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If my sister and I think back this went in for 10 years, prior to diagnosis. Our mom always eccentric. Always. Independent. Gosh highly. Professional woman. But 10 years ago, something changed. What were your experiences? What was the aha moment, or OMG Moment, where you realized this is not right, not normal part of aging.


When I think back there were a few. We were too dumb to realize.

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My mom didn’t have memory problems but was seeing things that weren’t there & making crazy decisions.

Ants covering the TV & there were none (she called me to come spray them). Said she went to bed with a dirty house & woke up with it clean, an Angel must’ve cleaned it. She shot her pistol in her sleep, thought she was dreaming, but the gunpowder smell was “so real”. Until we saw the bullet hole in the wall, we thought she really had just dreamed it. Pulled out in front of a car (missed the car, hit a tree) because she was afraid a car might hit the rear of hers, even though no one was behind her. Buying stuff like crazy. She was 74 when this started.
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Segoline Jan 13, 2019
She shot her pistol in sleep? Wowsa.

Re the ants...does she have Lewy Body dementia?
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Extreme anxiety over medical problems led us to take him to see a psychiatrist who started talk therapy (my LO was a doctor and is very much against psychiatric medications). When asked questions about his past, he couldn’t remember and instead would make up answers. I was shocked that his memory was that bad! Sure enough, a scan of his brain showed vascular dementia. We never took him for a full neurological exam because there didn’t seem to be a good reason. A year later, and we are still plowing along the best we can!
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When my mum kept asking the same questions over and over or saying the same things over again as if she had started a new conversation.
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For me, my mother became withdrawn, aggressive, making up stories and she was becoming paranoid, and she was coursing; she just wasn't herself. But than there were times when she did seem like herself. It was a very confusing time for everyone. It was a total nightmare for me as I was the one she always gun for!
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For me, the decisive moment came when we were celebrating my parents' 55th wedding anniversary. Mom, who was very social and enjoyed conversation, was stymied by the questions she was asked about her wedding: Who was her maid of honor, what was her wedding date, what were her colors, etc. She started looking to me (her unborn daughter when she was married) expecting me to give her the answers.

Soon after, we took her to the doctor to be diagnosed.
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Getting a call at work that mom didn’t make it to her dentist appointment - her excuse was she turned down the wrong street

before that when we were driving somewhere she would ask how we were going or which freeway we were taking
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Segoline,

As soon as I saw your posting I wanted to read it because my mom has not been diagnosed with dementia, she refuses to be seen by doctors of any kind, but for years I have noticed ocasional really abnormal behavior, close to paranoia. It has only happened when she is experiencing a high level of tension and I observed it specially when she was living by herself. Even at the beginning when I first moved in with her to care for her, she had extreme mood swings and outrageous reactions, fears. As time passed, she relaxed little by little, her behavior became “almost normal” most of the time as far as the potential dementia goes, but I deal with an entire and broad spectrum of behavioral problems which I attribute to other things, like the normal course of aging and also narcissism which my mom has suffered from all her life.

Now, specific examples of the abnormal behavior I was referring to would be for instance one day when I called her (I lived overseas but used to call her twice a day) and she was very anxious telling me that she was sure something was happening, that she was hearing very strong noises inside the house, this was at around 3pm, and she kept asking me if I could hear the noises through the phone but I didn’t. The noises that you normally hear in her house are cats walking on the roof or strong wind. She was so afraid it broke my heart not to be closer to hug her and calm her down! That was one of my first really red alerts. I told her to go out of the house, and once she was out and talked to a neighbor and then talked to me some more she calmed down a little.

Another example would be when she was visiting me in my house, one of my dogs scratched her arm lightly while playing. She spent the whole night up and freaking out telling me that she could feel she had gotten tetanus from the scratch! I had washed the scratch really well, put all sorts of medication on it, but she just couldn’t relax. I offered to take her to the doctor but she said she would not leave the house, i also offered to bring a doctor to the house, but she refused that too. I told her I would go to the pharmacy and get more and better medication and talk to the pharmacist to see what they would recommend...I actually did and the pharmacist told me that it was more likely that one would get an infection from a human bite than from a dogs bite or scratch, which I kind of knew. Very carefully conveyed that to my mom (so she wouldn’t feel I was downplaying her fear) but that didn’t help either...I remember I had a meeting first thing in the morning the next day, could not go, I couldn’t leave her alone and I had spent the whole night awake with her in her bedroom.

Now that I’m telling details about her behavior I’m remembering the incredible nightmare all that was! I really don’t know how I survived. Hence I made the radical decision to move in with her to care for her over two years ago. It was a super hard decision to make but it is even harder to imagine still living with those worries and with the guilt I felt. Now, I think my mom suffers from other behavioral problems like I mentioned before, but I’m pretty sure there was some dementia in the mix.

The question I have now is if it is medically possible that dementia stops?
Like I said that type of behavior that I’ve described is not current..other things are current, but my mom is bright, aware and very logical. I always wonder if she had dementia and it stopped? Or if it is sort of dormant until something affects her and triggers her anxiety?
Wish I understood all this process better.
This has made me really concerned about my own aging process!

Will be looking forward to the answers you receive.
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JoAnn29 Jan 12, 2019
Dementia doesn't stop. Its a progressive desease.

You may want to get Mom a good check up. There are other things that cause Dementia like symptoms. Being an untreated diabetic. Low potassium. UTI. Dehydration. Mental inbalance.
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Segoline, that is an excellent question.

Don't think of it as being too dumb to realize. How many of us are medically trained to even know the signs of dementia? In fact, I never even heard of dementia until I came to this website.

I am trying to think back regarding my parents. Both were in their mid-to-late 90's, so there was normal forgetfulness. Things that I thought were just plain stubbornness could have been early signs of dementia, or maybe not.

Since my parents lived under their own roof, and me under my own, they could have been what is called "showtiming" when I stopped to visit and I just didn't know it. I know trying to get my parents to downsize into a home that was on one level fell on deaf ears [sorry for the pun]. Again, thinking it was stubbornness. Looking back, their own parents remained in their homes, so did their siblings.

My Dad was the first one on both sides of the family to say it was time to have caregivers help him at home [Mom had passed] and later to voluntarily move to senior living as he felt his house was just too much to deal with being he was in his 90's. Smart thinking on his part. He would have moved years sooner but my Mom wouldn't hear of it.

Oh, climbing ladders. I remember my Dad wanted me to come over to their house to change the light-bulb in a ceiling fan that was on a vaulted ceiling. No way, that ladder climbing ship sent sail years earlier. Dad kept begging and begging. Hey, I was a senior myself.

Later I realized my Mom had her "honey-do" list, and apparently she didn't realize that Dad was no longer in his 50's or 60's. Dad use to be able to fix just about anything. One day I caught him cleaning gutters. At 93, really? Dad would climb the highest mountain for the love of his life. Was that dementia on Mom's part, or was Dad just trying to prove to himself he can still fix things?
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