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Worried about Mom


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Old 11-27-2015, 08:19 AM   #1
kathlaur
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Worried about Mom

My mom is 56, and lately I've become concerned about some memory issues I've noticed. Mom's grandmother had Alzheimer's, but her mother is 76 and wonderfully alert and clear minded, and I know that early onset Alzheimer's is relatively rare. Bottom line is that I've noticed a few small things that may just be a normal part of the aging process, but in spending a lot of time with Mom lately, something just seems a bit off to me.

About 7 years ago, Mom slipped in a puddle on her tile floor and took a bad fall, which gave her a nasty concussion. At the time, she had multiple brain scans and doctor visits, and everything came back clear. She started having some small memory issues, mostly having occasional difficulty finding the right word (she would typically remember it after a few seconds) and occasionally repeating herself. The doctors all said this was a normal side effect of the fall and not to worry. Mom was simultaneously going through menopause (she was post menopausal by the time she was 52), so her doctor also cited this as a reason for the memory issues.

Over the last few weeks, Mom and I have taken several day trips, so I've been able to spend longer amounts of time talking with her and observing her. I've noticed that the same difficulty finding the correct word comes more frequently now, but she is still able to remember the word after a few seconds. There are other small lapses, such as not remembering that upgrades/repairs done to her home in the '90s were not original to the house. Is this a small thing? Sometimes it seems very small; other times, it worries me that she doesn't remember these details about the house she helped design and has lived in for 31 years. Example: Her basement was originally one large unfinished room. A half bath was added around 1993. In recent conversation, Mom thought the half bath had always been there. When I corrected her, she insisted she was correct, then said she thought that at least the basic structure/support for the bathroom was always there, even if the floors/fixtures/dry wall were added later.

I've noticed Mom repeating stories that she's told me the day before, but to be honest, Mom has been doing that for years. She has also seemed a bit distant and withdrawn in our interactions recently, and this is very atypical for our relationship, which has always been very close and loving.

Mom is a very successful real estate agent. Since she works out of her home office, and I live in my own home, I have no way of knowing at this point if she's having any difficulty with her job.

Her two close friends passed away within months of each other two years ago (one had cancer, the other tripped and fell down her stairs and broke her neck), so I know that she has been a bit more socially isolated. Recently, she has started trying to build friendships with her neighbors, but at this point most of her social stimulation comes from time with her family.

My stepfather is 6 years younger than Mom and is dealing with his own mother being in the final stages of Alzheimer's. He has lived in a different state from his family for the last 40 years, so he was not present to witness the initial warning signs and the early stages of the disease in his mother. I'm not sure that he would recognize them now in Mom.

At this point, my plan is to talk to my stepfather about my concerns and go from there.

I'm sorry for the rambling post, and sorry if it seems that I'm worried over nothing. Something just feels off to me, and I guess I wanted to ask if it sounds like I have reason to be concerned.

 
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