Advice on pushing for diagnosis.

Jonty123

New member
Mar 27, 2018
4
Hi,

My father 88 year-old father is becoming progressively confused and is losing his ability how to remember how to do the simplest of every day tasks. It's a huge worry as he is also an insulin dependent diabetic. My mother is really struggling to cope. He has had several visits to the doctor and I have also spoken to the doctor to raise my concerns. The doctor mentioned referring him to the memory clinic but hasn't done so and has now prescribed anti-depressants believing his memory loss is due to depression. I'm really not convinced and the changes are happening at a dramatic pace. Could anyone advise how we can push for him to be referred? Would Dementia Friends also be able to provide advice/guidance to someone who hasn't had an official diagnosis. My mum is distraught and it is impacting their relationship and it is proving difficult to get the help/support they need.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
8,459
Yorkshire
hello @Jonty123
and welcome to TP
at least your dad's GP has taken some notice of your concerns, so is aware and accepting that something is not right
might you write out a list of all the things that concern you, including all the everyday tasks your dad is having difficulty with eg compare him to 1,2,3 years ago, then describe a typical day and how much your mum has to help him with, and how this is affecting her - maybe also keep a diary over a couple of weeks so you have specific and current examples as evidence - then send this to the GP asking for the referral to the memory clinic (maybe you could print it out and have your mum sign it)
contact anyone you think may help - I wonder if there's an Admiral Nurse in your area - here's a link to their website
https://www.dementiauk.org/get-support/admiral-nursing/
 

Jonty123

New member
Mar 27, 2018
4
Thank you, Shedrech. I will follow up on your suggestion of the diary and also check to see if there is an Admiral Nurse in the same areas as my parents.
 

cobden 28

Registered User
Dec 15, 2017
41
My elderly Mum (87 next month) is also an insulin-dependent diabetic and although there's no question of Mum having any form of dementia, because of Mum's mobility difficulties she has the practice nurse come to her home daily to administer the injections.

Could your GP surgery perhaps arrange this sort of help for your parents? It would relieve your Mum of one thing to be worrying about.
 

Jonty123

New member
Mar 27, 2018
4
My elderly Mum (87 next month) is also an insulin-dependent diabetic and although there's no question of Mum having any form of dementia, because of Mum's mobility difficulties she has the practice nurse come to her home daily to administer the injections.

Could your GP surgery perhaps arrange this sort of help for your parents? It would relieve your Mum of one thing to be worrying about.
That's a good idea. The issue we have at the moment is keeping it away from him as he forgets what he has injected or if he has injected. I think mum at the moment is struggling with the fact he cannot remember. It's not his fault, he simply cannot remember.
 

Patrioted

Registered User
Jul 4, 2017
23
One can’t remember what one can’t remember. It’s hopeless to remind them because they won’t remember the reminder either. Don’t spin your own wheels trying to get someone to do what they can’t do and don’t lay a guilt trip on a dementia patient for failure to do something beyond their means. Remember for them. That is the only option. It’s part of family responsibility. It’s called doing the right thing - the necessary thing. It’s part of the marital “for better or for worse” pledge. It’s called “love.” Sometimes love is hard but it’s ALWAYS right.
 

Jonty123

New member
Mar 27, 2018
4
One can’t remember what one can’t remember. It’s hopeless to remind them because they won’t remember the reminder either. Don’t spin your own wheels trying to get someone to do what they can’t do and don’t lay a guilt trip on a dementia patient for failure to do something beyond their means. Remember for them. That is the only option. It’s part of family responsibility. It’s called doing the right thing - the necessary thing. It’s part of the marital “for better or for worse” pledge. It’s called “love.” Sometimes love is hard but it’s ALWAYS right.
We’re not laying a guilt trip on him and do know he can’t remember. We are simply trying to get support to make life better for both of them and safer for dad. Hence, we have been pushing for referrel.

Dad took a fall on Wednesday night and is now in hospital. If anything can be taken from this it’s that a social worker is now in contact to see what support is required.
 

Jackhigh

New member
Nov 23, 2017
2
Hi,

My father 88 year-old father is becoming progressively confused and is losing his ability how to remember how to do the simplest of every day tasks. It's a huge worry as he is also an insulin dependent diabetic. My mother is really struggling to cope. He has had several visits to the doctor and I have also spoken to the doctor to raise my concerns. The doctor mentioned referring him to the memory clinic but hasn't done so and has now prescribed anti-depressants believing his memory loss is due to depression. I'm really not convinced and the changes are happening at a dramatic pace. Could anyone advise how we can push for him to be referred? Would Dementia Friends also be able to provide advice/guidance to someone who hasn't had an official diagnosis. My mum is distraught and it is impacting their relationship and it is proving difficult to get the help/support they need.
Hi Jonty, sorry to hear about your struggles, you can request in writing if it helps to the GP to make the referral, I note that your father is in hospital, you can insist that they assess him for dementia whilst in hospital and also state that unless he has a full OT assessment to see how he is coping at home that they dont send him home without a care package in place. It is good the social worker is involved, but make sure you state you need these things doing to keep your dad safe at home, does he have a doset box? does the district nurse come in to help him with his insulin, these are all things that you can and should ask for to help you and your mum look after your dad and reduce his risk of falls. all the best!
 

