Is diagnosis a good idea?

Megan M

New member
Jul 18, 2019
6
I can't see that a diagnosis is going to help my mum. My Mum clearly has dementia and having read the symptoms of Alzheimers there is a very clear match with my mum's symptoms. Having dementia is pretty much my mum's worst fear. She knows her memory is pretty rubbish and that she has trouble thinking of words etc, but she's ok with this as I reassure her that we all have trouble remembering things as we get older. I'm sure she would be distraught if she was told that she has dementia and also very depressed. I'm sure my mum would find going through any assessment and memory tests an outrageous insult. She also hates her doctor but won't entertain the idea of changing doctors. The main reason I am aware of in favour of diagnosis is that it helps to plan for future care needs. I think I can get on with planning without the need for diagnosis. My main concern is that there may be practical reasons why a diagnosis will be useful in the future, e.g. for accessing funding when mum's money runs out or for being able to use power of attorney.
What do you think??
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
597
High Peak
You don't need a diagnosis to set up LPA - anyone can do that. But it would be really useful if you could get it done now while she still has capacity. Tell her you will be doing one too - just part of sensible planning for the future, much like making a will. You can make up a tale about someone you heard about who hadn't set up LPA and what a costly mess it was for her family to try and sort out... ;)
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,150
You don't need a diagnosis to set up LPA - anyone can do that. But it would be really useful if you could get it done now while she still has capacity. Tell her you will be doing one too - just part of sensible planning for the future, much like making a will. You can make up a tale about someone you heard about who hadn't set up LPA and what a costly mess it was for her family to try and sort out... ;)
Agree with @Jaded'n'faded . Set up power of attorney as soon as you can while your mum has capacity to agree . My husband and I have lasting power of attorney for each other we set these up about 5 years ago and neither of us have dementia. Getting power of attorney now will save an awful lot of hassle later. You may think that this sort of thing isn't needed now but believe me you will need it sooner or later as things deteriorate
 

Rach1985

Registered User
Jun 9, 2019
398
I can't see that a diagnosis is going to help my mum. My Mum clearly has dementia and having read the symptoms of Alzheimers there is a very clear match with my mum's symptoms. Having dementia is pretty much my mum's worst fear. She knows her memory is pretty rubbish and that she has trouble thinking of words etc, but she's ok with this as I reassure her that we all have trouble remembering things as we get older. I'm sure she would be distraught if she was told that she has dementia and also very depressed. I'm sure my mum would find going through any assessment and memory tests an outrageous insult. She also hates her doctor but won't entertain the idea of changing doctors. The main reason I am aware of in favour of diagnosis is that it helps to plan for future care needs. I think I can get on with planning without the need for diagnosis. My main concern is that there may be practical reasons why a diagnosis will be useful in the future, e.g. for accessing funding when mum's money runs out or for being able to use power of attorney.
What do you think??
I suppose it’s also a question of would you want her going on tablets to slow things down? That’s what a diagnosis may be useful for. Obviously the tablets aren’t a guarantee but may give some extra time being herself
Whatever you choose to do re a diagnosis I agree with the other an LPA is essential. We are currently trying to convince my Dad and he isn’t keen at all. We are hoping if we do it for my mum as well it may smooth the path for him a bit. However if your mum won’t admit to having an issue she may not agree to an LPA.
Things like if she drives as well, getting her off the road if you’re concerned about her welfare and others can be easier to do with a diagnosis. Although I’m currently having that discussion with my Dad too

Whichever path you choose I wish you luck. From my experience getting the diagnosis has made things a bit easier because it explains a lot and it’s also helpful with conversations going forward with family and services. I’m glad we did it because Dad is on tablets now as well, he won’t openly admit to having a problem but he is taking them anyway which I think is a sign he does know something is wrong. Plus we don’t even discuss his diagnosis anymore or even say Alzheimer’s.
Long term I'm glad of the diagnosis even if it caused short term pain
 

Megan M

New member
Jul 18, 2019
6
You don't need a diagnosis to set up LPA - anyone can do that. But it would be really useful if you could get it done now while she still has capacity. Tell her you will be doing one too - just part of sensible planning for the future, much like making a will. You can make up a tale about someone you heard about who hadn't set up LPA and what a costly mess it was for her family to try and sort out... ;)
Thank you for your reply...Luckily we got LPA sorted some time ago....just haven't used it yet.
 

