1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. JEM90

    JEM90 Registered User

    Sep 25, 2015
    5
    As a family we have been concerned about mum's short term memory. She still lives alone, in the main copes well, is out and about but just doesn't remember what we tell her. 2 weeks ago she was admitted to hospital which fortunately turned out to be nothing but the hospital picked up on the short-term memory problem - asked the half a dozen questions to see what she could remember and mum didn't do well. She had to spend the night in hospital (not because of her memory issues but the original reason for going in earlier that day) but she had no idea where she was and I can only imagine it was a frightening experience being in a strange place with no familiar faces. Even the next morning she couldn't accept she was in hospital. Once she was back in her home things went back to 'normal'. The hospital told me she should be referred to the memory clinic. I have spoken to her GP on the phone who said she needs to see her before she can be referred. This is my problem. There is no way my mum thinks there is a problem and I am really concerned that when I visit the Dr with my mum that the Dr will ask me awkward/probing questions in front of my mum - will this happen? The only time I have broached my mum's memory problems it made her very angry and upset, which in turn upset me.
    I appreciate any advice or info on how this first visit to the doctor's is likely to go.
    Thank you.
     
  2. Quilty

    Quilty Registered User

    Aug 28, 2014
    1,056
    GLASGOW
    Your mum will not be able to see her problem as this is very much part of the condition. It creeps up a little each day . I would suggestca general mot with thr doctor to start the ball rolling. Try not to argue or face reality as it wont help. Keep it calm and neutral. Its hard but the best way.
     
  3. 1mindy

    1mindy Registered User

    Jul 21, 2015
    539
    Female
    Shropshire
    Whenever I visit the doctor with my husband I send a note I for her attention a couple of days before. He has a doctor who is " his doctor " so is very familiar with our problems. Make the appointment ell your mum any reason you like for the appointment but send a note in prior so you don't get the questions.
     
  4. exhausted 2015

    exhausted 2015 Registered User

    Jul 5, 2015
    624
    Female
    stoke on trent
    I spoke to dads doctor before he came out to see him went behind his back in fact because something needed to be done when the doctor came he asked dad if his memory was Ok to which dad replied yes I shook my head behind his back the doc then asked me to step into the other room where I was able to tell him what has been happening.. We then got referral to memory clinic.. Hope this helps xx
     
  5. Terri257

    Terri257 Registered User

    Jan 6, 2014
    51
    I would
    a)get in touch with the doctor and make sure that you are on file to be contacted and allowed to discuss your mums situation with doctors. This will normally be allowed once it is determined she has dementia.
    b) remind your mother she was in hospital and tell her the visit to the doctors is a follow up check up she needs to do.
    c) If she refuses to go the doctors then get the doctor to visit her as a follow up from her hospital stay

    I find my mum rarely takes any advice from myself or my brother or sisters but is more likely to listen to the doctors.

    Mum is very comfortable at home and thinks she is coping well. We used to be able to have good conversations with her even though she wouldn't be able to recall them later. I took to writing down any decisions made and getting her to sign them if I could because whenever we did anything she would claim that we were organising things without asking. It doesn't always work but does usually distract her from getting annoyed with us.

    Mum hates us having conversations with anyone about her when she is there, so ask her first and when she acknowledges she doesn't remember then it is easier to ask the doctor carer or whoever if they remember. Most doctors are very good at handling people with dementia so the doctor will be the one to lead the conversation and usually asks the patient if it is okay to check what others remember rather than ignoring the patient and talking direct to the relative. If your mum is like mine she will always say 'I'm fine, there's absolutely nothing wrong with me, I don't need to be here".

    My mum dislikes the carers coming in and her little protest is if she manages to not take the medication she is given. She doesn't remember doing this but we find some of her tablets issued in the bubble packs, hidden in different places normally pockets or down the side of the settee.

    If your mum is still in a position to have a reasonable conversation and let you know what she wants even though her short term memory has gone you might also get the doctor to suggest to her that she gets medical and financial powers of attorneys set up.
    The solicitors who set up POA's have to be satisfied she is competent and aware of what she is doing at the time she does it, not that she remembers it afterwards. Life will be easier if you can get this done before it is too late.

    Hope all goes well at the doctors. You might want to speak to Citizens Advice about getting you mum attendance allowance. Even though she is mobile, if she has dementia you may find it easier to introduce carers coming in to help her gradually so she can get used to them before she is in the position where she cannot retain her independence without them. That can be a big battle when the person doesn't recognise they need help.

    Good luck at the doctors
     
  6. JEM90

    JEM90 Registered User

    Sep 25, 2015
    5
    Thank you

    Thank you all for your advice. I really wish I hadn't told her about the appt as everyday she asks me about it. Fortunately we got both POAs set up a few years back so they are ready to be invoked. Dementia is such a strange illness. I have spent most of this weekend in tears thinking about where this is heading and then mum texts me 10 mins ago which was all perfectly normal.
     
  7. 1mindy

    1mindy Registered User

    Jul 21, 2015
    539
    Female
    Shropshire
    This is a strange illness. There are moments when things appear as they always have been ,but they are not. As I have said before my OH looks the same person but he isn't that man.
     

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