Your mom is pretty much a superhero. When you were younger she taught you, disciplined you and nurtured you. You will never forget that time you fell and scraped your knee on the pavement. It bled, and she scooped you up into her arms as if you weighed nothing at all. Your mom bandaged your knee and held you close. She soothed you, humming in that special way only mothers can.
She never really took a sick day, and always put on a tough face when things were in disarray. Your mom guided you through childhood and now, as an adult, you still look up to her.
Except now you notice a change. You don't want to think about it, but can't help to wonder if she has dementia.
These are signs of dementia that you can watch for:
- Memory loss: This can disrupt your mother's daily life. Does she forget newly obtained information? Do dates and events escape her? Is she writing down notes more often or setting reminders on her phone?
- Task completion: This could involve simple, daily tasks. Does she have trouble remembering how to play Monopoly even though you do it every Sunday? Does she forget the way to the grocery store?
- Losing items: Everyone misplaces items, but this could happen more frequently. Is your mom consistently losing things? Does she have trouble retracing her steps?
- Social regression: Speaking and writing could become disorienting. Old hobbies and activities might not be appealing like they were before. Does your mom constantly have to repeat herself? Does she struggle to find the right word? Did she stop watching the Steelers play?
These may be typical signs of age, but they could be more. If you suspect that your mom could be suffering from dementia, take her to a medical professional.
The diagnosis of dementia can be heartbreaking. There are a lot of challenges and decisions that correspond with the diagnosis. The costs that coincide with a dementia diagnosis can be great. As dementia progresses, so will the needs of your mother. You may need to seek a care facility for your mom. Nursing homes can be expensive.
If your mom gets to the point where it is no longer appropriate for her to make financial decisions for herself, you may need to seek guardianship.