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Since my 84 y/o mom moved into (2 months) AL it’s been one crisis after another. Minor things are blown up into major attention getting events. I’m starting to see how critical having people around is. Is this normal? She has some memory loss but not like I’ve seen in other people, she has paranoia and bad financial judgement. Could this all be a different mental disorder?

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The dementia, Alzheimer, broader personality disorder, and NPD have a lot of symptoms that are the same in the beginning stages.

Dementia which is basically a general term for Alzheimer.

Not that it matters. In my research it is pretty common to see BPD, and NPD with a dx dementia. It is just a matter of what part(s) the brain is being damage.

To answer your question, I would say, if your mom was always putting her needs before anyone else; if she was always lying; never took ownership in any pain or damage that she caused others; was reckless with her life as well with others? Than yes this could be a mental illness. However, if no to any of these questions, than you are probably just seeing the signs of dementia.

Look back on how she was and not on how she is now.
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Yes, to all.
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Alzheimer's is just one of many kinds of dementia and they all present a little differently, even with Alzheimer's no two people are alike; her paranoia and poor judgment are red flags that she has some form of cognitive decline. One of the most distressing things about these diseases is they steal the person you used to know and replace them with someone who looks familiar but acts like a needy, self centred stranger - if she has been a good mom up til now try to hold on to that.
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How minor is minor? Would you think they were minor if they were happening to you and you didn't have anything more interesting to worry about?

It's only two months after a very major adjustment. I'd give it a bit longer, myself. How do you rate how well the staff are handling things?
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AT1234 Dec 12, 2018
My mother fell and broke her hip less than a month after leaving AL. Everything can’t be major or nothing is. This is devastating grief over loss of her independence - even if it’s temporary. We are dealing the best we know for now, my question was serious about diagnosis input from people with similar experiences.
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From the outset of my mother's cognitive decline, anxiety of what we all thought of as "minor" things were to mom, humongous tragedies.

Ants in the kitchen, a burned out light bulb, having to take a taxi to the dentist....they were all the worst thing that had ever befallen a human being.

Visits with a geriatric psychiatrist and adjustments to her anti-anxiety meds proved very helpful.
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AT1234 Dec 12, 2018
Thank you, we haven’t seen a geriatric psychiatrist. Her injury was a hip replacement after breaking her hip. Everything has spiraled since then.
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