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For months I have asked my wife if she has a memory problem or if she just does not care? Yesterday a close friend who is visiting said " I do not want to meddle but do you think there is something wrong with Bs memory?" Not sure what our first step is? She is only 68 I 69
I'm in the same boat. But I don't ask my DH (dear husband) if he has a memory problem because he's irritable enough, and would go on the offensive.
He was has shown signs of what is called Mild Cognitive Impairment for more than two years.
Recently we made a major move to a Senior Living Community, primarily because I'm disabled and wasn't able to get out and about from our house.
He seemed to fall apart! Apathetic, sleeping all the time, confused, angry, etc.
That's when I came here because I was frightened at what was 'happening'.
But after six weeks he seems much better. I guess the stress and depression caused a temporary major decline.
But I even tho' he's better, he's still in early MCI.
Just keep posting here and reading.
The first step is for her to be checked out by her primary physician. There are some
issues that mimic dementia(low B 12, for one) so you need to eliminate those before
you can determine what the problem is.
Nofijim, just so you know, depression causes memory issues. Stress causes memory issues. Having responsibilities beyond your ability causes memory issues. MCI comes in all forms and for many reasons. The first step would be to have her talk to her doctor about what is going on. Is it affecting her everyday life or just a bother?
When was the last time she had a physical, bloodwork, etc.? So many reasons for memory issues. Glad you care enough to come on here and ask.
For a couple years I’d ask my DH the same thing. He’d just laugh it off. “Hey, I forgot. So What?” Others said he just didn’t listen, or he didn’t care enough. I’d handle whatever it was, so....
This was our process to Alzheimer’s diagnosis, for what it’s worth:
Then a couple big, worrisome things happened. I got his PCP to refer him to a memory clinic and neurologist for brain scans and testing. (It took big pushing with the PCP, who said things like, “well don’t we all forget some things?”)
DH did not want to go, but he wouldn’t flatly refuse once I set it up.
He failed hugely—although they said he did amazingly well on a few parts of the tests—and the brain scans showed dramatic, obvious loss/atrophy of brain. The docs said that explained his memory (and other) problems.
They diagnosed Alzheimer’s. (And quickly ruled out fixable things like thyroid or vitamin deficiency—things I think of as more physical/medical than Alzheimer’s)
At least it helped family realize it wasn’t just a matter of “wanting” to.....
Many people are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other dementias in their 60s.
And, absolutely, there are many other things, such as depression or ongoing stress, hormones or medical probs, retirement, moving or family issues—that create symptoms that look like Alzheimer’s or other dementia. A doc can check for those.
Hello nofljim and a very warm welcome to you. I am sorry for what is happening and can imagine how concerning this must be.
It really is very important to have your wife seen by physicians; first, by her primary care MD; she will need a thorough physical exam with full extensive labs run to rule out any physical causes for the changes. NOTE: There is a very long list of physical causes of conditions that can mimic dementia and some are very easily treated.
If the primary MD does not find any physical causation for such ongoing memory problems, then it is best to make an appointment with a dementia specialist who can make his/her assessment and determine if dementia is present and to be able to make an accurate diagnosis for just what type of dementia is at hand.
This is important as there are multiple types of dementia of which Alzheimer's Disease is only one. Some meds used in one type of dementia may be contraindicated in another. Our primary MDs are awesome at so much, but they are not on the cutting edge of dementia dynamics, so that specialist becomes key.
As for asking your wife if she feels whether or not she has a memory problem, that in all probability will not foster a reliable answer if she indeed has dementia. When a certain state has been reached, it is difficult for our Loved Ones (LOs) to process and feed back information accurately. Also; there is a condition called, "anosognosia," this is where a person is not able to recognize that they have a problem, it is not denial; you can use Google to look that up and learn more about it.
The Alzheimer's Assn. has a Helpline that can be reached at, (800) 272-3900. If you call, please ask to speak to a Care Consultant. There are no fees for this service. Consultants are highly educated Social Workers who specialize in family dynamics and the are very supportive, have much information and can also often assist us in our problem solving.
I so hope that you are able to get good professional input for the changes your wife is experiencing; let us know how you and she are doing, we truly do care.