How do you know if your aging parent has Alzheimer’s dementia? This is a huge concern for families getting together over the holiday season. And for those who do not live close by and are not able to visit often the holiday season can be a real eye-opener.
There are a couple of things to consider when wondering if mom has Alzheimer’s dementia or maybe some other type of dementia. Also, read our article ” What Is dementia?”
Repeating the Same Story Over and Over
We all have our favorite stories from the past. And we may not remember exactly who we told the story to already. That is not a big concern. What is a concern is when someone repeats a new story again in a short period of time? For instance, your mother tells you about a visit she had yesterday with her neighbor. 15 minutes later she tells you again. Also asking a question, hearing the answer and then asking the question again a few minutes later. When this is happening often there is a reason to be concerned.
Problems Doing Everyday Tasks
Jerry’s Mom was known for her cooking. When he was in high school and college his friends always wanted to come home with him for a good home-cooked meal. And she was one of those cooks that never used a recipe. She just seemed to know the right amounts of the right ingredients to use. But the last few times he came for a visit Mom wanted to go out to eat. When he pressed her this last time to make his favorite meal, he knew there was a problem.
“Mom couldn’t seem to get started. She didn’t remember what ingredients went into the recipe. And she seemed confused about how to use some of her kitchen appliances like the electric can opener. She tried to act like her hands were the problem but I suspected something more. I decided to stay a few more days so I could take her to the doctor. And I am really glad that I did. Mom had the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s dementia disease.”
Speaking and Writing
It is common for someone with dementia to have trouble with conversations. They may forget what they are saying or what somebody else has said. Their writing skills suffer also. Grammar and spelling are a challenge for someone with dementia. Furthermore, their handwriting may become harder to read.
Misplacing Things and Accusing Others of Stealing
This is very common. My mother-in-law lost her pearl necklace. She just knew her housekeeper had taken it. She called several people that had the same housekeeper to see if they were missing any items. Word got back to her housekeeper who was offended and quit. Pat found the pearls tucked into a sock in her sock drawer. She had hidden them there. And furthermore, she could not understand why the housekeeper was so upset. It was as if she had also lost the ability to have empathy and understanding. They have poor judgment and do understand fair and reasonable behavior.
Withdrawal from Socializing
“Pat was a socialite!” Susan told me. “She was always the life of the party. And she belonged to several ladies groups and card clubs.”
Then Susan and her husband began to notice that Pat did not go to her card clubs anymore. She made up several different excuses. Later, she also stopped going to her other social groups. She began to stay at home a lot.
When someone has dementia, they will often withdraw from social activities. Afraid of embarrassing themselves, it is easier to just not participate. Playing cards started becoming a challenge for Pat. She couldn’t remember how to play the game so she just quit going.
All of these are signs that something is going on. And there is a good chance it could be dementia. The one with dementia will try to hide these changes from their family. It is important that you reach out to find help and solutions.
Consider bringing a family member for a tour of Sycamore Creek Ranch while they are visiting. Your sibling who lives far away may want to look at what options are available as mom needs more care. Call us today (832) 791-1577