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1st Visit to Memory Clinic

MJK

Registered User
Oct 22, 2004
54
Hi,

My Mum's got her first memory clinic appointment next week, and I just wanted to know what is likely to happen. Her sister is taking her, so are they likely to talk to her separately so she can fill in background info? I understand they will do the MMSE, what else will they do? Will the rest of the assessment be based on "chatting" and seeing how Mum responds? She's already had blood tests and an ECG in preparation for this assessment. We've been told the appointment will last for approx. 1 hour.

Will a diagnosis/assessment be given then and there or will the results be sent to the GP? My Mum has no idea she has "memory problems" and I dread someone telling her that she has AD (if that turns out to be the diagnosis). If drugs are deemed appropriate will they be prescribed on the day, or will further assesments be needed. Seeing as this is a first visit will there be a quick follow-up visit to "validate" any results, or how long is it likely to be before they see her again?

Thanks for any info/advice anyone can give about this - we're all getting rather nervous about it (especially my Mum who suppported my Dad through his trips to the MC).
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
I can only tell you what happened at ours. My mother was interviewed by a psychologist whom I didn't see, while I was interviewed by a community support worker.

Then after a tea-break we were both interviewed by a psychiatrist, and that didn't go very well, my mother terminated the interview.

Then my mother had blood tests and an ECG, in different parts of the hospital.

At each stage I reminded my mother that it was optional, as she herself had complained of memory loss, and that she has a right to refuse treatment.

Lila
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
I haven't had the results yet. They said it would take 2 weeks.

The psychiatrist asked my mother if she wanted the results to be sent to me, and she agreed and signed a consent form.

Her next appointment is on the 19th April.

Lila
 

daughter

Registered User
Mar 16, 2005
824
Hi MJK,

People seem to have different experiences of attending memory clinics. Perhaps you could write a letter or phone the clinic itself to ask your questions regarding the usual procedure. Here are links to some previous threads which may be useful.

http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/TalkingPoint/Discuss/showthread.php?t=2806&page=1&highlight=memory+clinic

http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/TalkingPoint/Discuss/showthread.php?t=1758&page=1&highlight=memory+clinic

http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/TalkingPoint/Discuss/showthread.php?t=2295&page=1&highlight=memory+clinic

I hope all goes well and let us know how your Mum and sister get on.

Best wishes,
 

Rosalind

Registered User
Jul 2, 2005
203
Wiltshire
I would strongly advise your aunt to take in a written note of the things that are causing you concern about your mother's memory, with some examples, which can go on your mother's file.

In our case, we went to the memory clinic time and time again before any diagnosis was given, and all they said was that my husband's memory was below what it should have been at his age and with his level of intelligence (they must have done some sort of IQ test). He was tested without me present, and I had the opportunity to say why I thought there was a problem, but it is quite easy for the person with memory problems to find their mind goes blank when asked for examples, while a jotted down list will be kept.

Also, this is good if as in our case your mother 'presents well' with a lot of 'I don't know what all the fuss is about, my memory is fine'
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
Memory clinic

My mother says she doesn't want to go to the next appointment because "it's a waste of time". She can remember stories, the psychologist had read her some stories and asked questions about them, but she can't remember important things. I ask what sort of things. "I can't remember how we got there". "We went in a cab." "Yes, but I can't remember the driver's name." I don't know his name, who asks the driver's name anyway? But ... she always used to, when she took my father to his hospital appointments, and probably knew the driver's wife's name, names and ages of their children, etc. etc.

I say you didn't like Dr. N. [psychiatrist] did you? She says oh that was because I wanted the toilet. Oh, why couldn't she have said so at the time? and why didn't I think of reminding her to go while we were waiting?

Well, she'll have a month to change her mind about going again.

I think it was unusual that she was the first to comment on her memory loss. Other patients in the waiting-room were in denial.
 

Lulu

Registered User
Nov 28, 2004
391
Mum's first appointment at the Memory Clinic followed on from more general tests -blood, scan etc. Once there, she went off with the nurse, whilst we were asled to fill in a questionnaire regarding her day-to-day activities -how well she coped using the phone, cooking a meal, shopping, etc. Mum was then brought back to us and, after a short interval, we were all called in together to speak to the Consultant. She gave us the diagnosis, and spoke to us about Aricept. I can't recall how long it all took, but it was probably one and a half hours.

Hope it goes well for you.
 

Lynne

Registered User
Jun 3, 2005
3,433
Suffolk,England
Rosalind said:
I would strongly advise your aunt to take in a written note of the things that are causing you concern about your mother's memory, with some examples, which can go on your mother's file.

In our case, we went to the memory clinic time and time again before any diagnosis was given, and all they said was that my husband's memory was below what it should have been at his age and with his level of intelligence (they must have done some sort of IQ test). He was tested without me present, and I had the opportunity to say why I thought there was a problem, but it is quite easy for the person with memory problems to find their mind goes blank when asked for examples, while a jotted down list will be kept.

Also, this is good if as in our case your mother 'presents well' with a lot of 'I don't know what all the fuss is about, my memory is fine'
Absolutely agree with all points here.
Despite the fact that it's Mum's memory which is going, mine appears to be following closely at times!
At doctors' appointments I forget significant & obvious things I should have mentioned (until about 1/2 hour later when I have a :eek: "Doh!" moment) like she SHOULD be wearing glasses to read anything, and/or her hearing aid (& it SHOULD be switched on, which she forgets to do if she does wear it.) Medieval tortures wouldn't get her to admit she needs them, of course.

