Doctors appointment


Registered User
May 15, 2008
Hi All,
I went to my Dad's doctor today.She was wonderful. Very understanding and very,very helpful. She has made an appointment for him to go and see her "about his pacemaker" but it's not until June 6th cos my parents are away on hols next week. She said she'd tactfully give him a mental assessment test and he may get referred for MRI if he "fails". I feel like a whole weight has been lifted off. The doctor said she would keep my visit quiet and the receptionist is also sworn to secrecy.
What I was wondering though - when your family members were diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Vascular Dementia or whatever their problem is, did the doctor tell them or you? I watched "Mum and Me"(BBC1) last night and the lady featured seemed well aware of her Alzheimer's. I'm not sure how my Dad will react if my suspisions are confirmed or if the doctor tells my Mum I think she will fall apart.



Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
Dear Katie,
Although I knew about AD before my husband was diagnoised when all the test were complete and Peter was told he had AD, he was relieved that he had a diagnoise to how he had been feeling.
I had gone through it on a need to know basis before the diagnoises.
I think it all depends on your parents acceptence of the news, and I sincerely hope it is not anything like AD/Dementia.
Could you be there with them?
It is a difficult one to deal with to tell or not to tell.
Someone will come on line later and give you their views.
Wishing you all the best


Registered User
Jun 3, 2005
Difficult to tell ...

How the diagnosis will be received, or whether any acceptance or understanding of it will continue, fade or turn into denial.

My Mum was a Psychiatric Nurse in years gone by, & when she was diagnosed (2 years ago) she quoted the textbook definition of Alzheimer's to the Dr there & then. She has done so several times since when the subject has come up, but it doesn't stay at the forefront of her conscious mind, she soon forgets again. At the time of diagnosis she did say that it was a refief to know what was wrong with her, despite knowing what AD is, & will become.
She forgets anything 'new' within an hour or two now. Like she's been to Daycare today (as she has every Weds for about 18 months now) but has just said "where did we go this morning?"

Best wishes


Registered User
Mar 6, 2007
Wigan, Lancs
Dear Katie,

The consultant gave the diagnosis in front of my Dad, who sat quietly and gave no indication as to whether he had heard and/or understood. In addition to the diagnosis of AD he also told us that the MRI scan had shown 2 quite significant strokes.

Afterwards I tried to talk to my Dad about it, but he was (and remains)in complete denial both about the AD and the strokes. His way of coping?

I think it will probably depend on the stage your Dad is at and the type of person he is. Which is better for your Dad, to accept that he has an illness (which may distress him) or to remain in denial? I'm afraid I don't know...


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
The consultant gave the diagnosis in front of my Dad, who sat quietly and gave no indication as to whether he had heard and/or understood.

That was just like my mother 6 years ago , my mother was so into the mist of dementia that she seem to have no awareness of what the consultant was saying that she had AZ , Or it could of been that she was not educated in what AZ was, as nor was I

But I did find
after taking AZ medication did my mother get her awareness back that she says to me that they nothing wrong with her memory , but that must be down to lack of insight because I remember what my mother was like before medication

so if your father is educated more in to what AZ is & is not into the late stages he may be aware of what is being said to him .

Do you know if your father educated or has any understanding in what AZ is ?
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Registered User
Jul 13, 2005
My MIL was diagnosed 7 or 8 years ago, and puts it all down to old age. I have given up trying to tell her anything about AD as she doesn't remember anything except that her memory is poor. Its pointless alarming her, and I think its just kinder to let her think what she wants.

Mind you, from the posts on TP, you will see that everyone has different ways of handling it, and you just have to do what you think best.

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire
My mum has not a clue what is "wrong" with her. I don't know how to tell her. She had a sister in law with Alzheimers, but doesn't seem to twig that she might have it. The consultant at the hospital told her that her brain was "wearing out", but that meant nothing to mum. Plus she thinks that she has been given tablets that will cure it all.

I am at a loss how to deal with mum, but not so bad as you.



Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
To Katie

My husband`s consultant said the scan had shown brain shrinkage, and gave us prescription for Aricept. That was the diagnosis for me, but it went over my husband`s head.

It wasn`t until months later, when he was becoming very disturbed about his condition, that I told him. He was shocked but accepting.

Katie, I don`t think you will be able to protect both parents from a diagnosis. Your mother may have an idea already, even if she hasn`t voiced it.

She may indeed `fall apart`, but then again she may not. It is not news anyone wants to hear but has to be faced. She might surprise you and be stronger than you think.

Please post an update.

Love xx


Registered User
May 15, 2008
Thank you all for your replies. It seems everyone has their own way of dealing with it. My Dad just shrugged off his heart condition, so maybe he'll be the same if they diagnose AD or dementia. My Mum won't - she'll be the same as when he was ill last year. His heart had stopped and he having fits but she just seemed angry that he was scaring her. It's her way of dealing with stress, I think. Again, my Dad just shrugs when she gets like that - his way of dealing with her! The hospital gave them both loads of information from the BHF and asked them join a support group but they didn't read any of the leaflets or talk to anyone.
They both bury their heads in the sand with medical conditions. Mum knows there's problem with Dad's memory but won't admit to it.
I'll keep you posted on what happens.
Thanks again everyone,
K x