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My grandma won't quit asking about her dr's appt coming up. It started right after her husband went to care center. She asks and turns around and asks again within seconds after she asked. She always has a ride to the dr. for the last several years and has never missed one. It's like she can't think of anything else.

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They can't remember hearing the answer before...it's a tragic illness. We do NOT have an Alzheimer's strategy for this country, and we need to develop one ASAP! People are even unaware of what they could use to fight the disease outside of pharm drugs. I had to do a lot of searching to find natural, inexpensive ways of treating the disease by researching on books and finding reviews of them (I used this site to pick a good one for Alzheimer's: (steamspoils) I passed it on to my 90 year old grand-aunt who is suffering from the disease 2 weeks ago. Since then, her memory has rapidly improved and she can once again form full sentences. We need to arm more people with the tools to fight Alzheimer's and Dementia- I would not have even known about this had I not dug around a lot.
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Its so sad to watch the deterioration but this is how it happened for us. Four years ago Mom had a lot of short term memory loss, but she could function because her dementia wasn't that bad that she didn't realize she had to write things down and cross out the days to keep track of things. I got her a clock with the day of the week and date on it. As she progressed, she started writing the appointment all over on pieces of paper, then we had to write it on a white board and on the calendar for her. Then she started calling asking what day of the week it is, and finally she didn't know enough to look at the whiteboard and calendar to see when the appointment was. If she did, she could read the words, but they went right out of her head without understanding. She could look right at it and still needed to call us. Six months ago, all she could remember is that she has an appointment sometime (or not) or someone said they were coming on a certain day, but she couldn't figure out when. Her note writing became nothing but obsessions about things she was worried about. She would go around to friends stressing about when someone was coming, calling us, asking where we were. We would tell her and of course the conversation was gone in a few minutes. That is why we don't tell her any more. Even then, we will put her in the car, tell her where we are going, and two minutes later she will ask where we are going. She doesn't recognize where she is when we get there. Dementia is awful. The only blessing is, she doesn't realize how bad she is.
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It is extremely frustrating when that occurs, but it doesn't do any good to get aggravated because they truly don't know they have just asked, and that you just answered. We had a good thread on here a while back that was on this subject. We all agreed that the answers got shorter and less detailed as the inquiries went on. Example:
Mom: Where's Jim? Me: Bob came over and got him and they went bowling. They'll be home in a while.
Mom: Where's Jim? Me: He went bowling with Bob, he'll be home soon.
Mom: Where's Jim? Me: Bowling with Bob.
Mom: Where's Jim? Me: Bowling

So, you too may find that less is more. Sorry, but it is what it is. I have found that it was a (very long, like years) phase and that we are beyond that now. I will say that while I miss her conversation, I don't miss the repetitive questions.

If it's early on, you may find that for appointments, you can write it down on a calendar, but only you know if she knows the passage of time. In other words, will she know that today is not the day? Maybe she could X out each day before she goes to bed and that may help her keep up with the passage of the days.
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Ditto what both Cwillie and AmyGrace wrote.

And temporary short term memory loss can happen to caregivers too, especially during times that are more stressful than usual.

If you want to experience what it's like so that it's easier to understand her memory loss, try to learn something so complicated you know you'll have difficulty understanding it. I used to read the Federal 1041 trust instructions, or something on astrophysics, or advanced math. The trust instructions usually put me to sleep though. Or read something on computer coding, such as binary theory.

It's as if everything you are able to understand and remember is suddenly wiped from your memory and you have to start over again. It's very frustrating.

Try to think how difficult it is for her and be compassionate - I have to remember that constantly. I think it's one of the many challenges caregivers face.

Good luck!
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Ditto what cwillie said. My mother does the same thing. She has dementia and will ask the same question 10 times because five minutes after she asks it, she doesn't remember. Any change is traumatic to a dementia patient. They simply can't cope because the "change" causes anxiety and therefore sticks in their heads and goes around and around in their minds in a loop. Its hard to comfort them because they don't remember they asked the question and of course, doesn't remember the answer. Medication can help, but it doesn't help their memory. My mother will does the same about doctor appointments if we tell her in advance, or if we tell her anything in advance - she will dwell on it for days, stressing out about it and calling us a dozen times. What works best for her is not telling her we are coming to visit, or if she has an appointment until we actually get there. Severe dementia patients like Mom have no concept of time and days of the week because they live in the present.
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The simple answer is she can't remember that she has asked already, or can't remember the answer. That's what short term memory loss is.
The more complicated reason would be related to anxiety. Her increased agitation and anxiety is understandable due to the profound change in having her husband move away. Medication can help.
Who is looking after her, she is not living alone I hope???
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