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My mother-in-law has not been diagnosed but is getting worse: leaves cook stove turned on, loses her meds, gets very contrary, accuses husband of cheating (85y/o), has open water bottles all over the house, always talking about dying, can't hear well, thinks she's being talked about. I think she would be too contrary to submit to any kind of psych test. Thanks

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Depression or some other medical condition might be causing this and cognition could improve with treatment of what ever it is. Thyroid, infection, low vitamin D, anything like that. If there isn't anything that can be treated and they tell you it is dementia, then at least you know where things are headed and can start gettign the help she - and you all - are going to need.
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Your profile says you are caring for a friend who has dementia. Is this a separate person from your mother-in-law?

With the family in agreement, I'd get mother-in-law to doctor, letting the doctor know what she has been experiencing. Based on the diagnosis, the family can explore what options are available for her care, if it's dementia.
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Certainly sounds like dementia but only a professional assessment can confirm and the type is difficult to confirm but her health history should point them in the right direction. I agree that a UTI could be the reason for the increase in symptoms. Many people are unaware their loved one has dementia in the early stages but clearly the family has noted these changes and you have been advised on how to address getting a formal diagnosis and prognosis.
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This behavior hasn't even been mentioned to any doctor nor has any attempt been made to have her assessed. The blood work done was routine; not an attempt to diagnose anything. The behavioral changes have been gradual, therefore have only recently become alarming. Wish people would read more carefully before commenting.
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Blood work is not going to show much in this kind of situation, imo. She can be taken to an ER with suspicion of a UTI ( amazingly, UTIs in the elderly cause behavioral changes). She can be " Baker Acted" which is a 72 hour involuntary psychiatric hold/evaluation.

Is her regular doctor someone who just looks at blood tests and says " she's fine"? If so, you need to find a geriatrics doctor who will listen to your wife about her mom's behavioral changes.
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Just spoke with wife on the phone as she is staying with them for now. She says the blood work has been done recently. Her mom is energetic for her age so makes harder to watch her. We don't even know who to call on to get an evaluation and her family is beginning talks about what we will do with her. This is too hard on her husband who is 85y/o and very lucid and patient.
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Looking at her medical history will give you a hint. If there's a history of heart attack or stroke, probably vascular dementia. Diabetes and kidney failure, possibly toxemia. When is the last time she had a complete physical with bloodwork? Get it done and go with her, because she won't remember anything they say.
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