She has extremely high anxiety. It has to be dementia maybe worse.
It is still a clinical diagnosis. They will gather all the tools together, question you and make an educated guess. Not sure if not having AD or dementia can create something worse for you. In the end, you will find it doesn't matter what they call it. You recognize the issue. I'd say provide some sedation for her anxiety and yours. Some don't like the idea but I know it was a med that allowed Mom to live longer. And yes sundowning can be an issue but we always had a full on assault of Mom's ears with something that kept her awake longer during the day. Good luck to you and to Mom.
I am not sure there is a definitive test to accurately diagnose what type of dementia she may have, but definitely make an appointment with a neurologist as soon as possible. She will probably need an MRI.
DeeDee, there are two general types of testing available. A Primary Care Doctor might ask a series of basic questions (remember the following three words, draw the face of a clock, . . . ) to make an initial assessment. A specialist, typically a neurologist, can schedule either/both a CT scan of the brain or an MRI test. These tests would perhaps show the physical impact of dementia such as shrinkage of the brain or the. presence of plaque in the brain.
This is how my mom started. She was diagnosed 5 years ago and was instructed not to drive. She would get lost, call my dad (they've been divorced for over 20 years) and ask for help. She lives with me and I know your struggles. It's hard, but I'm thankful that I still have her.
You can try the PCP. But I think the a neuropsychologist, PHD, can be very or more helpful in testing and inferring or diagnosing. With my wife, I had her go for a Neuropsych eval and it was strongly implied that she probably had early onset Alzheimer's and based upon my observation, I was reasonably certain. Several months later she had an Amloid PET scan and this showed moderate levels of Amloid Plaque which confirmed Alzheimer's to a very high degree. Once again, I am not an expert, but this has been the steps we initially took. Her great grandfather also had Alzheimer's.