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Fear of Dementia verdict.

Chris100

Registered User
Nov 19, 2021
52
0
We visited our G.P. who did a few questions with my wife (amazing how 2 question can be so revealing )
Then recommended Memory Clinic after blood tests ( now done ). Thing is, my wife is quite alert. If she thought she had Dementia she would be traumatised; we would be in new territory. Any suggestions?
 

Dunroamin

Registered User
May 5, 2019
171
0
UK
Welcome @Chris100 . Hope you find the forums helpful.

Yes a diagnosis of dementia is traumatic, but I firmly believe it is preferable to know one way or the other in order to plan for the future. Others may disagree. My own diagnosis has enabled us to sort out many things, gain both information and support. I also consider myself alert - today I attended my pottery class, tomorrow is swimming. Then there is painting, gardening and so on.
 

Chris100

Registered User
Nov 19, 2021
52
0
My wife is not aware of her condition. She thinks it is the odd mismatch of ideas. There is no cure
What can the Memory clinic, advised by G.P. offer?
 

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
8,741
0
Bristol
It's probably no use to you, but my partner has vascular dementia and I always put everything down to her stroke which preceded the diagnosis by about a year. Sadly it is a diagnosis and a term that brings with it stigma and stress for your wife.
 

Chris100

Registered User
Nov 19, 2021
52
0
It's probably no use to you, but my partner has vascular dementia and I always put everything down to her stroke which preceded the diagnosis by about a year. Sadly it is a diagnosis and a term that brings with it stigma and stress for your wife.
 

Dunroamin

Registered User
May 5, 2019
171
0
UK
In my experience memory clinics are diagnostic centres who will order scans, , psychologist assessment, an ECG and medication if appropriate. You will be signposted to various organisations ( such as alzheimers etc) then discharged to the GP who will carry on prescribing - but then you are largely left to your own devices. .. Local services vary greatly, but overall we are left to our own devices. There are exceptions to this, but be prepared to fight your own corner.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
16,776
0
South coast
Everyone with dementia is different and responds differently.
My mum never accepted that she had dementia, even though the doctor in the memory clinic told her kindly, but clearly that she had Alzheimers.
I never referred to dementia or Alzheimers to her again and just talked about her "memory problem"
What can the Memory clinic, advised by G.P. offer?
Mostly, they can offer a diagnosis.
This is more important than you would think.
I have been trying to get a diagnosis for OH for 10 years. In the early stages it probably didnt matter too much that he didnt have one, but as things have progressed it is becoming more of a problem.
Firstly, if it is Alzheimers, there is medication that can help improve the symptoms. It will not stop the progression of dementia, but it can improve the quality of their life. If it is any other sort of dementia, then there is no medication, but without a diagnosis, you dont know.
Because OH doesnt have a diagnosis there are lots of things that I cannot access -
A very good local dementia hub with lots of services
He has had respite in a care home, but I have been told that if he deteriorates further they would not be able to meet his needs, however dementia homes will not accept him without a diagnosis
I cannot find day care that will accept him for the same reason.
I cannot claim Council Tax disregard
He is not eligible for a Blue Badge
When he is in hospital and they allow carers to visit people with dementia, I am not allowed to visit.
Because he has no diagnosis, when he is in hospital the doctors accept everything that he says at face value which causes a lot of confusion and unnecessary tests and referrals.
I have no validation for my concerns
.
 

northumbrian_k

Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
1,840
0
Newcastle
Hi @Chris100 My wife seemed to understand the diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease that she was given at the memory clinic but I am not certain that she really did. I suspect that she may have been further along the road than your wife.

We were given a lot of information, including a booklet on how to live well with dementia. I read it but my wife refused to. I soon gave up on the idea that it was important for her to understand her diagnosis. It wasn't, as knowing what was wrong - and being able to acknowledge it - made no difference to the effects of the disease.

At first she would say "How long have I got?", sometimes even suggesting that she had been diagnosed with cancer. Ultimately Alzheimer's Disease is a terminal illness but she wasn't happy with my answer that it would probably be years and that how we lived in the meantime was more important. I gave up talking about it and she seemed to forget all about our trips to the memory clinic and the diagnosis. She believed that there was nothing wrong with her.

How your wife might react is hard to judge. It may be best just to acknowledge the diagnosis, make no further comment and avoid the subject if raised. That is something that only you can decide on.

Having a diagnosis can be important in terms of getting Attendance Allowance and reduction of Council Tax. These are things that you can read about on this site and elsewhere. Equally, if you haven't already arranged Lasting Power of Attorney (for both Finance & Property and Health & Welfare), this would be a sensible thing to do whilst your wife still has capacity to grant this. A diagnosis doesn't necessarily change capacity or ability to make a LPA.

There is a lot to take in here, but I hope that you find it helpful. If anything is unclear don't be worried about asking anything of our supportive community.
 

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