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Is this right?

cazw

Registered User
Aug 1, 2015
2
I accompanied my Mum to the doctor's the other day. She has been very confused and also is having trouble doing some cooking things that she used to do daily. We spoke to the doctor about this which was brave of her. He said that if she thought that had dementia then she didn't have it. I don't feel that this can be right as I'm sure there is a period when there is some clarity of your own problems. Would appreciate anyone's views please. Caz
 

nicoise

Registered User
Jun 29, 2010
1,806
Oh dear, what a ridiculous thing for the doctor to have said!

Whilst it might have been said as a slightly comforting comment to be kind to your mum, it is incorrect.

My mum had a diagnosis of dementia, but also a great deal of insight into her problems. Her diagnosis was Lewy body dementia, which does tend towards fluctuating abilities and often insight - but not always. There are no hard and fast, black and white answers or criteria with dementia.

Could you perhaps keep a daily diary of problems, which you could then use as "evidence" for another appointment? And maybe another GP in the practice who might be more helpful?

It is so frustrating to have been brave enough to raise these concerns, only to have them dismissed. You, and your mum, know best what is wrong and what has changed. And whilst there are no magic cures or medications to put things right, for some people the medication can slow down the progress of dementia, and getting into the system is necessary to progress help that might be available.

The doctor should also carry out other tests to check Vitamin B levels, and the thyroid etc, as these can lead to problems if out of kilter which can be treated.

I am sorry that someone who should know better should be so useless! :eek:
 
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Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
12,013
London
That's a ridiculous thing to say and shows total lack of understanding. The fact that some people don't know or accept there is something wrong with them does not mean this is a fact for everybody. Plenty of people have sought diagnosis for themselves and are well aware they have dementia. Go and see a different doctor.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,916
South coast
What a stupid thing to say. OK, many people do not understand/forget that they have dementia (my mum included), but thats a huge sweeping statement. There are several people on here who have dementia and have great insight to their problems. Terry Pratchett knew he had dementia (he called it his emb***erance!) right up until his death.
Yes, try another doctor.
 

JayGun

Registered User
Jun 24, 2013
291
Please see a different GP.

What on earth is the point of all this emphasis on early diagnosis if your GP just sends you away without any investigation at all?

Your poor mum, dragging herself in there to talk about things she obviously finds difficult - to no avail. I'm quite cross on her behalf.

My mother in law's earliest obvious symptom was cooking related. First she couldn't do a roast dinner, all the timings flummoxed her and there would be burned out pans and ovens that were not turned on. Even a meatloaf from M&S, boiled potatoes, carrots and gravy was too much for her. She still does the odd bit of cooking for herself now and then, but cooking for other people is a problem. It makes her anxious and then that makes her dementia worse.

Did the doctor not even ask her the silly questions? (Administer the MMSE?)
 

autolycus

Registered User
Apr 13, 2015
5
Kingston on Thames
This doctor is an idiot.
My wife has moderate Alzheimers and is very well aware of her dementia, avidly reading any articles that appear in the press regarding symptoms, treatments etc.
For a doctor to make such a statement displays a total lack of understanding.
As other readers have suggested - go to another GP.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,916
South coast
Sometimes people with dementia present extremely well and it can be difficult to persuade medical staff that there is a problem - perhaps this is what happened.
I suggest that either you or she keeps a diary noting all the things that are of concern. When she goes for another appointment then you/she can produce this as "evidence"
 

cazw

Registered User
Aug 1, 2015
2
Thanks Nicoise and all other members for their comments. I was pretty sure that this was the case. I have suggested that she change her doctor because there have been other health issues that he seems unwilling to address. She also can't seem to make appts for another doctor although there are several available to her. I live a long distance away so can't be there every time she goes, this was a first time to go with her for support. I am monitoring as much as I can but that said she doesn't always listen to me or my sister saying just about the same things.

Oh dear, what a ridiculous thing for the doctor to have said!

Whilst it might have been said as a slightly comforting comment to be kind to your mum, it is incorrect.

My mum had a diagnosis of dementia, but also a great deal of insight into her problems. Her diagnosis was Lewy body dementia, which does tend towards fluctuating abilities and often insight - but not always. There are no hard and fast, black and white answers or criteria with dementia.

Could you perhaps keep a daily diary of problems, which you could then use as "evidence" for another appointment? And maybe another GP in the practice who might be more helpful?

It is so frustrating to have been brave enough to raise these concerns, only to have them dismissed. You, and your mum, know best what is wrong and what has changed. And whilst there are no magic cures or medications to put things right, for some people the medication can slow down the progress of dementia, and getting into the system is necessary to progress help that might be available.

The doctor should also carry out other tests to check Vitamin B levels, and the thyroid etc, as these can lead to problems if out of kilter which can be treated.

I am sorry that someone who should know better should be so useless! :eek:
 

JayGun

Registered User
Jun 24, 2013
291
Do you know that you can ring and have a telephone appointment with your mother's GP - or another one in the practice and talk over your concerns. Most will send out a nurse or visit themselves to administer the Mini Mental State Exam.

There are magic words to say if her GP is at all reluctant. I think it is "duty of care". Social services can also do an assessment.
 

Cheadle Girl

Registered User
Jul 16, 2015
4
Ridiculous

My mum has alzheimers and is fully aware that her short term memory is going and that she cant remember things - which must be quite distressing for her.

Unfortunately I think you need to be assertive and push for what you are entitled to. We rang the surgery and insisted they made an appointment with our preferred Dr in a few week time so me or my sister could book the day off and go with Mum. They said this wasn't possible but my sister had been on their website where they will have lots of charters re patient care and choice so we quoted this at them. You can also raise with the Practice Manager if you're getting nowhere with reception.

I did read that dementia care is so poor in the NHS with funding cuts etc so some GP's are not referring people at early stages as they are struggling to support.

Hope this helps,

CG