Getting a diagnosis


Registered User
Dec 27, 2007
I have observed my father's memory, concentration and mental facilities degrade for the past couple of years (he is 84). Things have now reached the point where I am concerned that there is a marked acceleration in his symptoms. He is very frustrated himself and is clearly forgetting things such as how to operate the television controls as well as experiencing difficulty in grasping anything new.
I have discussed visiting his GP together with him,but he is a very private person and reluctant to do so. He tells me that he has discussed his memory problems with his GP, but has not been diagnosed, or referred for any specialist diagnosis. In short I am worried that he has not made it clear to his GP how rapidly his problems are increasing.
I have written to the GP expressing my concerns as well as emailing him and received no response. My concerns were exacerbated when he recently suffered what appears to be a "mini-stroke" or TIA, my sister-in-law took him to his doctor (although she was not present during the consultation)at this time and enquired regarding my letter. According to the receptionist there was no record of my letter or email on file.
I don't want to over-dramatise the situation, but I am very worried that my father's condition has not been properly diagnosed. I understand from friends that his GP cannot discuss my father with me, but on the other hand I would never forgive myself if it turns out that he could have been treated if there was a proper diagnosis.
Has anyone else experienced this or have advice for me?

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello, and welcome to TP.

If you are next of kin, your father`s GP will discuss his condition with you if you make a personal visit. If he is pedantic and refuses to discuss, he will listen.

I would write a list of everything that concerns you, the frequency of disturbing behaviours, and your concerns for your father`s safety.

I would also identify your father`s last visit to his GP and your concerns that insufficient information was given by your father at that appointment.

GP`s in my experience do not normally respond to emails or letters. They do however respond to personal visits.

I hope this is of some help. Please let us know how you get on.