Noticing Changes in Mom

"My mom seems to be forgetting conversations that we've had, sometimes even in the same day. Is this common for someone in her mid-70s or should I be concerned?"

We all forget thing from time to time so you really can't diagnose someone who may be forgetting by simply having casual conversation. It may be related to the fact that there is so much going on or she may be worried and just not focusing. She also may not be actively listening well. If this seems to be an ongoing or progressive issue and you sense that it's much deeper than simply being overwhelmed then she may want to go and speak to a professional about her memory. You could ask her, "Mom, do you think that you are forgetting things lately" or "do you feel like memory is good right now?"

My own son already tells me jokingly tells me that I'm demented! There really needs to be some more significant things going on before you'd be advised to seek out a professional diagnosis. Having said that, when you talk to families of Alzheimer's victims, they will often times report a ten-year change. This disease comes on so slowly in some cases that you may not get a diagnosis until some significant time has passed.

My suggestion is to stay involved. Encourage active conversations and be attentive to any signs of progressive memory loss. Again, remember, we all have good days and bad days. Be patient and understanding.

Published on December 15, 2011.