Jackhigh

New member
Nov 23, 2017
2
Hi Jonty, sorry to hear about your struggles, you can request in writing if it helps to the GP to make the referral, I note that your father is in hospital, you can insist that they assess him for dementia whilst in hospital and also state that unless he has a full OT assessment to see how he is coping at home that they dont send him home without a care package in place. It is good the social worker is involved, but make sure you state you need these things doing to keep your dad safe at home, does he have a doset box? does the district nurse come in to help him with his insulin, these are all things that you can and should ask for to help you and your mum look after your dad and reduce his risk of falls. all the best!
 

yorkie46

Registered User
Jan 28, 2014
263
Southampton
I have been trying to get a diagnosis for my husband for about four years now. He has been seen at the memory clinic four times, the most recent on 12th March. He was seen by a nurse and a week later I had a phone call from the consultant, he asked me some questions about my husband , most of which I had given him the information about in writing. He then told me that he doesn't have dementia or depression. I was stunned as he hasn't even set eyes on my husband!
He said that he realised I hadn't been happy with previous outcomes at the clinic, he didn't know what the problem is so he is arranging a CT and Spect scan, I have now been told by the hospital that the wait for the Spect scan will be 4-6 weeks! More delays!!
I'm now beginning to wonder if all my efforts are worthwhile or whether I should just let things lie. Unfortunately I'm beginning to think that I'I'mm making myself I'll with all the worry. I'm seeing my GP next week to ask his advice.
 

LITTLEDUCK2018

New member
Mar 30, 2018
4
Hi,

My father 88 year-old father is becoming progressively confused and is losing his ability how to remember how to do the simplest of every day tasks. It's a huge worry as he is also an insulin dependent diabetic. My mother is really struggling to cope. He has had several visits to the doctor and I have also spoken to the doctor to raise my concerns. The doctor mentioned referring him to the memory clinic but hasn't done so and has now prescribed anti-depressants believing his memory loss is due to depression. I'm really not convinced and the changes are happening at a dramatic pace. Could anyone advise how we can push for him to be referred? Would Dementia Friends also be able to provide advice/guidance to someone who hasn't had an official diagnosis. My mum is distraught and it is impacting their relationship and it is proving difficult to get the help/support they need.
Hi there - I'm new to this forum but can say that I noticed things with mom two years ago even a bit before that. She was completely in denial but I remained steadfast and accompanied her to the doctor albeit about something else. Whilst there I mentioned some concerns "we" had and the doctor carried out a memory test in the surgery. Mom scored quite low and whilst she was really cross that I had raised with them, it did prompt referral and a diagnosis of mixed dementia. At the time it was very mild but sadly has progressed since then. I would perhaps see his doctor on your own if difficult and ask them if they can complete memory test when you next go. If this is borderline or poor then the GP should make the referral to a memory clinic straight away. Takes a few weeks for the apt to come through but the staff there were first class and very sensitive. Hope this helps.
 

Lindis59

New member
Jan 22, 2018
7
Hi,

My father 88 year-old father is becoming progressively confused and is losing his ability how to remember how to do the simplest of every day tasks. It's a huge worry as he is also an insulin dependent diabetic. My mother is really struggling to cope. He has had several visits to the doctor and I have also spoken to the doctor to raise my concerns. The doctor mentioned referring him to the memory clinic but hasn't done so and has now prescribed anti-depressants believing his memory loss is due to depression. I'm really not convinced and the changes are happening at a dramatic pace. Could anyone advise how we can push for him to be referred? Would Dementia Friends also be able to provide advice/guidance to someone who hasn't had an official diagnosis. My mum is distraught and it is impacting their relationship and it is proving difficult to get the help/support they need.
 

Lindis59

New member
Jan 22, 2018
7
I too had the most difficult time trying to get a diagnosis from my husbands GP and almost a year was wasted before I insisted on a referral to the Memory Clinic.Once in the hands of mental health professionals it was very straightforward. He was assessed, tested and diagnosed in a matter of weeks. Do not delay any more - insist in the strongest possible terms - the GP will back off.
 

Lindis59

New member
Jan 22, 2018
7
Hi,

My father 88 year-old father is becoming progressively confused and is losing his ability how to remember how to do the simplest of every day tasks. It's a huge worry as he is also an insulin dependent diabetic. My mother is really struggling to cope. He has had several visits to the doctor and I have also spoken to the doctor to raise my concerns. The doctor mentioned referring him to the memory clinic but hasn't done so and has now prescribed anti-depressants believing his memory loss is due to depression. I'm really not convinced and the changes are happening at a dramatic pace. Could anyone advise how we can push for him to be referred? Would Dementia Friends also be able to provide advice/guidance to someone who hasn't had an official diagnosis. My mum is distraught and it is impacting their relationship and it is proving difficult to get the help/support they need.
 

Lindis59

New member
Jan 22, 2018
7
My husband received a diagnosis last November after an initial SPECT scan in 2010 when the result was uncertain. My GP was very reluctant to even consider dementia until I wrote formally to him listing everything that happened on a daily basis, the number of times he got lost locally, breaking keys in locks he had opened for years etc. and requested an urgent referral to the memory clinic or a written response with reasons why not. I got the referral but am still angry that I had to push so very hard. Do not hesitate any longer - it gets you nowhere.
 

Laptop01

New member
Apr 9, 2018
1
Sorry for you're predicament. We I fear are at the beginning of this road. CT scan ruled all the nasties out (cancer etc) now father in law is strugging to except the grey mass on his brain is anything to worry about. Trying to get him to GP. Worried that he doesn't see symptoms so GP wont recognize issue. Any pointers appreciated. Sorry this doesn't help you.