Dianne Feinstein, the oldest member of the United States Senate, is struggling to recognize colleagues, follow policy discussions, and carry out the duties of her office, people close to the California Democrat told the San Francisco Chronicle Thursday.

“It’s bad,” one Democratic senator told the paper, referring to Feinstein’s memory. “And it’s getting worse.”

According to lawmakers and former staffers cited in the report, Feinstein’s memory is “rapidly deteriorating.” The 88-year-old lawmaker has, at times, seemed to have difficulty recognizing longtime colleagues, recalling conversations and complicated policy, and “can no longer fulfill her job duties without her staff doing much of the work required to represent the nearly 40 million people of California,”

according to the Chronicle. Some Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Alex Padilla, the junior senator from California, disputed the report, telling the paper that she is continuing to execute her responsibilities, calling suggestions about her mental acuity “unconscionable” and “ridiculous.” 

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In a statement to the Chronicle, Feinstein acknowledged that the past year had been “extremely painful and distracting” due to the death of her husband, the investor Richard Blum, but again disputed suggestions that she is unable to perform her duties as senator. 

“There’s no question I’m still serving and delivering for the people of California,” she said in a statement, “and I’ll put my record up against anyone’s.”

While the colleagues who raised concerns about her condition said that her memory lapses “do not appear to be constant,” they recounted distressing episodes that raised significant questions about her ability to govern.