Worried my Mom is displaying early signs of Alzheimers.

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/8/2013 12:42 AM (GMT -6)   
My 74 year old mother is displaying some behaviors that have me concerned. I will preface this by saying she lives 11 hours away from me, so I am not seeing her on a daily basis.

Over the last couple of years I have noticed some problems with her memory. One example that really sticks out in my mind is the time she called me and said someone had stolen her medication. She called the police and filled out a report. Two days later she found her bottles in the liquor cabinet. Rather than admit she probably placed them there while getting her gin and tonic, she insisted the thieves had returned them to mess with her.

Another thing that I am seeing is that she tells me the same stuff over an over within the same conversation. Next time I talk to her, it starts all over again. Same stories at least three times throughout the visit.

The most disturbing to me is that her personality has changed over the last several months. She is negative, easily angered, seems to be irritable all of the time. That is not the mother I know. It has become so bad that I have had to ring off several times recently in order not to get angry with her. Tonight I tried to explain that her constant negativity is affected her relationship with me and her grandchildren. She hung up on me!!

What can I do from so far away? Can I call her doctor and express my concern? Will they allow me to do that?

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 8/8/2013 8:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Do you have any siblings that live closer? What about neighbors, is she friends with them? A pastor at her church?

If not, you might had to take a trip to her and take her to the dr to be evaluated. Because it sounds like she is indeed having some sort of dementia. It doesn't necessarily mean she has AD. It can be from from her medications to something physically wrong with her.
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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/8/2013 9:27 AM (GMT -6)   
My closest sibling is 5 1/2 hours away from my mother. She thinks all her neighbors are drug dealers and she doesn't attend church. I have considered calling some of her friends but if she got wind that I was asking questions about her, I am afraid she would shut me completely out. As far as me taking her to the doctor, that will never happen. She doesn't see that there might be a problem. When I broached the subject that her recent behavior is detrimental to her family relationships she got angry and hung up on me. That is why I thought I might call her doctor and express my concerns. I realize he cannot speak about her medical treatments, maybe if he knew what is going on, he could watch for signs next time she is in his office.

Gizzy'n me
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1870
   Posted 8/8/2013 10:55 AM (GMT -6)   
To kali89027:
   So sorry to hear and especially with the distance from her - both from you or your siblings. The only thing is ... if you did call her doctor and mentioned these things to the doc ... what can the doc do about them.
   The stage of life you're describing can be a terrible thing for the adult child to deal with ... even when living close-by. Has anyone thought about getting or having a power of attorney for medical. That may not be the exact correct phrase ... but it allows someone the authority to make medical decisions for a person.
   It is such a delicate thing. It can be extremely threatening to the older person ... but it may be necessary.
   My Mother has been in an Assisted Living Home for Dementia for nearly a year now. And prior to that, she had a 24/7 care-giver living with her in her home for 15-months. Now, my Mother is 20-years older than yours ... so that would seem to make a huge difference. But it may not!
   Whatever you or your siblings might do, I'm sure the safety of your Mother is likely the most important in making a decision. And, of course, finances become important too. I don't know how you force your Mother into going to see the doctor.
   Is there a support group near you - for dementia or alzheimers? What I mean is a support group for the relatives or children of a person with dementia. That could be very helpful to you. I went to a local group here early last year several times ... and it gave me a better understanding of the disease, and of what I might expect, and of how to handle it.
Good luck to you at a difficult time.   

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 8/8/2013 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm so sorry to hear you are facing this challenge as your mom gets older! I am blessed that my sister lives very close to my mom and will be able to help when we get to this point.

I found an online article that may provide some additional advice, in addition to what is offered here that I wanted to share with you - Caregiving From a Distance

Praying for you!

Post Edited (oscarsmom70) : 8/8/2013 12:24:48 PM (GMT-6)

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