Getting nearer to a diagnosis?

oddsock05

New member
Apr 17, 2024
5
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I wrote a post last week about my father who has been deteriorating for a while. Definite good days and bad days but the bad days are becoming more frequent.

He was already booked in for a Memory Clinic which is tomorrow. However, today he went to the doctors for something else (diabetes related). He wouldn't wait for my mum so he went alone and drove (which we don't feel confident in him doing some how). However, we don't know exactly what happened in the appointment but he was sent for more bloods and had a follow up appointment made for a week's time and they told him that this time, my mum had to attend with him.

It sounds like he's had one of his 'blank outs' and issues during his appointment which has led to a doctor / nurse actually noticing the issue.

Once he got home, they called home and asked to speak to my mum. They then repeated the same thing and said that it was necessary for her to come along with him next week.

Is this unusual to happen? I feel like this suggests there must be a fairly strong indication of dementia because otherwise why would they call mum after he got home as well?

I'm in the stage where I both know that we need a diagnosis and fairly sure that's what's happening but I'm also kidding myself.

Is this typical with doctor's appointments?
 

Chizz

Registered User
Jan 10, 2023
3,802
0
Kent
Hi @oddsock05
In my humble opinion, it sounds to me like the GP wants your mum to accompany your dad because they don't think your dad's mental condition and cognition is sufficient for him to understand and take in what they want to say, and the consequences etc. Maybe, he couldn't answer or give reasoned answers to the questions they asked. They need a responsible adult with him. I assume your mum can drive.
They may want to remove your dad's ability to drive home, by reporting his condition to DVLA which they are obliged to do if they think he's a danger to himself and others on the road. (I believe that a person with dementia driving or not fully in control means that insurance cover would be invalid = a driving without insurance is a criminal offence; driving without a valid driving licence, because a person with dementia is ineligible to drive, = a criminal offence and liable to a fine of £1,000!)
Best wishes
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
4,422
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Victoria, Australia
I agree with @oddsock05 that the GP is concerned that your dad doesn’t understand or remember any instructions that he is given. I always attend doctor’s appointments with my husband and occasionally I am able to provide some additional information or offer an observation that he has forgotten.

From what I see sitting in the waiting room at my clinic, there are lots of couples that go into to the appointment together.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
74,672
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Dundee
Welcome to the forum @oddsock05.

I always attended medical appointments with my mum, who and vascular dementia and then with my husnand who had Alzheimer’s. I think this is very common and it is really helpful for both the person who has the appointment and for the person with them. It gives a fuller understanding of what is happening and what is planned for them.

With my husband in particular I found it helpful to write down everything I was concerned about or wanted to ask or just pass on the doctor. I used to hand that in for the GP or the memory consultant a day or so before the appointment. It meant I didn’t have to talk about my husband in front of him.

I hope the appointment next week goes well.
 

oddsock05

New member
Apr 17, 2024
5
0
Thanks everyone. I didn't know if I was jumping to conclusions but it sounds like we were on the right path with our thinking. @Chizz yes my Mum does drive. Dad got agitated yesterday and left the house quickly but Mum was supposed to be driving him. He's bought himself a new car (spontaneously) last week. After quite a while of not driving much he is now wanting to drive again and you can't talk to him about not. That's where an actual diagnosis would be really beneficial. @Lawson58 and @Izzy my Mum has been attending quite a lot of appointments with him and would generally fill in for him and add the gaps he was struggling with. But the doctors didn't seem to be paying any attention to this, even when they went about his memory so actually it seemed to be meaning that it was getting ignored. It now seems that by going alone they have seen that there is an issue.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
5,540
0
Dorset
I assume your Mum is taking Dad to the Memory Clinic appointment today? He may be told there that he can no longer drive.
If she sits behind him or out of his line of sight she can indicate to the Dr. or nurse whether he is telling the truth about things without obviously contradicting what he says.
The new car does sound worrying!
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
7,348
0
Nottinghamshire
I hope the appointment goes well today. With my mum, who refused to engage with the memory clinic, things only started to happen when she had a meltdown in the doctor's surgery.
 

Enfrance

Registered User
Mar 18, 2020
14
0
I too found that it seemed that I was being ignored during the memory test consultation until I pointed out that I had an LPA Power of Attorney registered with them. The doctor then pointedly included me in the conversation after my wife failed the memory test. I also wanted to sit behind or to the side of my wife to be able to indicate to the doctor but the layout of the surgery precluded that and it was a big problem. My wife won’t attend the memory clinic either so I’ve no idea how/when we will get a proper diagnosis. I do hope the consultation is OK. by the way, the DVLA took my wife’s driving licence due to her eyes but perhaps there is a need to check if a dementia patient can drive And retain their license.