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Why is my mother forgetting things lately?

Q: My 74 years old mother has been forgetting things a lot since 6 months. She cannot recollect the names of people nor can she trace items kept by her. This is because my father has been suffering from dementia and is totally dependent on others for his daily needs. He is almost bedridden and there are 2 nurses to attend to him. My mother is staying alone with my father. Apart from the 2 nurses there is a maid who helps my mother cook and in other household activities. She is in continuous fear that the maid and nurses maybe stealing some items. She always tries to hide even small items from them. Because of my father's ill health for the last two and a half years, she is always very tense. She has lost some weight too. Please advise.

A:It seems your mother may have either dementia or psuedodementia due to depression. It would help if she were seen by a geriatric psychiatrist (psychiatrist with expertise in elderly care). Family work with regards to education regarding father's condition, deterioration and progress would help. Regular respite to your mother may help too. One needs to look into her nutrition and rest. It is always very difficult to see our loved ones suffer; family-counselling session would reduce some burden.

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