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Expert Q&A: Diagnosis - Thurs 19 May, 3:30-4:30pm

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HarrietD

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 29, 2014
7,687
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London
Expert Q&A discussion.jpeg


Hi everyone,

Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of diagnosis. It will be hosted by Simon Wheeler, our Health and Wellbeing Knowledge Officer.

You might be worried about your own or someone else's memory, or in the process of getting assessed for yourself or a loved one.

Do you have any questions about the topic of diagnosis? If so, Simon will be answering your questions on Thursday 19 May between 3:30-4:30pm.

Not able to make it? Please feel free to post your question on this thread, or if you prefer, send your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we’ll be happy to ask it on your behalf. Please make sure that 'Q&A' is in the title of your email.

We hope to see you here on Thursday 19 May :)
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
5,044
0
Nottinghamshire
My mother only got a diagnosis when a psychiatrist came to her flat unannounced. The one time I managed to get her to the memory clinic was a disaster, and we came away before any tests were done as mum was so upset. Things have moved on since then and mum is now in the later stages, but is there anyway to make the whole process of diagnosis less traumatic for the person with dementia and their carers.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
67,275
0
71
Dundee
What tests are likely to be undertaken to determine a diagnosis and how is the diagnosis likely to be shared with the person? I know I live in Scotland and my experience may differ to others on the forum but when my husband got his diagnosis - in 2001 - we were sitting at one side of a table with a range of professionals facing us. To this day I’m not entirely sure who there were. Like @Sarasa I wonder if there’s a way to make the process less traumatic for the person and their family.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
12,480
0
Yorkshire
So many members write of how hard it is to persuade the person to go to their GP to even begin the process of diagnosis ...
then having the GP fall under the spell of 'host mode' and not see any problem ...
also that a GP may not really take on the info given by family ...
and the person goes on to tell consultants/memory clinic that nothing's wrong and/or cancel the appointment ...
Or medics say they can do nothing without the permission/cooperation of the person ...

ways around all this?
does GP training cover these key issues that create problems for family wanting to support the person they are concerned about?
 

SERENA50

Registered User
Jan 17, 2018
157
0
Hi

Can the process of diagnosis be made simpler ?

What happens after a diagnosis? Hospitals are for making you better and if they can't make this better then are you discharged from the care of the neurologist? to where and to who?
 

HarrietD

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 29, 2014
7,687
0
London
Thanks so much everyone for your questions so far. Simon will answer as many as possible during the session on Thursday :)
 

g12AFH

Registered User
May 17, 2022
10
0
How exact a diagnosis can you give? Can you be more accurate than the three stages? What are the bits of information that you would need to be able to make a diagnosis. For example, my mother has recently become more and more abusive however I first noticed a consistent 'forgetfulness' in 2005. She can't remember Spanish (her original native tongue) or long term friends. However she is able to still able to move around (albeit slowly).

As mentioned earlier, I'd be interested to find out how to get an accurate diagnosis from someone who doesn't believe they have the condition.

Thanks
 

Anzie

New member
May 19, 2022
3
0
I am a newbie to dementia and being a carer, and this is my first post on an online forum. What is the best way to comfort a person who gets a dementia diagnosis?

I am going with my mother for a diagnostic appointment tomorrow. She has all the symptoms of dementia and we will probably get the news no-one wants to hear. How to we deal with the immediate aftermath?
 

HarrietD

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 29, 2014
7,687
0
London
Hi everyone, and welcome to today's Q&A session on diagnosis. Your questions will be answered by our expert Simon, who has kindly offered his time and knowledge :)

We'll start by answering the questions that people have posted in this thread, and then onto the emails that some of you have sent in if there's time. We'll get through as many as we possibly can in the next hour.

Simon, over to you!
 

jzw01

Registered User
Jun 12, 2021
216
0
Are changes in taste significant? My wife will often say that her coffee tastes of nothing but at other times she likes the taste and it is very good. I make it in the same way every time - only instant but the same one each time? Also she will think some food is fine one day but the same thing another day will be something that she does not want again. It's getting hard to find things that she will eat consistently.
 

Anzie

New member
May 19, 2022
3
0
Hi everyone, and welcome to today's Q&A session on diagnosis. Your questions will be answered by our expert Simon, who has kindly offered his time and knowledge :)

We'll start by answering the questions that people have posted in this thread, and then onto the emails that some of you have sent in if there's time. We'll get through as many as we possibly can in the next hour.

Simon, over to you!
Is there a podcast on the site or will the answers be posted? I'm a newbie... Can't see any answers yet...
 

SimonW

Registered User
Nov 22, 2018
31
0
Norfolk, UK
My mother only got a diagnosis when a psychiatrist came to her flat unannounced. The one time I managed to get her to the memory clinic was a disaster, and we came away before any tests were done as mum was so upset. Things have moved on since then and mum is now in the later stages, but is there anyway to make the whole process of diagnosis less traumatic for the person with dementia and their carers.
Hi Sarasa,

Thanks for your question. It sounds like you had a pretty awful experience - certainly very strange for a psychiatrist to come to the house unannounced (perhaps admin mistake?).

Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for people with dementia to find the experience of going to the memory service at the very least stressful. Most memory services do their best to make it as unintimidating as possible but some are better than others and it's hard when a person is very anxious already. This is why home visits are so useful - or sometimes just assessments done at the local GP surgery, which feel more normal and tend to be less stressful.

There is a network called MSNAP which reviews memory services and tries to help them to make their service more welcoming and effective (AS is a founding member). This has done a lot of great work over the last few years and I'd hope that if you were to go to the same memory service again now you'd find they had improved the way they do things. A lot of the time it's just about good communication and making the person feel welcome and at ease.

I hope your mother's doing well now and being well supported.

Best wishes,

Simon
 

SimonW

Registered User
Nov 22, 2018
31
0
Norfolk, UK
What tests are likely to be undertaken to determine a diagnosis and how is the diagnosis likely to be shared with the person? I know I live in Scotland and my experience may differ to others on the forum but when my husband got his diagnosis - in 2001 - we were sitting at one side of a table with a range of professionals facing us. To this day I’m not entirely sure who there were. Like @Sarasa I wonder if there’s a way to make the process less traumatic for the person and their family.
Thanks, Izzy. Yes, you're right that they do things a bit differently over the border! However, the general approach to giving the diagnosis should be about the same. It certainly doesn't have to be a panel delivering the diagnosis, which I imagine felt a bit intimidating (like a job interview!). Normally it's just one person who should try to find a balance between being clear about the diagnosis and being kind, sympathetic and helpful. It doesn't always pan out this way though and there are many who experience a more blunt or unhelpful approach, leading to people feeling abandoned. It's a work in progress to try to change this - and particularly to improve the level of post-diagnostic support and signposting to services.

Best wishes,

Simon
 

SimonW

Registered User
Nov 22, 2018
31
0
Norfolk, UK
What tests are likely to be undertaken to determine a diagnosis and how is the diagnosis likely to be shared with the person? I know I live in Scotland and my experience may differ to others on the forum but when my husband got his diagnosis - in 2001 - we were sitting at one side of a table with a range of professionals facing us. To this day I’m not entirely sure who there were. Like @Sarasa I wonder if there’s a way to make the process less traumatic for the person and their family.
Sorry, Izzy. I missed the first part of this question. You can find out much more about the sort of tests that are normally done in our new booklet on assessment and diagnosis.
 
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