For the past two years my mother,now 70 years old, has started acting like a five year old. One recent incident involved my 20 year old son. He is a member of his college band and at one performance he did not take the time to speak or even wave to my mother, which I admit was rude. But afterward she became so angry she was crying and yelling at me like a five year old child throwing a tantrum. I told her I could not speak for my son, but I would mention his rude behavior to him. He called and tried to apologize but she would not even answer the phone. I found out later that one of the reasons he did not speak to her was that he was in the bathroom trying to stop a bloody nose. My son has a congenital heart defect and is on blood thinner, so any time he gets a bloody nose it is a real mess. Anyway, since that time I have invited her to other performances but she has informed me that she would not longer attend anything my children participate in, including my sons Junior music recital, which is an important event. She has had other problems where she has forgotten things that we have talked about endlessly,but she cannot recall any of the conversation. Also, she cries for not apparent reason. She is on anti-depression medication, but has not actually spoken with an expert. This seemed to start after the deaths of her parents but has gotten worse with the death of other family members. She is also an 8 year breast cancer survivor. I am concerned that she may have Alzheimers or is in such a deep depression that medication alone is not enough to solve the problem. Any information you can give me on this situation would be appreciated. I am an only child who gets the brunt of all of this and I just do not know what to do anymore. Any advice?
If memory loss in such an extreme is involved then yes Alzheimer's must be ruled out. And its not the only neurological disorder. It could have been a stroke or multiple other conditions. Clearly its not just psychiatric. First of all if it is Alzheimer's it will worsen but there is medication that's helpful such as Namenda. Secondly, if that's what's wrong make sure your mother lives in the community with a home attendant. Nursing homes are under regulated and can often be abusive. I can give information on that as an advocate for benefits issues for people with disabilities. And as she is your mother and this disability is irreversible if its Alzheimer's or some other neurological disability unlike a psychiatric disability, the behavior is uncontrollable and should not be judged. You have to step back and there are family support groups. You just can't personally react to it especially in front of her. So have her see a neurologist to get a correct diagnosis. And then apply for home attendant services and other community support services which I would be happy to provide information on.
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