Is this dementia?

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normal Is this dementia?

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Hello. I write to ask if you think my mother is having pre-dementia symptoms. She is scaring me. And making me angry also. She is 69 has episodes where she become FURIOUS at me...especially when she cannot control little things I do. She becomes this livid hateful woman that is NOT my dear mother. I am saddened and scared. Today was another ruined day because of the situation. When she is in a 'mood' she does not groom her hair (very NOT like her), and she limps, or drags her feet (she does not drink), and finally she gets this angry glassy eyed look on her face but stares down at the ground. Sometimes her hands start trembling uncontrollably. She always tries to buy me stuff I don't need or want, and if I refuse the plastic bags full of junk it sets her off. I don't need more junk, and love doesn't come in plastic bags, but she gets very offended if I refuse the garage sale junk. This is not like the woman that raised me: I fear she is getting mentally ill. After the episode leaves she is fine again. She has type II diabetes and high blood pressure. I have anger, frustration, and a broken heart because I don't know how to deal with her or help her. Open to reading suggestions or any advice. We lived in Texas many years (Houston area) and I thank ya'll for any help.

Posted on 2002/6/29 3:30


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Posts: 0
Dear Sandra:

Thanks for stopping by ElderHope.

WE're sorry that this time in your life is so very, very hard and that you are not able to enjoy the mother you have known.

Barb will be falling all over herself to respond to you when she reads this. And, she is much more knowledgeable about the dementias than I am though neither of us could or would presume to make any kind of diagnosis.

Still, your mother needs to see a specialist in dementia. Several things that you mentioned are absolutely in the ballpark of dementia, even at her age.

It is essential, in my opinion, that she be seen as soon as feasible. There are several reasons for this. One, if it is dementia, there are some treatments which may help depending upon which dementia. Some of these meds are time critical (Barb may want to expand on this). Two, there are other facets of what you said that raise concerns that there amy be other things at play here, also. Three, she may be able to get a treatment that may, at least, make her more tolerable, and less painful, to be around.

So, Sandra, I had to get my two cents in. As I said, dear Barb will probably be getting a tome off to you within the next 24 hours (and it will probably be a lot better!). Anyway, I wanted to let you know that we got your message. ...and care...

Any other responses from visitors?[/b]

Posted on 2002/6/29 3:49

normal Symptoms

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Quite a regular
From: Rowlett
Posts: 56
Hi Sandra -
Along with Mike, I am sorry to hear about these changes that you are experiencing with your mother. Because the symptoms that you mentioned regarding your mother are so different from her normal behavior, I have a couple of questions . . .
First, when was the last time your mother visited her physician for a thorough physical examination? Perhaps her primary care physician can make a referral to a neurologist, ideally one who specializes in working with older individuals.
Secondly, does your mother live near a medical university? For example, at UT Southwestern Medical Center here in Dallas, through the Memory Clinic, patients who are experiencing memory problems as well as neurological symptoms, such as hand tremors and limping, and sudden mood changes as you described, can receive a thorough evaluation to try to diagnose the problem. As Mike mentioned, the sooner that your mother can get an evaluation about her symptoms, the sooner that she can start receiving treatment as appropriate.
If your mother is diagnosed with a form of dementia, there are medications as well as behavioral interventions that can help to not only address her symptoms but improved her quality of daily living - as well as your communications with her. I can't overstate how important a thorough evaluation is, Sandra. A physical exam, neurological exam, blood tests, perhaps an MRI or CT scan to the head, and neuropsychiatric tests can all help determine the cause of your mother's symptoms and prescribe treatments to address those symptoms.
If we can help with further information, please let us know. . . I do hope that your mother can find the answers she needs regarding her condition. It sure sounds as though you are on the right track, trying to intervene on your mother's behalf and get her some help. It's so hard sometimes, just knowing where to start and who to contact. Again, if we can get you more info - please let us know, Sandra. Take good care . . . .

Posted on 2002/6/29 5:10

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