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My partners mother who is in her early 70s is showing signs of dementia. This has been ongoing for before I was on the scene in the relationship, an example..we all went out for a family meal and I dropped them both off at home within 10 minutes the dad rang us to ask my partner to go round...she was very upset and wanted to go home to her mum's house (mum had died 25 years ago, house also no longer there) She was very confused thinking the bungalow wasn't home...she put her coat on and demanded to go home to mum? It wasn't until her sister was called and she explained mum was dead and the house no longer existed she was very upset and eventually calmed down...all very unusual and very sad....i just need to know how to deal with her in the future and what kind of dementia she might have. Been told she has had heart and mental problems in the past but no real diagnosis has been forth coming as yet.....


Michael

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No one here can tell you what type of dementia she has. You need a full exam by a memory care expert.
When we saw memory problems in our LO, we wrote to her primary care physician and detailed the concerns we had and specifically mentioned how they were impacting her life. (She is having trouble remembering how to cook and no longer cooks for herself.) We specifically asked for a referral to a gerontologist and local memory care clinic.
Her doctor did a really quick test in the office called a MMSE (Mini Mental Status Exam) and diagnosed Alzheimer's....apparently without saying the word Alzheimer's to her or her husband...prescribed Aricept and sent her on her way. We had to follow up to get a full workup which included ruling out psychological problems, a neurologist exam to rule out strokes or brain tumors, full blood work to see if the confusion could be caused by blood sugar, thyroid or infections...a full workup. Only after they ruled out other possible causes did the Memory Care doctor diagnose Alzheimer's and then the clinic spent time with her and her husband explaining what that meant and what support was available to them.
You have to be assertive to get good medical care, especially if you are elderly. Good luck to your family. Maybe you will get lucky and her confusion is being caused by something physical and easily remedied.
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Reply to Marcia7321
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What time of day was the meal out? What you describe was a frequent occurrence with my mom. We stopped late dinners out because of how confused mom would become. This was part of her sundowning behavior. We started going out to dinner, no later than 2:00 p.m. If we were arriving home later than 4:00 p.m. the evenings became very difficult for her and challenging for me and mom's hubby. In winter we would go to dinner even a bit earlier. It got to the point that I would not go out for errands or anything else after dark. That would cause mom to have delusions that her little girls were missing and in danger.

You need to adjust routines to what will be easiest for mom. Is she taking any anti-anxiety medications? Check in with her doctor. Maybe time to adjust the dose or a new med.
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Reply to gladimhere
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Not forthcoming to the family, or to you, or to your partner?

Be sympathetic and supportive. Read Atul Gawande's On Being Mortal and Roz Chast's Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Watch Teepa Snow videos on how to deal with dementia patients.

Is this family dithering about how to get a proper evaluation?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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