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In hospital - should we push for a diagnosis?

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by MargeS, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. MargeS

    MargeS Registered User

    Sep 1, 2019
    14
    Thank you for your reply.

    You'd think that in hospital with all the access to scans and bloods etc, that a diagnosis would be easy - but it's not the best place to keep someone with dementia - my father in law was only in for a week and seemed to be fading away cognitively as the days went on.

    We have an appointment with the memory team in October, so are keeping that even though his respite is out of the local catchment area. He is in respite just over the county border, but as it's "respite" I can't see why we shouldn't continue down the original assessment route?

    We spoke to the care home manager yesterday, as when we go to visit, he does mention going home, but he seems apprehensive about this. I suspect we remind him of home, so wondered what he has been saying to staff, and he hasn't mentioned it at all to them!!

    He praises the staff to us, and is happy enough with his care, but feels that he "should" go home, as he has to "face up to it sometime". The care home staff seem to love him (he is a really wonderful man so it's no surprise!). In their opinion he is settling in well. He is chatting to other residents, has his meals in the dining room, and doesn't sit moping in his room. This is wonderful news for us, but also makes me feel bad that when he sees us it makes him sad? We just keep saying, treat it like a holiday, and see how you feel. Although he says he wants to go home, he doesn't really seem to know where it is, and I think the idea of it frightens him too. (He has only been there a week, so it's early days for settling in to a totally new home too.) We are relieved he is safe, but will just take it slowly and let him lead on where he ultimately wants to be.

    Anyway, thanks for your reply. This site is amazing, and everyone is brilliant posting their helpful advice. xxxx
     
  2. MargeS

    MargeS Registered User

    Sep 1, 2019
    14
    It is amazing!! I have learnt so much.

    I was a nurse and many of my older patients had cognitive impairments alongside their other nursing needs, but I only had a vague knowledge of dementia, and none of the knowledge of the reality of living with a family member with dementia. It is a huge learning curve, but this site is definitely worth its weight in gold!! xx
     
  3. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    1,149
    Totally agree with you, this is a site that makes me believe in the huge benefits that the internet can bring! I’d be lost, emotionally & mentally without this amazing support network & all the lovely posters on it.
     
  4. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,651
    Female
    @MargeS
    I would try to gently take the onus off your dad in terms of 'facing up to it' and making a decision to go home. He isn't able to make that decision. Tell him he can stay at the CH as long as he likes and make sure that all your conversations emphasise how lovely it is and how much the staff love having him there, and that he doesn't have to worry about it at all.

    Obviously you are a reminder of his life at home, and he possibly thinks you are coming to take him home, so he should 'show willing'. On one of my earlier visits to my mother in the CH, the first thing she said was "I love it here!" - I think she was afraid I had come to take her home!

    In terms of the NHS, they would have just wanted to free up the bed - and to be fair, it wasn't in his best interests to be there. Luckily for him, he now has a great respite placement.
     
  5. MargeS

    MargeS Registered User

    Sep 1, 2019
    14
    Thank you for your lovely reply.

    Yes, we do try to steer the conversation away from going home. The carers have been doing some reminiscence with him and he has been having "jobs to do" and is really flourishing there. He is very happy at the Rest Home, so we hope he will continue to stay there. xx
     
  6. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,651
    Female
    It sounds like he is settling in well. As time goes on he should start to talk less about going home, especially as he sounds so happy there. When you find the right CH it can be a real blessing.
     

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