The Cottages Blog

We know that when you care for Mom or Dad, it can be really difficult at times to see the forest for the trees, so to speak. You’ve got your career, family responsibilities, doctor’s appointments, errands to run— it can seem like a never-ending stream of activity that requires your undivided attention. Then your Mom says something that doesn’t quite mesh. Is she just having an off day, or is it a sign of something more?

In this post, we’ll take a look at the top 10 signs that you should take your concerns to Mom’s doctor.

1. Changes in short-term memory causing repetition of tasks or conversations or failure to complete daily tasks.

When you care for Mom, have you noticed that she’s having problems with her short term memory? Maybe she keeps repeating the same task or having the same conversation several times, or perhaps she’s saying she did something—like hang her keys on the hook or turn on the dishwasher— when it’s obvious she hasn’t.

2. Problems finding the correct words.

Though we all have problems coming up with the perfect word on occasion, stumbling through a conversation on a regular basis could be a sign that something’s not right.

3. Mood changes and poor decision-making.

Though it’s normal to have some shifts in mood, depression and sharp changes in personality are often noticed by the families of seniors with Alzheimer’s. These changes often show up as snap decisions or poor judgment calls.

4. An apathetic attitude.

Though depression is often one of the first obvious symptoms of dementia, apathy also appears as your loved one withdraws from their normal activities— often for fear of their memory problems being found out.

5. Problems completing everyday tasks.

Does Mom seem to have problems figuring out what to do next when working on tasks such as cooking a basic meal or balancing the checkbook? This could be cause for concern.

6. Confusion over simple details.

Your loved one has become confused over memory lapses or is confusing simple details about the daily schedule, medications, people that have visited or similar issues.

7. Difficulty in following a storyline.

Do you have to repeat news about a family member or friend several times before Mom seems to understand what’s going on? Problems following a story line— whether in real life, a movie or a book— is often a sign that you may need to explore memory care.

8. Sense of direction and time flow problems.

Your mother could be having problems with finding her way through an area that she should know or can’t keep track of what day it is or when things should take place. These symptoms are a cause for concern and should be explored more fully.

9. Problems adapting to change.

Change can be hard on everyone, especially the elderly. But if Mom keeps having problems adapting to a new home or routine, beyond what may seem reasonable, it may be a good time to have a checkup with the doctor.

10. Losing things or leaving them in unusual places.

We once knew a lady coping with the early stages of Alzheimer’s whose family would find things in the most unusual places! Though the family took it in good stride and humor, you may want to look into memory care if it’s happening on a regular basis.

When you care for Mom, your life often seems very busy. But if you’re noticing more and more issues like those above, you may want to consider how safe she will be if she stays in her current situation. When you need more help, please contact us. At The Cottages, we’ve helped families through short- and long-term assisted living solutions for their loved ones for over 30 years.

Dawn Owens
Written by: Dawn Owens

Dawn has been part of the Cottage family for over 10 years. She comes from a strong background in mental health care, with a certification in crisis intervention. Dawn has two daughters, Alika and Ava. She enjoys walking, scrapbooking, and playing softball.

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