Megan M

New member
Jul 18, 2019
6
I suppose it’s also a question of would you want her going on tablets to slow things down? That’s what a diagnosis may be useful for. Obviously the tablets aren’t a guarantee but may give some extra time being herself
Whatever you choose to do re a diagnosis I agree with the other an LPA is essential. We are currently trying to convince my Dad and he isn’t keen at all. We are hoping if we do it for my mum as well it may smooth the path for him a bit. However if your mum won’t admit to having an issue she may not agree to an LPA.
Things like if she drives as well, getting her off the road if you’re concerned about her welfare and others can be easier to do with a diagnosis. Although I’m currently having that discussion with my Dad too

Whichever path you choose I wish you luck. From my experience getting the diagnosis has made things a bit easier because it explains a lot and it’s also helpful with conversations going forward with family and services. I’m glad we did it because Dad is on tablets now as well, he won’t openly admit to having a problem but he is taking them anyway which I think is a sign he does know something is wrong. Plus we don’t even discuss his diagnosis anymore or even say Alzheimer’s.
Long term I'm glad of the diagnosis even if it caused short term pain
Thank you for your reply...Really interesting to hear your perspective.
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,833
London
Alzheimer's is one of the few forms of dementia where medication can be given to slow the progress down so I would try for a diagnosis. And while you in theory can arrange care without one I found professionals much more receptive when a clear diagnosis can be presented. Also, reports from the Memory Clinic can help when applying for Attendance Allowance, and a GP signature confirming diagnosis helps with the SMI council tax disregard.
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,042
It's good you already have LPA, you should be able to use it without a diagnosis. Sometimes there are stipulations attached to them, depending on how they are set up - to use my mother's, she just had to ask the solicitor to release it to me. She wasn't very good on the phone by that point so she signed a letter to that effect.

I am not sure how important a diagnosis is in getting access to care. My mother has a diagnosis but neither the care agency (when she had care at home) nor the care home ever asked for proof of that. She is self funding at the moment so I don't know if SS ask to see medical notes.

By the way, my mother was diagnosed fairly early (Alzheimers) and they pondered about medication, but never actually gave her any. I arranged all her care, SS were not interested as she was self funding, so diagnosis was no concrete help to her.

Anyway if your mother won't visit the doctor, that's the end of the matter really, you can't force her. And it wouldn't just be one visit, it'd be GP, memory clinic, and MRI. If SS do want a diagnosis in future, you can cross that bridge when you get to it.
 

Megan M

New member
Jul 18, 2019
6
It's good you already have LPA, you should be able to use it without a diagnosis. Sometimes there are stipulations attached to them, depending on how they are set up - to use my mother's, she just had to ask the solicitor to release it to me. She wasn't very good on the phone by that point so she signed a letter to that effect.

I am not sure how important a diagnosis is in getting access to care. My mother has a diagnosis but neither the care agency (when she had care at home) nor the care home ever asked for proof of that. She is self funding at the moment so I don't know if SS ask to see medical notes.

By the way, my mother was diagnosed fairly early (Alzheimers) and they pondered about medication, but never actually gave her any. I arranged all her care, SS were not interested as she was self funding, so diagnosis was no concrete help to her.

Anyway if your mother won't visit the doctor, that's the end of the matter really, you can't force her. And it wouldn't just be one visit, it'd be GP, memory clinic, and MRI. If SS do want a diagnosis in future, you can cross that bridge when you get to it.
Thank you....I really appreciate your reply and experience on this topic.