Getting my partner to a doctor

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by alikat, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. alikat

    alikat Registered User

    Jul 28, 2015
    2
    Hello! I am a newly registered member and am convinced that my wife, who has just turned 60, has had Alzheimer's or a similar form of dementia for the last 2 years or so and it is gradually getting worse. Her father, who is 86, has suffered from Alzheimer's for a number of years and is now in a home with incontinence and spends most of his time in bed.

    My wife has some of the symptoms that I have seen in her father (she repeats things a lot and has a very bad short-term memory), but whenever I suggest that she sees a doctor about this, she brushes off the suggestion with a mere "You're being paranoid".

    So I'm struggling get her along to the doctor's to at least get a diagnosis. All I can think of is to speak to the surgery to see if they can suggest anything that I can do to arrange for her to see the doctor, but if anybody on here has had a similar experience and can provide some useful advice, it would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. pamann

    pamann Registered User

    Oct 28, 2013
    2,635
    Kent
    Hello alikat welcome to Talking Point, 3yrs ago l had the same problem, l went to see our Dr as l was so worried about my husband, a letter arrived inviting him for an MOT, she did memory test, he failed could not answer any questions, he was reffered to the memory clinic, diagnosed with Alzheimers, his mother and grandmother had it. Hope you can get your wife to see your Dr.
     
  3. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    My OH had been showing signs of Alzheimer's for over 3 years before we got a diagnosis and he was in complete denial the whole time and still is!

    Our GP was simply great in helping us get through this period and was instrumental in helping us get a diagnosis. I know a lot of GPs use the confidentiality card when refusing to discuss issues and concerns with spouses, children etc but ours used his common sense and was happy to spend time with me on my own while we worked out a strategy to get OH assessed and to work out a way forward.

    If you can build this kind of relationship with your GP it will be worth its weight in gold to you. Even if a GP is reluctant to discuss matters with you, it should not prevent them from listening to you while you explain your concerns about your partner and if you can arrange that, then go well prepared. Take a written record in point form of the things that are causing you concern and leave it with them.

    We had a number of consultations for flu jabs, cholesterol checks, etc during which our GP broached the subject of memory, confusion etc very diplomatically until he got him to agree to testing.

    Since then I have had a similar discussion with our GP as to whether OH should have surgery for a hernia in view of his AD, cardiac and other health problems and fortunately GP recognises that sometimes it is easier to sort out these things without OH being there.

    I do have enduring PoA but have not resorted to invoking it yet but GP accepts that I am his carer and treats me with kindness and respect.

    I hope you can gets things worked out soon.
     
  4. alikat

    alikat Registered User

    Jul 28, 2015
    2
    Thank you for your posts, pamann and Lawson58.

    I liked the fact that your doctor arranged for your husband to have an MOT, pamann, so I have tried to arrange a doctor’s appointment to discuss this possibility, but I was told by a receptionist (after she consulted with one of the medical staff) that patient confidentiality did not allow this! It was suggested that I send in a letter expressing my concerns.

    So I have now done this, suggesting that such an MOT might be arranged for my wife, including the memory test or asking what alternative way forward there might be given that my wife won’t see a doctor of her own volition.

    I am now waiting for a reply and, if it is not favourable, I will have to arrange an appointment on a different (white lie) pretext in the hope that a face to face chat with one of the doctors generates a better response.
     
  5. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    8,007
    Norfolk
    This must be one of the worst hurdles a lot of us have to face. Our loved ones don't see they need a bit of help and support and won't grant it. My hubby was exactly the same. Now he's being lovingly cared for, but it was a long, hard road to get there.

    Whatever, you see and hear, do exactly the opposite to me. When you're having an easier day, spend some time writing down the things that are most worrisome, and, if you can, make a short video of any habits like pacing that occur, if they do. Note the times things happen. Do that daily for a time. It's a lot of work, but it's a necessary diary to show whoever you may come into contact with in the future.

    Then you've got a bit of 'evidence' behind you. Hopefully, it'll prove your point to the bit where medics and others are taking notice of your own needs, and those of your loved one. This is a brain disease, after all.

    Really hope you get a good outcome.
     

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