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Memory Assessment next week

Forester

Registered User
Nov 10, 2015
6
0
Gloucestershire
My partner may have early onset dementia, he is 65. I have booked a Memory Assessment for next Wednesday, to be done at home. How do I get my partner to accept the visiting Assessor when they arrive. My partner has lack of insight into his condition, doesn't think his memory is bad, has delusions of living elsewhere and frequently packs bags with his belongings to "get out of here and go home". I cannot have a conversation about the Memory Test as he will not understand and will not remember what I say. I am very worried he will react badly to the assessment being "sprung" on him, as he did when I took him to the GP who did a very basic memory test, which started the whole process of trying to help after sudden changes in behaviour, understanding and memory.
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
7,932
0
Southampton
i wouldnt introduce him as an assessor but maybe a friend who has an interest in 1. his occupation, 2. hobbies, 3 interests or anything he likes talking about. more of a social visit to make him feel comfortable.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
75,006
0
Kent
Hello @Forester

A good suggestion from @jennifer1967

As well as that could you let the assessor know before Wednesday that your partner may resist all interaction and hope they have a strategy for dealing with his predicted behaviour.
 

Forester

Registered User
Nov 10, 2015
6
0
Gloucestershire
Thank you for suggestions.
Yes I think I need to forewarn the Assessor so she can prepare for resistance. But I am sure they are used to this, but would be good to get her prepared.
I'm rather worried how he'll react with me, once she has left!

I should have posted on the Memory Concerns section - sorry.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
16,776
0
South coast
I would also contact the memory assessor about all your concerns beforehand too, so that you do not have to say them in front of your husband, who will probably insist that there is nothing wrong.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
4,179
0
My mother didn’t think there was anything wrong with her so my brother and I fudged what the visit to the memory clinic actually was. When mum realised she refused to talk to the nurse snd the nurse refused to talk to mum against her will. I thought it was a shame because mum was a naturally sociable person and if the nurse had just chatted to her in general mum probably would have agreed to the test or not even noticed if the nurse had started slipping in assessment questions. When mum was being assessed for her care home I told her the people from the home were friends of mine and it worked.
Don’t say anything till the person arrives, then hopefully your husband will be pleased to meet a friend of yours for a chat. If he thinks it’s a ‘test’ he may well refused to get involved.
.
 

AmandaW

New member
Sep 18, 2021
3
0
Hi my mum also thinks there is nothing wrong with her so I wrote a note and handed it to the assessor when she arrived and she understood and just told her it was a general check up that everyone has at her age(80). They do ask other things about them so maybe even say you’re having it at the same time? Good luck x
 

HelpInOut

Registered User
Oct 19, 2021
42
0
Can I ask who are these "assessors" please? Are these memory tests after a GP has done an assessment and decided to refer to Old age psychiatry, or are these the "very first" memory assessments?
Thank you
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
75,006
0
Kent
Can I ask who are these "assessors" please?

I think they are done by neurologists or psychiatrists @HelpInOut

My husband was tested by a consultant psychiatrist and my mother was tested by a geriatric neurologist. They were quite a few years ago now and things might have changed.
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
7,932
0
Southampton
my husbands memory test was done by a nurse who then reported back to the consultant. last year a community psychiatric nurse from older peoples mental health done one with him which was just a review. she then reported back to the consultant.
 

HelpInOut

Registered User
Oct 19, 2021
42
0
Ah thanks everyone. I know that my Dad was referred by the GP and it was a nurse from Elderly Psychiatry who came out and did the memory assessment, but I'm not sure what the assessment comprised.
I recently spoke to a GP (the on call GP-no idea who her named GP is) and gave her a lot of information regarding tasks that Mum was struggling with, examples of short term memory loss and other changes , mostly over the last few months (although she's had some short term memory problems for 5 yrs or more. I also mentioned that she seems very tired and lacking in energy and expressed concerns about the possibility of an infection. They're aware that about 6 months ago she agreed with me to have an assessment, but then told GP she didn't need them.
A different GP visited on Friday. Told her that family had concerns about her memory, at which my Mum turned to me and said "Oh, we're back to this then are we Susan?", but then went on to admit that she felt she'd been forgetting more things recently and that she'd had trouble writing a simple message in Christmas cards etc.
He only administered a 7 point memory test which I wasn't familiar with but discovered it's called 6CIT.
She stumbled a few times in the middle some of the questions and couldn't remember 3 parts of the name and address, so her score was normal and she won't be referred.

I'm not sure if Elderly Psychiatry say the test has to be abnormal before they'll accept a referral, but the NICE Clinical guidelines stress the importance of information provided by the person and family members and in addition clearly states
  • Do not rule out dementia solely because the person has a normal score on a cognitive instrument.
  • Suspect dementia if any of the following are reported by the person and/or their family/carer:
    • Cognitive impairment, including:
      • Memory loss — the person may defer to family when answering questions, have difficulty learning new information or remembering recent events or people's names, be vague with dates, and/or miss appointments.
      • Problems with reasoning and communication.
      • Difficulty in making decisions.
      • Dysphasia.
      • Difficulty in carrying out coordinated movements, such as dressing.
      • Disorientation and unawareness of the time and place.
      • Impairment of executive function, such as difficulties with planning, judgement, loss of initiative, and problem-solving.

I can't believe that they've discounted all the information which is pertinent to how she's coping at home with ADL's and shopping, cooking , doing laundry and interacting with other people, but not sure if I should go back to the GP or try and speak to one of the nurses in Elderly Psychiatry to find out what their threshold for referral is first.