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A neurologist? She has no short term memory and repeats herself constantly. Thanks for your help! My mom is 85 and has memory issues. My sister and I live 2 hours away and feel like we're not doing what we should be doing to help our mom. I want to take her to a doctor but don't know what type of doctor. I'm fearful that giving her medication for memory will have no benefit and will only cause side effect so I don't know going to the doctor will be helpful. I've heard about coconut oil to remove plaque from the brain that may cause memory issues. I'm so confused but want to do right by my mom. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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I do think that age is a factor to consider when selecting doctors. I got my cousin to a primary care doctor initially and she was diagnosed with dementia. I needed that initially to get an diagnosis and get forms completed so she could get assistance for Assisted Living. Then, I discussed followup with a neurologist with the Primary and she was in agreement. My cousin was only 62 years old! So we needed to rule out tumors or other causes. If she was over 80 years old, then I might not go with a neurologist.

If at all possible, find a primary who is good with dementia patients. Some doctors and their staff just don't get it. They expectations of the patient can be very off.

You can research the medications that are for dementia patients to determine if that is something you feel she would benefit from and discuss it with her doctor. After doing a lot of reading about them, their side effects and success rate to not proced with them for my cousin. Others, feel differently.

With the degree of memory loss that your mom has, I would immediately seek supervision for her. Staying alone with that degree of memory loss is concerning. I would not delay in doing that. I would do that first and then work on the other issues.
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Maggie's right - you will get varying opinions. Adding my $.02, I have little use for primary care doctors although I've met some who actually do an INITIALLY thorough exam. I've never yet met one who as thorough thereafter. I also feel that an older person can benefit more from specialists, other than something like treatment for uncomplicated conditions (which could become more complicated in older people).

If you do get a PCP, try to find one who is older. We had an unpleasant experience with our now former PCP who is probably in his 30's and although he was initially thorough, handled a recent hospitalization in a very poor manner, treating my father more as if he were someone decades younger who could bounce back from 3 serious pulmonary issues like a younger person might be able to.

I've decided the next doctor will be a geriatric specialist; I want someone who knows what it's like to be old and understands the issues; a 30 something can't - he hasn't been through the older aging process.

Sometimes hospitals have referral services, identifying doctors by specialty. You could try that.

Personally for the memory issues, I would go to a neurologist, although Maggie makes a point. They're there; the questions are whether there are any meds or natural supplements that could help, and how you learn to cope with them to help your mother. However, understanding the specific condition might help you prepare and deal better with it, as well as know what to look for in changes or intensity of progression.

Best wishes in finding someone that helps you and your family.
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If you're shopping for a new primary care doc, see.if your area has one who specializes in geriatric care.
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Thank you! I think I need a new primary care. She lives in an area where there are a lot of elderly and the doctor seems to have a poor attitude towards helping older patients. I know my mom deserves better care. My grandma (my mom's mother) lived to be 104 so my mom could possibly live another 20 years! I want whatever years she has left to be the best quality they can be.
Thanks again.
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You're probably going to get a variety of opinions here calling for this kind and that kind of Doctor. My advice, however, is to stick to her primary care doc and not be putting mom thru a myriad tests to confirm, something you already know. She's losing her cognitive abilities because of old age.

Your primary care doc will probably do a urinalysis to be sure she doesn't have a UTI that might effect her brain. But, beyond that? Your primary will treat the problem behaviors that often go with dementia.

Specialists can "give it a name," but we know what it is. Sans other physical symptoms such as blinding headaches, mom has one form of dementia or another. What good is it for HER to give it a name? There is no cure.
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