Author Topic: How strange is this behavior?  (Read 1610 times)

Melisande

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How strange is this behavior?
« on: March 15, 2017, 10:50:42 AM »
I've come to realize that a good friend of mine is starting to act a little strangely and I'm wondering if something is wrong.

Everyone forgets peoples' names from time to time, but this person seems to be regularly confused about names -- even those of close friends. OK, it's not like she never gets them right, but frequently she will start talking about someone and say: "That's just like Sally*. Or maybe I mean Sarah? Who's the big one with the dark hair?" And it's not like these people are acquaintances she met yesterday. She was one of only a handful of people attending Sally's rather intimate wedding. She helped Sally pack and move and we all regularly had lunch together for a couple of years."

Just yesterday when we were having coffee, she said: Well, maybe you could get Janet Jackson to help you with that." I looked at her a little strangely and said: "Who are you talking about? Janet Jaman?" She: "Yeah, I think. Is she the one that helps out with hospitality at church?

And, just recently, she got my name wrong when she introduced me to someone. It wasn't really wrong -- just annoyingly off -- like: "Here's my friend Suzanne!" instead of my friend Susan. At the time I felt a little put out. I mean we've been close friends for over 5 years, at least you can get my name right. But maybe there is something not right with her.

 Also, yesterday, a while after she made the strange Janet Jackson comment, when we were walking out of the restaurant, a waitress came running after us with her purse which she had forgetting on her chair. She seemed a little embarrassed and made excuses: "Oh, I usually wear a different bag -- one that goes over my shoulder. That's why I forgot."

Should I be concerned? What would you do?

BTW, she is a retired university professor (so intelligent enough). She is 70, single and has no children. Both her parents wound up being institutionalized with Alzheimer's. I am one of the people who is closest to her.


*All names are fictional.

Frankies Girl

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Re: How strange is this behavior?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2017, 11:35:56 AM »
Seeing her age, I'd sort of chalk it up to that, but the fact that it's becoming obvious and she was embarrassed makes me wonder if she's doing it LOTS more than you see and she's just really good at covering up the memory issues until now, and it could be much, much worse (and possibly linked to something more serious).

It wouldn't hurt to gently, lovingly ask her if she's had a recent checkup to make sure and to point out that you're a little worried about her. Memory issue could be caused by simple medication issues, vitamin deficiency (B12 or vitamin D deficiency can cause this, and I had thyroid issues that really messed up my memory and I'm half her age) or age or even stress/fatigue, but maybe not, and it might be enough to mention that you've noticed that gets her to maybe discuss with her doctor just to get an "all clear."

Here's a link that might help figure out if this is normal or not:
https://www.helpguide.org/articles/memory/age-related-memory-loss.htm

And for the record, I agree with the "likely to be just normal forgetfulness" but it wouldn't hurt to go get a checkup type thing.

When my grandfather (had Alzheimer's) started having real issues, the things that stood out were when he started making excuses for why he couldn't order meals out any more (he forgot how to use a menu) and pretended he forgot his glasses so others would order for him, or the time he was going to make a sandwich and forgot how to slice tomatoes; literally could not remember to get a knife from the drawer - stood in the kitchen holding the tomato and staring at it for like 10 minutes before my grandmother asked him what he was doing. He also would take the ride-on mower out and forgot how to drive it - got stuck in a corner and couldn't remember how to step off of it even and was out there for an hour before my grandmother went looking for him.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2017, 11:47:17 AM by Frankies Girl »
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Just Joe

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Re: How strange is this behavior?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2017, 11:52:34 AM »
Also mini-strokes. At the end my great-grandmother had several mini-strokes which really messed up her logic and memory. Didn't affect her mobility that we could notice which was already in decline due to advanced age. 

Spiffy

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Re: How strange is this behavior?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2017, 02:02:41 PM »
My best friend is worried about her mother being forgetful, like forgetting her keys or purse. I always say if she forgets where she put her keys, don't worry. If she forgets what keys are, then you need to worry.

marty998

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Re: How strange is this behavior?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2017, 02:17:42 PM »
I leave my phone, wallet, keys, glasses etc around at different people's desks at work....

It's just that the human brain isn't built for modern life and information overload so it just simply forgets things sometimes.

I like the quote form Spiffy.

