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This is my first post. I write about my mother who was diagnosed with MCI in 2013, after various tests (and ruling out other things). She is 78, and lives with my father, who now "organizes" pretty much all of the day-to-day household things, and is very patiently, but constantly, having to remind her of what's going on. Her memory has worsened over the last year, and I really wonder how she would manage on her own. I also suspect that at GP/clinic appointments, the extent of problems is underestimated because together they manage, and my father perhaps doesn't let on how much she relies on him. I think we could now be in the realms of dementia, but realize the decline is a continuum and I am unsure of what the official distinction or threshold between MCI and dementia is. She is not due another follow-up at the clinic until March, but I think one might be appropriate sooner, and am quite prepared to instigate this if need be. My father is very wary of her moods, and reluctant to "upset" her, or to "lie to her".
I am considering phoning/emailing their GP and telling him my concerns, and suggesting he has her reassessed. I may have to do this behind my parents' back. Would there be any advantage to getting a dementia diagnosis? Medication? Support? Any advice, thoughts, comments welcome.

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I guess I would question as to what your objective is. Is it to determine if some meds that are designed for dementia might help her? If so, I would first research those meds. They include Namenda and Aricept. Here's a link about them.
http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_standard_prescriptions.asp

I would suspect that you would have to go through a full battery of tests in order to determine if she has actual dementia and the stage to start on these meds. I would encourage you to read a lot about them. Perhaps discuss details about them with a doctor who prescribes them. They are not as effective as you might think, from what I have learned. They may have modest results, but do have side effects, as Blannie stated above. The decision to take the meds would be up to her and/or her Healthcare POA. Does your dad have that?

I would certainly make sure your mom has signed a Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare POA, Living Will, etc., if she is still competent to sign them. I would make sure there is an alternate, in case your dad becomes unable to serve. I'd get his documents signed too, in case he becomes unable to attend to his affairs.

If medication is not the objective, then I'm not sure what benefit a further diagnosis would have. Some people need the diagnosis in order to get benefits, entry into a Memory Care facility, disability, etc. You say she has already had a battery of tests, so I would assume they have ruled out infections, brain tumors, medication interactions, etc.

I've read other opinions here that it's good to go through all tests to get a definite diagnosis, but I'm just not sure how you use that information in some cases. Perhaps others here can state their opinion on it. Did she see a neurologist and have a neuropsychological exam, MRI, etc.?

If you think your dad's job taking care of your mom is too much on him, then I would discuss bringing in outside help, if that is a possibility or taking her to a senior care facility for a few hours per day so he can have some time to relax. It can be very tiring to be with a person who constantly repeats things, paces, etc.

If you are close to considering placement into a facility, then certainly, a diagnosis and evaluation of her abilities would be required.
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I'm not sure what that would get you. If your dad won't speak up, you pushing the issue will just unite your dad and your mom against you. I'd try to build a bridge to your dad, so that he knows when things are too much for him, he can let you know and you'll be there to support him. That's how I'd approach it.
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Yes Mild Cognitive Impariment. Dad is her carer . I am not. But he .. well read what I wrote.... so should I call them to push this whole thing along?
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Oops - did you mean mild cognitive impairment? LOL, sorry if I misread your post.
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I don't know that there's a direct connection between a myocardial infarction (heart attack - assuming that's what you mean by MCI) and dementia, unless the patient was without oxygen for a long period of time. My mom has heart issues (atrial fib, congestive heart failure {CHF}) and is on meds to slow her heart and regulate the rhythm. I believe those meds have led to her poor short-term memory and her problem-solving skills are gone. But she's still able to live on her own, with a lot of help from me, because she has a very set routine. And her personality hasn't changed, i.e. she's not depressed or anxious and doesn't have any kind of sleep disturbances or hallucinations.

I've never had her diagnosed with dementia - there are medications that a doctor can prescribe if your mom has Alzheimers, but it seems that they all have side effects and only marginal value overall.

If your mom's basic personality changes, then medications can help with anxiety or depression. I'd try to get your dad alone to talk about how he's doing and if he's concerned. My dad, while alive, minimized mom's lack of short-term memory. I don't know if he didn't see it, or didn't want to believe it. I think that's common.
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