Just because someone has memory problems does not mean they have Dementia.
While I am not a physician or a behavioral therapist, I have been involved in and have tried cases involving whether or not a person is competent to draft a Will or a Trust or have a guardian. A lot of seniors are misdiagnosed with various forms of cognitive disorders. Dementia is not a disease but a symptom. Dementia has many causes. Alzheimers is one cause, but Alzheimers cannot be “clinically” diagnosed. The only way to diagnose Alzheimers is by an autopsy after death. Major depressive disorder also causes some of the very same symptoms as dementia. Unfortunately there is a bias or prejudice toward seniors, and often times a diagnosis of dementia will allow another family member to get a “guardianship” over the senior. This can be done by a family member hiring a “neuropsychologist” or a general practitioner who swears out a medical certificate for the court attesting to the fact that the senior is cognitively unable to make their own decision. The majority of the time the neuropsychologist or general practitioner are not qualified to determine what is specifically causing the dementia like symptoms, so they label it “Alzheimers”. In some cases if the senior is properly diagnosed with depression, placing the senior on an antidepressant brings back all if not some of their cognitive abilities. Sadly, many seniors are not properly diagnosed and placed in nursing homes. This is sometimes the only option because of family finances. Other times seniors are mis-diagnosed and family members turn a blind eye, regarding obtaining a second opinion, as the family members true motive is getting control over the senior’s finances and other assets. If you have a question regarding any of these issues, please call my office.