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ACE 111 Expecting the Worst

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by zaygezunt, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. zaygezunt

    zaygezunt Registered User

    Mar 20, 2015
    Hi everyone, this is my first post but, having read others, this seems to be a wonderful place to find advice and friendly support.
    The other day my mum, who is 82, was given the ACE111 and I was there for support. I made notes of all her answers and then looked up the exam, correct answers and scoring. I calculated that she scored 82. Allowing for the fact I am no professional, this still puts her in the dementia range. At the end of the exam the dr said the next step is a brain scan.
    I can't say I am surprised. Not only does she muddle events and conversations but she also repeats herself constantly. I noted that in the exam she couldn't draw the clock face and only remembered the county for the name and address given.
    She's a dear soul and I worry how she would take the news. I have been able to be upbeat and strong but also mentioned that if it is dementia we can fight it together.
    Two questions -
    Does it seem likely to you that I am judging the situation correctly?
    If it is what I expect, should I tell her or let the dr do so? I'll be there for her either way. My reasoning tells me that professionals are trained in the best way to approach the subject but would SHE rather hear it from a loving daughter? Can't help worrying that I am actually being a coward.
    I don't know the procedure for giving results and diagnosis but I am sure someone here will.
    Thanks for an excellent forum, I have a feeling I will find it invaluable as time goes on.
  2. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    My opinion is that yoiu should leave it to the professionals. This doesn't mean you can't discuss it with her afterwards,

    Not everyone responds well to the news. In fact, we never did tell my mother as she reacted so strongly when we tried. But I know other people who are aware of their illness and they are awesome.
  3. zaygezunt

    zaygezunt Registered User

    Mar 20, 2015
    Thank you, this is what I will do. It is reassuring to have someone with experience offer guidance.
    BTW Fantastically quick response! Thanks again
  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    I have to agree with Joanne: let the professionals dole out the diagnosis.

    One thing I will say is: they aren't always great about this so expect some fall out (actually expect some fall-out anyway). But if she takes it badly, or it is communicated in what you feel is an insensitive way, and it might well be, at least you are there to pick up the pieces. In fact, even communicated sensitively, this is a devastating diagnosis so piece picking up is likely. I would not try to explain the ramifications unless she asks you.

    Be aware she may not accept or quite possibly forget the diagnosis, so you may be looking at a future of skating round the issue: so you're a little forgetful as you get older, who isn't? A lot of older people and even younger ones have memory problems. Variations on a theme anyway.
  5. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    Hi zaygezunt and welcome to TP :)

    Like you, I like to know as much as I can about what's happening to mum, and I find it helps me to cope and plan. But I have never used the word 'dementia' with her, and neither, so far as I know, have the professionals. I just talk about each issue as it comes up, eg 'perhaps I should pay that bill, mum', or 'oh, this ham is out of date, I'd better bin it'. I think that mum would be very distressed by overt discussion of her condition....in fact she gets upset at the mere mention of forgetfulness.

    Still, everyone is different and your mum may want to address it directly. There are some people with dementia who post on here, for example.

    We have to take everything as it comes, there are no fixed guidelines.

    I wish you and your mum well and hope to see you posting here :)

    Lindy xx
  6. zaygezunt

    zaygezunt Registered User

    Mar 20, 2015
    Wise words, thank you. I am certain mum will be absolutely devastated if/when the diagnosis comes so why make it worse by detailing a disease that is different for each sufferer?
  7. zaygezunt

    zaygezunt Registered User

    Mar 20, 2015
    Thanks Lindy. Mum and I have always differed on knowing exactly what to expect from a situation, she prefers to face a problem if it arises whereas I like to be prepared so your words ring true. Life is full of compromising and now is the time to help her in the way she wants. Xx
  8. Concerned J

    Concerned J Registered User

    Jun 15, 2014
    My Mum did the Addenbrookes Ace iii test. She got 43/100 which sounded awful to me even before I'd seen the test. I was not with Mum (I was waiting outside) when they tested her. I'm sure she was very anxious and even more befuddled by the situation.
    When we went back at a later date and got results Mum was really upset and started crying realising that 43/100 is not good.

    The test really is just one part of the whole situation. I'm sure most of us could score differently at exams /driving tests etc depending on our mood and feelings on any given day.
  9. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Leave it to the pros, some people go into quite a violent denial of the situation, my wife never actually hit anyone but it was close. If she goes into denial it may be better if you're on "her" side. If she is told then forgets everyday will you keep reminding her?
    It's a bit of a minefield and everyone is different, better let them tell her watch and gauge how she takes it and work with that.
  10. zaygezunt

    zaygezunt Registered User

    Mar 20, 2015
    Thanks. I was glad I could stay in the room as I am sure mum would have been far more anxious without me and this would have affected the score. It's awful to see someone you love so upset with themselves, when they really can't help it. Mum just couldn't understand why she was unable to do the clock face. Next is the brain scan and we will face each stage together. Hope you and your mum are ok and thanks for responding.
  11. zaygezunt

    zaygezunt Registered User

    Mar 20, 2015
    Yes, you are right. I'll take a step back and assess her reaction then I will know how best to be with her. I think she is already showing signs of denial but this is all new to me and being able to come here to ask people who have already been through it is a blessing. The phrase you use "being on her side" is a good one. I don't want her to feel alone or perhaps betrayed. Thanks for the help.

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