I always say if she forgets where she put her keys, don't worry. If she forgets what keys are, then you need to worry.

Kaspian

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Re: How strange is this behavior?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2017, 02:47:24 PM »
Mental faculties will deteriorate over time, even when it's not Alzheimer's or senility.  And yeah--sometimes it's just vitamins, nutrition, or even climate related.  God, I don't think my grandparents ever got our names right and there was only four of us grandkids.  ...And they saw us every single day!
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mustachepungoeshere

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Re: How strange is this behavior?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2017, 04:17:13 PM »
I leave my phone, wallet, keys, glasses etc around at different people's desks at work....

It's just that the human brain isn't built for modern life and information overload so it just simply forgets things sometimes.

I like the quote form Spiffy.

I always say if she forgets where she put her keys, don't worry. If she forgets what keys are, then you need to worry.

I can't believe I didn't know this about you!

You always seem so mindful and conscientious.

Melisande

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Re: How strange is this behavior?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2017, 06:01:45 PM »
Thanks guys!

This is making me feel better about her. And about me too! A few days ago, i misplaced a really nice watch that my husband had given me as a present. Still don't know where it is. But my search did turn up another watch that I had given up on finding a few months ago and had totally forgotten about. Hmmm ....




marty998

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Re: How strange is this behavior?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2017, 03:56:15 AM »
I leave my phone, wallet, keys, glasses etc around at different people's desks at work....

It's just that the human brain isn't built for modern life and information overload so it just simply forgets things sometimes.

I like the quote form Spiffy.

I always say if she forgets where she put her keys, don't worry. If she forgets what keys are, then you need to worry.

I can't believe I didn't know this about you!

You always seem so mindful and conscientious.

Err... no. I forget shit all the time. I suffer from "travel brain" when I'm on holidays too. The number of times I have left my passport / docs folder in pay phone booths, toilets, buses.... I usually remember within 30 seconds, but hear me when I say you can fit a hell of a lot of panic into 30 seconds.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: How strange is this behavior?
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2017, 03:59:53 AM »
I leave my phone, wallet, keys, glasses etc around at different people's desks at work....

It's just that the human brain isn't built for modern life and information overload so it just simply forgets things sometimes.

I like the quote form Spiffy.

I always say if she forgets where she put her keys, don't worry. If she forgets what keys are, then you need to worry.

I can't believe I didn't know this about you!

You always seem so mindful and conscientious.

Err... no. I forget shit all the time. I suffer from "travel brain" when I'm on holidays too. The number of times I have left my passport / docs folder in pay phone booths, toilets, buses.... I usually remember within 30 seconds, but hear me when I say you can fit a hell of a lot of panic into 30 seconds.

Now that you mention it I have had a couple of messages from you about important things left in interesting places.

But I didn't know it applied to work!

MayDay

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Re: How strange is this behavior?
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2017, 04:22:05 AM »
I would worry.

No it might not be terrible yet, but especially if she lives alone, I'd encourage her to get it checked out. Maybe you could ask her who she plans to have check over her health as she ages (a niece or nephew?) And ask her for the contact info in case of emergency. Or offer to be that person for her.

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Linda_Norway

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Re: How strange is this behavior?
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2017, 04:49:11 AM »
Alzheimer can progress very slowly for years, before it becomes very noticeable. it's good that you noticed it. Please convince her to see a doctor for a checkup on this issue and have someone join her.

Dicey

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Re: How strange is this behavior?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2017, 05:03:39 AM »
Alzheimer can progress very slowly for years, before it becomes very noticeable. it's good that you noticed it. Please convince her to see a doctor for a checkup on this issue and have someone join her.
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mustachepungoeshere

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Re: How strange is this behavior?
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2017, 10:42:57 PM »
Mental confusion is a symptom of pyelonephritis. Often it is the only symptom in older people.

She could be avoiding the doctor for fear of a life-changing diagnosis but it could be something that can remedied with a round of antibiotics.

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Re: How strange is this behavior?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2017, 02:16:37 PM »
Alzheimer can progress very slowly for years, before it becomes very noticeable. it's good that you noticed it. Please convince her to see a doctor for a checkup on this issue and have someone join her.

Agreed. These aren't the sort of symptoms that should be ignored.
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