Registered User
Aug 3, 2006
Hi, I am a new member and this is my first thread so I hope I get this right. I have been caring for my mother in law full time now for 4 months, but part time for the last 3 years. This weekend she was taken into hospital because she wasn't responding to any thing, or any one. The doctors are saying that they are trying to work out why she is so confused, I've told them she has alziemers and has been confused for the past 3 years now, but has been getting worse over the last 4 months, but they just look at me blankly when I tell them this. My question is how much do the doctors in the hospitals know about alzheimers ? Very little from what I can see. I'm no expert on the matter, but just looking after mum has taught me that they do have confusion, they do get lost in strange places and they need a routine to help keep the confusion down. So why don't the doctors see this.?


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Hello and welcome to TP! Sorry that you have to come here, but glad you have found us... if that makes any sense at all....
The doctors are saying that they are trying to work out why she is so confused
Doctors who are not dementia specialists and who have not come across family or patients with dementia at close hand - they just have no idea at all about the condition.

Doctors in hospital may also be younger [especially if it is a teaching hospital] and have been exposed mostly to conditions that can be treated by surgery or medication.

By the nature of the disease, dementia makes sufferers confused, and that gets worse when a new medical condition shows itself, and also when they are moved from familiar surroundings.

If there has been diagnosis of Alzheimer's then someone has made that diagnosis. Her GP will know. It is worth telling the doctors at the hospital the names of both the consultant and the GP for reference.

Hospitals cannot cure dementia, indeed they can do very little for it, except in the specialist centres, and even there....... However, dementia sufferers do need to go to hospital from time to time and that is very often problematic, for the patient, and for the hospital - and for the other patients. And of course for family.

I'm not sure there is a solution, other than making her better and getting her out ASAP. You might also prepare yourself that she will be additionally confused on being discharged.

Was it purely lack of response that led to her admission? Who made that judgement? Her GP? Was she eating?


Registered User
Feb 6, 2006
Hello smk21 glad you've felt able to post on talking point.

Can I ask what kind of ward your MIL has been placed on? When my MIL was hospitalised a few weeks ago for a suspected urinary infection she was put on a huge medical assessment ward and basically we felt no one knew quite what to do with her. We found it impossible to get any of the nursing staff to give us any information. Two days later she was transferred to an Eye ward where she basically took up a bed until being discharged after a week. The whole exercise was pointless and the antibiotics could easily have been given at home by the carers as normal (my MIL had no acute symptoms other than a bit of back pain which she complained about intermittently and with no distress). I know that infections can be distressing and dangerous for dementia sufferers but if this was a UTI it was a mild one and I felt the actual hospitalisation process caused more distress and anxiety than the supposed illness in her case.

Incidently she was placed on prozac for anxiety whilst in hospital. This was something which had just exaggerated her symptoms in the past and so sure enough happened again and she had to suffer the side effects of being taken off the drug after a couple of weeks. In our experience the GP is quick to hospitalise for fairly minor matters in my MIL's case but the communication between the hospital and the GP surgery is extremely poor.

I hope that your experience with your MIL is a bit better.


Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
I found all the doctors I talked with about my mother, in hospital and her GP's, extremely ignorant about dementia and not very interested.



Registered User
Aug 3, 2006
Thanks, for your replys, we went to the hospital this afternoon and told them we wanted mum home, the hospital wasnt helping her at all, she's glad to be home.
All we have to do now is to get her husband out he was taken in on Tuesday with a tummy bleed, so one home one to go.


Registered User
Mar 13, 2006
hello smk21

has been getting worse over the last 4 months,

wecome to TP i was just wondering if your mum has been checked out for a UTI, my mum is in a emi hospital and has had two in the last few months and it really made her disorientated sometimes the doctor dont check for the most obvious causes.
take care good luck with patient no 2