1. PurplePoppy

    PurplePoppy Registered User

    Oct 3, 2005
    53
    Mum saw her doctor this week. He continually talked looking away from her. He said that tablets wouldn't do any good. He just said if things became too bad for my dad, then we should contact Social Services. He did say that he thought she had Vascular Dementia (we had assumed she had Alzheimers). First time this has been mentioned. He says it's been caused by her Diabetes. Of course he's not an expert, but doesn't seem to think it's worth sending mum to see one. He really didn't seem bothered at all.

    Due to my own health problems, I find it hard to help dad much. It worries me what this situation is doing to my dad. It amazes me how he copes. I know I couldn't be with her 24/7. I still find myself correcting her, which I know does no good, but I think I'm still in denial and feel my mum will realise, which of course she won't.

    Oh well, I guess it's just take it day by day.
     
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Huh?

    He thinks she has vascular dementia but doesn't want to involve an expert?

    GPs are great at cuts and abrasions, colds and flu but not so hot on more specialist things.... that's why there are specialists.

    A diagnosis of dementia of any sort is something that needs to be made by a specialist as a firm diagnosis brings all sorts of help with it [hopefully].

    I'd be demanding a referral. As soon as possible.

    Think of it this way. Someone might look at my car and say - the suspension is obviously shot on the rear off side as the car is leaning. Bad problem. I walk around there and say - but the tyre is flat... couldn't that be the problem? The person says "didn't think of that".

    First lesson in all of the dementia process is - learn to be pushy. Make the doctor bothered. For your Mum's sake.... and your Dad's too. And your own!

    But you have to judge how much you can do that, given your own health needs.

    Best of luck
     
  3. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    824
    Once again I'm feeling very annoyed at GP's! :mad: What is it with some of them? Bruce is quite right Purplepoppy - your Mum should see a specialist, as you say "he's not an expert". How can he brush you aside with a "there's not much we can do" attitude? Perhaps there isn't, but surely that needs to be assessed by an expert? I would also be pushing for a referral. Sorry, rant over.

    Also, there definately are things that can be set in motion, or at least thought about - appropriate medication (via specialist), long term plans for care, help for your Dad, knowing the right people to contact when you need that help etc etc. You have to keep asking, and if you don't get the answer from one person, ask someone else. Even if, as you say you're in denial, isn't it better to be at least a little informed? Don't they say forewarned is forearmed?

    I understand that you have your own health problems but do you (or your Dad) really want to be contacting Social Services when things get too bad and there's a crisis point? I'm sorry if I sound like a bully but I only say these things because I remember that feeling of not wanting to look at the situation too closely. I was frightend of being overwhelmed by it all, and not knowing what to do, so I know what you're going through.

    All the best,
     
  4. LISA YOUNG

    LISA YOUNG Registered User

    Feb 1, 2005
    12
    BOLTON, LANCS
    I understand where you are coming from as I was very much in denial for a long time, my Mum has vascula dementia, she was referred earlier this year after a long struggle coming to terms with this sad illness, to have your Mum referred is essential for yourself and your Dad, we now have a team of specialists on hand, not only are they there to help my Mum, but are also there when myself, sister and Dad need help and advice which we do frequently.
    As Bruce says demand she sees a specialist, not only does she need it, but you do to.
    Let me know how you get on.
    Lisa
     
  5. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
    Dear Purple Poppy,

    I agree with everyone else - your Mum's GP should refer her to the local specialist memory clinic for further investigations.

    The Alzheimer's Society has a fact sheet on vascular dementia which you can find here: http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/Facts_about_dementia/What_is_dementia/info_vascular.htm

    Specifically it says:

    The first step is to visit the GP as soon as possible. The earlier a diagnosis is made, the better the chance of treatment to slow the progression of the disease. The GP will need to find out about the person’s symptoms, medical history, current health and lifestyle.

    Unless another cause can be found for the symptoms, the doctor should refer the patient to a specialist for cognitive tests to assess their attention, planning and thinking speed. The specialist may also carry out brain scans to help make a diagnosis. Investigations should also aim to identify conditions that may be contributing to the progression of vascular dementia. These conditions include high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes and high cholesterol.


    There is also a condition called 'mixed dementia' which is when someone has both vascular dementia and Alzheimer's disease. This is the case with my father-in-law but that was only determined after a brain scan.

    The Alzheimer's Society also has a special section of it's web site with more info on vascular dementia: http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/VascularDementia/index.htm

    Finally, it probably is a very good idea to contact Social Services as soon as possible. It can take a number of weeks to get an appointment for an assessment. It felt a bit strange at first, ringing up and explaining our situation, but my in-laws have had two social workers who have been very good. My mother-in-law could not have coped without the carers coming in and giving her assistance in the afternoons.

    Take care,

    Sandy
     
  6. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Dear Purple Poppy, I know GP's are busy people, but I think your parents have the right to have a specialist opinoin on your Mum's condition. For a start, she may need medications suitable for Vascular dementia rather than Alzheimers. Many are OK for both but an expert would know best how to treat her. Then, theres the need for a proper diagnoses so that your Dad can claim attendance allowance. SS may also want Specialist confirmation. Politely but firmly, as a family, you need to ask for a referal I think. Please keep us informed how things are going. Love She. XX
     
  7. PurplePoppy

    PurplePoppy Registered User

    Oct 3, 2005
    53
    Thanks

    Thanks to everyone who replied to my post. If it was up to me, I would push for mum to see a specialist, and for Social Services to be invovlved. Like I said, we'll just have to take it day by day, for now at any rate.

    The other day mum prepared some beans for dinner, she seemed to enjoy helping, so yesterday I asked if she would like to do the carrots. Well what a shock when she couldn't work the scraper. She must have used it countless of times in the past, but just couldn't work it out. I felt I made matters worse when I tried to show her how to use it. She kept trying but to no avail. I hope that she soon forgot about it, as I'm sure it upset her.
     
  8. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    My Mum was like that too, but till quite late on she could make a mean cheesecake (from a packet) if I got things ready in stages. The biscuit bashing was particularly handy some days....! :eek: She got great pleasure from giving each of us a piece of her "cooking" Try it, it might work for you too. Love She. XX
     

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