Sometimes you see things happening, but you are too close to them to realize how dramatic they are. For the last few years, my mother has had memory problems. They are usually little things, but sometimes quite serious things that she forgets. It's not like she forgets where she put down a book - we all do that. For two years in a row, she gave Scott and I the same Christmas presents. Not just one or two the same - ALL of them were the same. She used to tell me about how my dad had an anxiety/panic disorder (as do I) and that it was one of the reasons he chose to retire when he did. She had even given me his disability paperwork that talked about it. Last year, when I mentioned that it shouldn't surprise her about my anxiety disorder since it is hereditary, she freaked out and said my father NEVER had an anxiety problem. Flat out denied it. She had no memory of it happening or ever having discussed it. She sometimes forgets little things when she is watching the kids and gets easily distracted. Scott and I will find dirty diapers out places where she forgot she was in the middle of changing the kids and never put them up.
Today, she seems especially bad. I'm glad I'm in the house when she's watching the kids because it almost scares me to think of what she might forget next. Every day she comes over and we go get the kids from school. Same route, same time, five days a week. Today, we're about halfway there and she asked where we were going. When we got there and were telling everyone we would see them on Monday, she kept asking why they didn't have school tomorrow. (It's Saturday!).
At what point do you consider it something to worry about versus just normal aging? She's 70 in April and I just don't think of her as elderly, but I guess she qualifies whether I want her to or not.