Is it Alzheimer’s or just old age?

Not long ago, I started working with a client who was becoming increasingly forgetful. Her children, who lived in another state, hired me after a recent trip home to celebrate Mom’s 80th birthday. As often happens when there are long separations, certain changes (or declines) can seem more pronounced. One daughter noticed that Mom was no longer balancing her checkbook. The other noticed that there was no food in the fridge and that mom had lost weight. They both worried that Mom was not taking her meds correctly, if at all. They had been paying a neighbor to check in on mom several times a week, but they realized that this was no longer enough. They also worried that these signs might indicate Alzheimer’s. Mom, after all, had two of the three risk factors: she was older and her mother had had Alzheimer’s. (She did not, however, have the APOE-e4 Risk Gene.)

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