I understand that you have several concerns about your mother’s health and wellbeing, and are confused by the determination that she does not have dementia.
As humans age, some memory loss and cognitive decline is considered to be completely normal. Although I am not a physician, there are certain symptoms, however, that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease and do not appear in every individual. These include a loss of short term memory (what they ate for breakfast or what was said 5 minutes ago), problems expressing thoughts or comprehending requests (trouble finding the right words or calling something by the wrong name), difficulty or inability to carry out activities of daily living (dressing, bathing, paying bills), changes in personality (becoming aggressive when they were always mild-mannered), confusion or disorientation to time, place, or person, unexplainable mood swings, loss of initiative in starting or completing activities, aggression, agitation, and depression.
If your mother is experiencing a few or many of these symptoms, it is a good idea that she undergo comprehensive testing. A complete test can include a cognitive screen, a blood test, a urinalysis, brain image scanning, and a comprehensive medical history. In order to find out if she has probable Alzheimer’s disease, it is necessary to rule out other possible explanations first. There are a number of other treatable medical conditions that can mimic the symptoms of Alzheimer’s such as depression, thyroid disease, urinary tract infections, and vitamin deficiencies. If she does end up with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, the earlier the diagnosis, the better so that she can begin treatment, plan for the future and take advantage of support services.
Consumers have the right to demand proper evaluation of memory disorders by a healthcare professional, and persons with dementia are entitled to care from professionals who understand basic treatment strategies for cognitive wellness. Some primary care providers are better versed in dementia than others. If you are not satisfied with the determination by your mother's physician, you might want to consider seeking a second opinion at another primary care provider or asking for a referral to a neurologist or geriatrician.