my good buddy and I love her man. Without her here yes, then maybe i will go insane, but for now these are just my concerns. Thanks
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@Windyridge Thanks for the response. Can I ask was your father still working in the early stages of this illness? My moms for two years now feels like someone is coming into the house. I did not think nothing of it at first because I just thought that maybe she's just a bit paranoid. Then she started getting new alarm systems, new locks, bars, and this all happened in the past 5 mounths. She's a diabetic sence she was in her 30's I believe. And yes as of now, whatever's happening it's happening at a very rapid pace......I'm just happy that I finally got contact to her doctor
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