Also Mum seems able to "raise her game" for such occasions, and turn into the sweet silver-haired old lady she used to be a few years back. (Idea: perhaps I should kidnap the doctor and park him in the corner of the living room, since his presence seems to "turn the clock back" that way)
 
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noelphobic

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
3,452
Liverpool
Lynne said:
Absolutely agree with all points here.
Despite the fact that it's Mum's memory which is going, mine appears to be following closely at times!
)

My memory is so bad that I can't even remember if my mum's ever been to a memory cllnic! Also, I would say we are still waiting for a diagnosis after about 10 years. At various times it has been suggested that she has vascular, Lewy Bodies and now, according to the assessment of her nursing needs she has Alzheimers!
 
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MJK

Registered User
Oct 22, 2004
54
Thanks for all the replies; it's interesting to read everyone's different experiences. I'm still quite nervous about how it will go! Is a diagnosis likely to be given on the day, or will feedback be sent via the GP? Is my Mum likely to be sent for a brain scan to rule out vascular dementia before any diagnosis can be made?

As Rosalind suggested, we've put together some notes about changes in Mum's behaviour, which will hopefully be useful. My aunt has phoned the clinic and explained that she is not prepared to describe Mum's symptoms in front of her, so we hope they will be seen separately for at least some of the time.

I'll let you know how we get on!
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
Someone from the memory clinic has just phoned to say my mother phoned them to cancel her next appointment. Well, it is her choice. (I didn't even know she could phone the hospital, thought she could only phone my brother, me and a few other close friends.) I would prefer her to try them again, but in a way I am glad she's stroppy enough to refuse.

Lila
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
My mother & I both went together ,they did a few tests drawing ,If I can remember rightly they ask her if today was Monday & yesterday was Sunday was day is it tomorrow ,few simple maths & important dates I had to keep quite , mum keep looking at me, she was not happy at all ,all she was worried about was looking stupid in front of the man ,I had to keep resurging her it was all for own good & not to worry

After the test they sent mum for the bran scan ,few moths later was told that it was AD , mum never really understood what AD meant ,she was just happy been told she not going mad , then the battle taking her medication began



Lila

What is your mum fear in going to the memory clinic can you talk to her about it ?
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
She said it was "a waste of time". One of her favourite phrases nowadays. I ask what she is going to do with all the time she saves. Lie in bed and do nothing.

Her choice.

Lila
 

MJK

Registered User
Oct 22, 2004
54
Hi,

My Mum had her first visit to the Memory Clinic yesterday. The doctor diagnosed AD and has prescribed Aricept. He did the MMSE and she scored "about 25", apparently he was a bit vague on this. I thought Aricept wasn't being prescribed for "mild" dementia now, or is that in the future (or is her treatment likely to be stopped?)?

Apparently the doctor was very nice with her, although my Aunt did have to insist on speaking to him alone to tell him about Mum's symptons. He reacted as if this was an unusual request! He also said he was "ethically bound" to tell Mum she had AD, though was persuaded not to in the end. (My Mum has a real fear of the disease after seeing her Mum suffer with it for 10 years).

He did ask (without knowing any background) why the family weren't doing more to help and why we hadn't involved Social Service! We have been bashing our heads against a brick wall for well over a year trying to get help for my Mum (none of us are local), and were told by the GP that we had to have this diagnosis first.

Anyway, we'll have to see how she gets on with the drugs now. My Aunt has just called and says the leaflet with them is full of dire warnings about not taking more than the prescribed dose - how are we meant to ensure this doesn't happen! Am about to ring the GP for advice.

One last thing, apparently the tablets have the days of the week on them...but in Greek!!!
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
That sounds as if it were exceptionally quick. Hope the Aricept helps.

We were obviously lucky to get Social Services to help without a diagnosis.

And luckily the doctor got my mother's permission to give the diagnosis (if any) to me, not to her.

Lila



MJK said:
Hi,

My Mum had her first visit to the Memory Clinic yesterday. The doctor diagnosed AD and has prescribed Aricept. He did the MMSE and she scored "about 25", apparently he was a bit vague on this. I thought Aricept wasn't being prescribed for "mild" dementia now, or is that in the future (or is her treatment likely to be stopped?)?

Apparently the doctor was very nice with her, although my Aunt did have to insist on speaking to him alone to tell him about Mum's symptons. He reacted as if this was an unusual request! He also said he was "ethically bound" to tell Mum she had AD, though was persuaded not to in the end. (My Mum has a real fear of the disease after seeing her Mum suffer with it for 10 years).

He did ask (without knowing any background) why the family weren't doing more to help and why we hadn't involved Social Service! We have been bashing our heads against a brick wall for well over a year trying to get help for my Mum (none of us are local), and were told by the GP that we had to have this diagnosis first.

Anyway, we'll have to see how she gets on with the drugs now. My Aunt has just called and says the leaflet with them is full of dire warnings about not taking more than the prescribed dose - how are we meant to ensure this doesn't happen! Am about to ring the GP for advice.

One last thing, apparently the tablets have the days of the week on them...but in Greek!!!
 

Sandy

Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
6,847
MJK,

My in-laws were able to be assessed by Social Services (SS) before my father-in-law was formally diagnosed. I think this is quite standard practice. I rang up the SS in their town and was put in touch with the Older Persons' Team. They said that the assessment was based on needs and wouldn't normally be affected by the medical condition resulting in those needs.

I know that some people have a daily care worker who visits them in their own home and ensures that medication is taken properly.

Take care,

Sandy
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
Could be because AD tablets are not made in UK ?am not 100 percent sure .

would be interesting to know !

Wishing you all the best hope you keep posting to let us know how your geting on :)