Can a diagnosis of dementia also determine what stage ?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by WORRIER123, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. WORRIER123

    WORRIER123 Registered User

    Oct 1, 2015
    I've posted before as i still can't get the mental health doctor to confirm in writing my dads dementia which he confirmed verbally.
    He keeps saying he wants to talk to his boss to discuss how he has declined so dramatically from no dementia diagnosis independent etc to immobile confused unable to make decisions and use tv remote after a 3 month hospital stay
    While I continue to chase, are doctors able to make some kind of judgement on what stage it is at. To me he gets worse each week picking up tablets putting them down , falling, questioning everything, difficulty swallowing , rude, snappy you've heard it all ...
    I accept what he has but nobody will confirm anything to me or dad not that he would understand.
    Worn out
  2. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Hi, worrier, and I am sorry to hear of all the trouble you are having. You must be worn out with worry at this point and who could blame you?

    I hope there is some support for you in all of this.

    I'm not in the UK and am not a doctor and so I have no idea what they can and cannot do, or will tell you. As you know, there are different types of dementia and I am not sure all of them have "stages" and there are different definitions of stages.

    Types of dementia:

    And here is a factsheet about the progression of dementia:

    Here is some info on the stages of Alzheimer's that I have found useful to read, although I think this may be a US-based system:

    The only really helpful information I've gotten about my mother's Alzheimer's and where she is with that, was from her neurologist (who only works with dementia and geriatric patients in hospital and care home settings), not from her GP or the other doctors who saw her in hospital when she was sectioned, I'm sorry to say. But I have no idea if that's normal, even here in the States, or is just down to the doctors she saw, or what.

    Sorry I cannot be of more help.
  3. WORRIER123

    WORRIER123 Registered User

    Oct 1, 2015
    Thanks so much Amy
    The mental health doctor who visited and assessed dad just won't confirm anything other than a verbal he has dementia but no idea what type or why it came on so quick
    Hardest part is it's only dad and I we have nobody else although I have a boyfriend (he has no family) however his health is not great and he's been taken to hospital after collapsing. He stresses and worries
    The fact I can't go to the hospital as I can't leave dad is just adding to a really horrible day.
    Dad keeps falling asleep or falling over and I just feel drained
    Oh well better stay strong for them both
  4. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    You're welcome, worrier.

    I am hoping Fizzie stops by shortly to add her list of resources. In the meantime, both Age UK and the Alzheimer's Society have numbers you can call for help and direction to resources.

    It sounds like you need a diagnosis, to start, and I hope one of the UK members can give you advice about how to do that. If the "mental health doctor" (was that in hospital?) didn't give you a diagnosis verbally, there still has to be something in the chart/medical records, so perhaps the GP could help you to chase that down or get you a referral to the Memory Clinic or whatever the next step is. Again, my apologies if I am misunderstanding/misdirecting you in regards to the UK system.

    You also need to get some help in place, and again, I'm sure one of the UK members will be along to advise you how to start that process. But you really do need some help. You can't do this all alone forever, you will be the one to fall over next!
  5. WORRIER123

    WORRIER123 Registered User

    Oct 1, 2015
    Amy thank you
    The mental health doctor is from the memory clinic as he said the review in hospital is never accurate due to surround so he came and did another
    He won't even discuss the test results with me said he will only discuss with dad
    I said seeing as you said he doesn't understand and gets confused what use is it discussing with him
    Another chaser Monday I think
    By the way we have a carer 3 times a day but not weekends and boy I could have done with one today
  6. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    The problem is Worrier it's not an exact science. If I ask a doctor is my leg broken, a quick x-ray and we know the answer AZ isn't like that, a brain scan tells a lot but not everything. The situation you've described with your Dad isn't the typical way dementia presents itself so I don't blame the doctor for making sure they get it right.
    Your Dad may, like my wife get a diagnosis of "mixed, atypical" AZ which tells you nothing at all.
    As I say it's not an exact science it's as much a matter of experience and opinion as are many mental health issues as opposed to physical illness where the diagnosis is more empirical.
    I hope something gets resolved soon, meantime have a glass of red or white or both.
  7. CJinUSA

    CJinUSA Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    eastern USA
    Hello. They need to do some tests to determine whether it's likely to be vascular dementia or Alzheimer's, or a combination of the two, or something else. If your father has had strokes in the past, then it's possible it's vascular dementia or a mix of that with Alzheimer's. My sense is that they need to do a brain scan, MRI, and a few other things before they can create a diagnosis. The doctor is not being obstinate, in other words, as it seems to me - the doctor just isn't positioned to make a determination without the other tests.

    What I'm wondering about is that the doctor won't talk with you, yet the doctor recognizes that your father is not right. Do you have a power of attorney for health? You will need this in order to see to your father in future.

    I'm sorry about your partner being unwell. This does put undue stress on you.

    You are going to need a POA for healthcare, but your father needs to be competent, I believe to sign it.

    I hope you get a resolution soon.
  8. jknight

    jknight Registered User

    Oct 23, 2015
    Hi Worrier,

    Do get Power of Attorney. It is possible, even if your parent doesn't fully understand (you will need a letter from the GP). The only other option is going to the court of protection (costly and takes months)

    Thinking of you

    J x
  9. WORRIER123

    WORRIER123 Registered User

    Oct 1, 2015
    Thank you all for your words of wisdom
    I will try the mental health doctor once more and call the solicitor in the morning
    If he can draft a health POA for health up I am sure the GP could persuade dad to sign it as he is the only one who my dad takes notice of.
    I didn't have the wine !
    A cuppa and raisin toast
  10. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    If you are getting POA for Health then get it for finance too otherwise the banks won't discuss his affairs with you and if you need to gain access to his assets in the future if he goes into care then you would find it difficult.
  11. WORRIER123

    WORRIER123 Registered User

    Oct 1, 2015
    Thanks Marion
    I have enduring POA but as I was given this 20 years ago the health one wasn't available
    Finances all sorted which I suppose looking on the bright side is more important

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