My Mom Repeats Herself, But She Doesn’t Have Dementia

Understanding Dementia
Understanding Dementia

I cared for two parents with dementia and in many conversations, I have someone share “My Mom repeats herself, but she doesn’t have dementia.”

I started in the same place, before Mom was diagnosed. You just notice something is different, but you don’t know what it is exactly or what, if anything, you can do about it.

I noticed that my Mom would repeat herself, and my Dad was less talkative and seemed depressed. Both of my parents had changing behaviors which is a signal that something is wrong. When my parents were first diagnosed, I was confused about the difference between Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

The common office test given is called the mini–mental state examination (MMSE) or Folstein test. It’s 30 questions and is really only going to capture someone who is moderately impaired. The only true early detection system will be your own observations of someone who you know well. My parents scored in the high 20’s over the course of two years – even when the administering doctor could tell something was not cognitively right with my parents. A better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses was revealed when they were given a Neuropsychological Evaluation. This test takes around 2 hours.

I hope you will consider that any change in your parents could be an early warning signal to future more complicated issues — not just cognitive. Please know there are many other things that can cause memory loss that can be easily treated. Start with a visit to the doctor and join them. The more you can do early, the better off everyone will be. Warned.

Additional Resources:

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A fellow blogger Butch shared this post. For some eye-opening reading, check out this Forbes article: Are We Underestimating How Much Help Aging Parents Need At Home?

6 thoughts on “My Mom Repeats Herself, But She Doesn’t Have Dementia

  1. My asks me the same things over and over I tell her no she doesn’t get it through her head what can I do

    1. You need to redirect the conversation. If I couldn’t I would excuse myself to go to the restroom, get water …. anything to break the pattern. For my dad, I’d give shin a post it note on where we were going and why. Each issue and Person usually has a different solution. Is there a specific trigger? Has she been diagnosed?

  2. The early signs do seem to be hard to spot. My mother was aware of changes in herself before the rest of us could spot them and it was some time before I realized that yes, what she was talking about was real.

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