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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Lorelei Offline
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mom's memory - March 16th 2011, 06:37 PM

Hey guys..

I'm getting worried about my mom. She's only fifty-five, but her memory (especially short-term) is getting worse at a really fast rate.

She keeps claiming it's menopause and normal aging, but is it normal for a woman her age to ask a question, and then come back and ask the same question two minutes later, and get confused and angry when I tell her she just asked me?

Or for her to wander around the grocery store, stopping in the middle of aisles abruptly when other people are right behind her, turning around in a circle and looking like a lost little kid, having just forgotten what she was looking for?

Or for me to remind her of something at least three times, and then have her get mad at me and tell me that I never told her?

She'll finish cooking on the stove and she won't realize she's left the gas on until I can smell it all the way from my room and I go downstairs to turn it off and tell her. She loses words all the time. Simple nouns like "store" and "table." She plays it off like a joke, but I know it scares her. She leaves food/dishes out in the kitchen and then asks my stepdad and I if we left them out. And I don't know if this has anything to do with it, but she gets confused by certain sounds. Sometimes she can't even tell where a sound is coming from or what it is until I explain it to her.

Most of the time she's okay. She's good at her job, she pays bills, she remembers people. But my grandma (her mother) died of dementia. I don't want to lose my mom to it, too.

It's just scary. I don't think anyone other than my stepdad and I notice. And my stepdad doesn't do much except get mad at her.

Mom and I go to the same doctor, so I'm thinking of calling the doctor up and asking a few questions. But I don't know what to do. I don't know if anyone will listen to me, and I'm scared that my mom will just get more defensive and try to hide it more if I talk to her about it.

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Re: mom's memory - March 16th 2011, 07:48 PM

I'm sorry to hear about your mom's condition. I do believe it would be a good idea to call your mom's doctor and provide examples of what's been going on. You should definitely include information about your grandmother's dementia. Some types are hereditary, while others are not, so it may or may not be relevant to your mother's condition. Nevertheless, your mom's doctor should know as much as possible in order to determine what the next course of action should be.

I believe the most important thing is to acknowledge the memory loss, but provide support and patience when your mom forgets things. Your mom may want to pretend nothing is wrong, but doing so could 1) prevent her from receiving treatment, and 2) lead to more severe symptoms. You need to acknowledge that she's having trouble remembering things, but while SHE may get frustrated/angry with her condition, YOU need to be patient and recognize that this isn't your mother's fault.

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Re: mom's memory - March 16th 2011, 08:58 PM

Hey there!

I'm sorry that you're having to deal with this. It must be hard dealing with your mom's memory, and feeling like you almost have to look after her, and keep her on track. I agree with Robin, call up your doctor. Tell them what you're noticing, and ask if it's normal. It's likely that they will only give you a vague explanation, because really, she needs to be actually evaluated. If the doctor thinks that it's abnormal for a woman her age, I would talk to your mom. Tell her what you've been noticing, and what the doctor said about it. Also, it doesn't hurt to go and do some online research. That would be helpful as well.

Another alternative for approaching your mom, or getting her to go to the doctor is go to your stepdad. Stress to him how serious this matter is based upon what the doctor has said. This is nothing personal to you, but your stepdad might have a better chance of getting through to her. You know? It's just all about how you approach it. But of course, when you do to talk to your mom, make sure you're doing it out of a calm, loving place. You don't want her to feel attacked. Again, agreed with Robin, remain patient with her. It's likely that she will try to fight the matter.

Best of luck to you! :]

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Re: mom's memory - March 17th 2011, 04:04 PM

I'm so sorry to hear about your mom! My great-aunt also passed away with a severe case of Dementia back in 2003, when I was just in 8th grade.
I agree with everyone's suggestions. Talking to your doctor is the best form to get any sort of accurate information, as well as doing a little bit of online research yourself. She may be in the beginning forms of alzheimer's disease, which in any case, is just a mild form of Dementia.
I know it's scary thinking that your mom is going to lose most of her memory, but most times, these things are brought on so suddenly, that not even the person who has it knows what's going on.
It's obviously going to be a sensitive subject since you lost your grandmother to Dementia, and it could also be true that your mother is going to deny anything is wrong. A lot of people can be stubborn in this way.
But, contact your doctor and then speak with your stepfather about just how serious it is, and it's been known to be in your family, and it could also be hereditary. He will understand and try to get your mother to do what she can to get evaluated as soon as possible.
I wish everyone in the situation the best of luck, and I'm here if you ever need someone to talk too.

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