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What are the symptoms of dementia?

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There are probably different signs and once they are actually diagnosed, dementia has been there for 5 years. My mother, I actually did care for her. I started going to visits with my mother. All she could tell me was she found my mother very vague?? I then told my mother has forgotten well know telephone numbers she has know all her life. Also, my mother had forgotten her 4 children birthday. I had worked many years with dementia and Alzheimer's. I really didn't want to believe my mother had dementia. Her doctor agreed to do a c scan of my mother's head. It was at that point I got very protective of my mother. I got the call from her doctor. Which 15 years later still rings through my ears. She told me my mother had brain atrophy. She was so cold when she said it. That was the last visit with that doctor. I was at home that day and I just cried and cried. Day 2 I went to work and I last only 4 hours. I had to call my 3 siblings and explain to them the results which I did. We did not say anything to my mother. We couldn't do it. My mother knew she was forgetful and it didn't seem to bother her too much. I worker in a long term care facility which had an outpatient clinic. I knew the Geriatrician very well. I would recommend making an appointment with one. My mother's new doctor said to me the last thing you want to say is actually has dementia. She did a complete work up. There are a few blood chemistries that can mimic dementia. Also her medications needed to be cleaned up which would decrease her confusion. But, she explained it would have to be titrated or discontinued. The doctor did do a a full mental exam and had my mother answering 100 questions and eventually she would have a mini mental which is 30 questions. The only doctor who can actually diagnose Alzheimer's or dementia is a Neuropsychiatrist. I brought my mother to all her appointments. He had a few work sheets of question and my mother to do some simple tasks. She also look at pictures and he wanted her to name them. He would say simple questions and have my mother repeat his quote or simple question. When she was finished he was able to tell me yes your mother does have dementia and her symptoms he told me exactly what part of the brain that was affected. I was my mother's POA and executrix. There where many problems with my mother's will which we never thought about. My mother was in her mid sixties. She was also carrying for my tongue child. Which I believe was a driving force for mother. She adored my daughter. The doctor told me it was ok at that point and the day would come when she wouldn't be able to do it anymore. I agreed. Well my family knew we needed to get our act together. We took my mother to do a new will and POA and executrix and a Health Care Proxy. She was suffering from dementia but, legally she was able to make decisions for herself. All I wanted to do was to be my mother's Health Care Proxy. I was the best one for the job. My sister was a business manager and a CPA. MY sister was a alternate for both of us. My brother could barely care for himself. An appointment was mad with a new lawyer and everything got completed. My mother cared for my daughter till she went into the 4th grade. I put my daughter into aftercare which my mother was able to voice her opinion and told m
me it was criminal for my daughter to be out of the home that long. It was time for my daughter to interact with children instead of being with my mother. I will say. My mother did things with my daughter she never did with her own children. My sister wanted to move out. I agreed to move in for the last eight years of her life. I had to be home by 5pm because my mother was a sundowner. My husband was home during the day so she was never alone. I am afraid of the courts and applying for guardianship. The courts can appoint a complete stranger. This person is required to be paid. I am double afraid of lawyers. I have always found strangers didn't care about the loved one and often placed them kept them alive. There where no advanced directives. They kept the person alive as long as possible so they got paid. I saw it many times as I worked in a longterm facility. My mother always never wanted to leave her home. I also understood that their where many facilities who didn't practice good palliative care. Which I would not tolerate. At the end my mother had hospice. I never regretted anything I did for my mother. It will be 3 years in July she died. I am at peace she died with dignity in her own home. She is with my father in peace. I wish you luck. But, I am afraid of courts and lawyers in this situation. Good luck!
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I just went through a nightmare trying to get guardianship for my mother, even with 3 written doctors statements and having successfully taken care of her for years- with witnesses and court report recommending guardianship. The system is set up for the lawyers and if there is any objection, no matter how frivolous, they smell blood and start racking up the hours and fees for any reason. So it cost my mother's trust a great deal of money with little result. I would recommend POA, AMD, and successor trustee status if there is a trust and leave guardianship only if it is a straightforward process.
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Even in early dementia a person can choose who they want to care for them. I would do it formally with a lawyer. You will have to bring your family member to the office. The lawyer will ask her questions. She doesn't have to sign. X the spot and it will be witnessed and legal. Make sure you are her POA and executrix with the ability to make health care decisions. Finically, that is the first thing to go when you have dementia. But, early dementia you can choose who you want to care for you and your estate.
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Do they know date time and location? Can they feed themselves? Bathe? Get dressed? Go potty? Remember to pay bills? Carry cash without losing it? Drive a car? Walk OK? Early dementia involves memory losses. Notice the little things: No longer gets the paper, no longer reads books. Can't follow a recipe. Can't figure out the sewing machine. Bills not sorted or paid, or paid twice. Skips some medications and/or takes them twice. Car starts to develop scratches on all four corners. Buys some grocery items multiple times. Complains that the phone/car/remote etc is not working right. Scorch marks on pans and stovetop that have no explanation. Dirty dishes put back in the cupboard half-washed. Complains that you or others never call her, when in fact you spoke yesterday. Lost in her own neighborhood. Claims that a friend or relative is mean or abusive.
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all you have to do is take the parent to her doctor and they will diagnose him or her with dementia or Alzheimer then they will tell you if the person is not able to make decision on him or herself. than hire a lawyer so everything becomes legal. than you will have a court date where you will have to bring you parent and which the judge will decide if he or she is fit to make any decision on their own.
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