Early diagnosis advice please

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Catballoo, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. Catballoo

    Catballoo Registered User

    Dec 30, 2005
    Hello to everyone and a Happy New Year!

    I have an 80 year old grandmother who i fear is suffering from the early stages of dementia. She is showing all the typical signs of memory loss and repeating herself and, although she is aware of some of this, she has decided that it's due to stress after a particularly difficult year.

    I have spoken to our GP who has told me about the tests that he would have to carry out in order to confirm if she is getting dementia or not, but I am at a loss as to the best way to get her to the doctors in the first place.

    She is a lovely old lady, but very stubborn and hates doctors full stop who she refers to as "THEM". She prides herself on her self sufficiency and independence and her epitaph would probably be "I don't want to be a burden".

    I don't want to frighten her anymore than I suspect she already is, but in the little I've read about the disease I know that early diagnosis is beneficial and that there are drugs that can slow dementia down - if you catch it early.

    It's been very informative and interesting reading some of the messages on your site and if my fears are confirmed I can see TP being a great source of comfort in the future as there are no other family members to call upon.

    If anyone has any suggestions on the best way to tackle my gran or if anyone has been in a similar situation i would greatly appreciate some advice. Thank you.
  2. oonaghw

    oonaghw Registered User

    Dec 4, 2005
    isle of man
    Hi Catbaloo

    Your so right - obtaining a correct diagnosis as early as possible is vital - so you'll have to be strong to convince your gran that she needs to have it checked out. It may be that its nothing other that old age which will hit us all, however if it is something other its possible that with the proper medication deterioriation can be slowed down - meaning your gran has a better quality of life.

    I wished I had challenged my mothers earlier care - its to late now.

    Its a tough job to convince your gran that the doctors can help however if your up for it you can make it happen. If shes scared then maybe getting the answers is the best way.

    Good luck

  3. Catballoo

    Catballoo Registered User

    Dec 30, 2005
    Thanks for your words of encouragement Oonagh. This is all very new to me and any advice is much appreciated.

    I freely admit that she won't be the only one coming to terms with this. I've had a few months of denial myself, but I can feel my pragmatic and practical side kicking in over the last few weeks. I'll let you know what happens.

    All the best and have a lovely New Years Eve.

  4. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    Hi Catballoo,
    I'm in a similar position with my 86 year old Mum, but am determined to get her to the Doc's for an assessment a.s.a.p. for all the same reasons. I've been to see him to discuss the situation (I changed doctors so that I have the same one) and have tentatively broached the subject to Mum, & just left it a little while to take root (I hope). At least I didn't get an outright refusal.

    Best wishes
  5. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    Hi Catballoo,
    this is one of the situations where white lies are often needed.
    Can you get Gran to the GP by telling her she is due for an 80 years of age health check?
    Could you tell her she needs to attend for the 'flu injection?
    Or may be the Dr would call again on the pretext of a check up?
    All these are tried methods,you may find more ideas on this site.
    Hoope this helps,let us know how you get on
  6. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Sussex

    We used the check-up line for Mum having let the GP know in advance by letter the concerns about her, he is a good GP so this check up led to a quick referral and diagnosis. Mum was on galantamine for 3 years which improved her quality of life for a good 18 months and then the decline was very gradual, so I would say get her to her GP by any means possible, ir may well be worth any temporary misgivings on her part.

  7. Catballoo

    Catballoo Registered User

    Dec 30, 2005
    Dear Lynne, Norman and Kathleen

    Thank you so much for your replies.

    The softly softly approach may be the best course of action and I'll give your suggestions some thought. A little white lie won't hurt for the greater good after all!

    All the best.


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