Memory assessment service refusing to see aunt due to her alcohol intake

NJP@03

New member
Apr 19, 2024
3
0
Hello, new here as my elderly Aunt recently showing signs of dementia. She has had assessments in GP practice, blood test and CT scan all of which show early dementia. She has been referred to the local memory dementia service but they are refusing to accept her due to her higher than average alcohol intake. Would anyone know why this is case? I understand this her drinking is not helpful but can it be used as a reason for not seeing her? Thanks in advance
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
5,790
0
Midlands
It could well be the cause!
if all the other tests show early signs I doubt the dementia service will have much to add.
there is a specific dementia caused by excess drinking- Kosakoffs? ( or something like that)
Any chance of slowing her down a bit?
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
82,043
0
Kent
Hello @NJP@03. Welcome.

I don`t think there is any excuse for your Aunt`s drinking to prevent her from getting some form of care, even if medication may not be suitable.

The memory dementia service is not there to cure, because we all know there is no cure. It doesn`t mean your aunt should be abandoned. Her drinking is an addiction just like smoking and overeating.

The memory service, as far as I know, is there to offer support. I doubt the memory service would refuse to support smokers or overeaters.

If your aunt was unable to curtail her drinking pre dementia, there`s little hope of her curtailing it now.

Perhaps I expect too much from the services but I don`t like the idea of them cherry picking who they help.

Isn`t the memory service also there to help and support carers?
 

NJP@03

New member
Apr 19, 2024
3
0
It could well be the cause!
if all the other tests show early signs I doubt the dementia service will have much to add.
there is a specific dementia caused by excess drinking- Kosakoffs? ( or something like that)
Any chance of slowing her down a bit?
Thank you very helpful. We've tried hard to get her slowing down... all on back of Covid and also she had cancer which at time was potentially very serious. Also depression.
 

NJP@03

New member
Apr 19, 2024
3
0
Hello @NJP@03. Welcome.

I don`t think there is any excuse for your Aunt`s drinking to prevent her from getting some form of care, even if medication may not be suitable.

The memory dementia service is not there to cure, because we all know there is no cure. It doesn`t mean your aunt should be abandoned. Her drinking is an addiction just like smoking and overeating.

The memory service, as far as I know, is there to offer support. I doubt the memory service would refuse to support smokers or overeaters.

If your aunt was unable to curtail her drinking pre dementia, there`s little hope of her curtailing it now.

Perhaps I expect too much from the services but I don`t like the idea of them cherry picking who they help.

Isn`t the memory service also there to help and support carers?
Hello @NJP@03. Welcome.

I don`t think there is any excuse for your Aunt`s drinking to prevent her from getting some form of care, even if medication may not be suitable.

The memory dementia service is not there to cure, because we all know there is no cure. It doesn`t mean your aunt should be abandoned. Her drinking is an addiction just like smoking and overeating.

The memory service, as far as I know, is there to offer support. I doubt the memory service would refuse to support smokers or overeaters.

If your aunt was unable to curtail her drinking pre dementia, there`s little hope of her curtailing it now.

Perhaps I expect too much from the services but I don`t like the idea of them cherry picking who they help.

Isn`t the memory service also there to help and support carers?
I had the same thoughts. There are reasons (mental health, cancer etc) for her drinking. If drinking was a barrier to other healthcare e.g. cancer we would rightly be very concerned. They are refusing at this point.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
5,306
0
High Peak
Hello @NJP@03. Welcome.

I don`t think there is any excuse for your Aunt`s drinking to prevent her from getting some form of care, even if medication may not be suitable.

The memory dementia service is not there to cure, because we all know there is no cure. It doesn`t mean your aunt should be abandoned. Her drinking is an addiction just like smoking and overeating.

The memory service, as far as I know, is there to offer support. I doubt the memory service would refuse to support smokers or overeaters.

If your aunt was unable to curtail her drinking pre dementia, there`s little hope of her curtailing it now.

Perhaps I expect too much from the services but I don`t like the idea of them cherry picking who they help.

Isn`t the memory service also there to help and support carers?
I completely agree with this. Whilst I understand the MC's attitude, I think you need to return to the GP because 'no care' is not an option.
 

MrsExpo

New member
Jan 27, 2024
9
0
We had exactly this with my husband. He had to stop drinking completely for 3-4 months and have a repeat blood test before they would accept the referral, because the alcohol markers in his blood (liver function test??) were higher than normal. As I understand it, I think it was because the alcohol intake can mimic some of the symptoms of dementia and they need to be sure the symptoms are caused by dementia rather than the alcohol. (I may have this completely wrong! ......). I should add that he drank approximately half a bottle of wine 5-6 evenings per week, but alcohol affects different people in different ways.

He eventually did get the referral which confirmed vascular dementia.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
82,043
0
Kent
Thank you @MrsExpo

If that explanation had been given it might have been more acceptable. Even so, a person who could stop drinking for a specific length of time, still had control over their behaviour. Not everyone has that control.
 

ChaceSoto

Registered User
Apr 2, 2024
33
0
Alcohol consumption can worsen the condition of a person with dementia and complicate treatment. The Memory Dementia Service fears that your aunt's alcohol consumption will interfere with effective treatment or even lead to complications. But this should not be a reason to refuse help.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
4,422
0
Victoria, Australia
I think that the point is that having a level of alcohol in the system may not make her suitable for testing, that her thought processes could be skewed giving an incorrect assessment and consequently an incorrect diagnosis.

If that is the case then testing would have been a complete waste of time for them and for you and perhaps they could have been testing someone whose results would have been more reliable.

I don’t think this was a judgement, just being sensible and making proper use of their time.
 
Last edited:

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
6,706
0
Salford
Definition of some one who drinks too much is someone who drinks more than their doctor is was told. K
 

SAP

Registered User
Feb 18, 2017
1,464
0
A lot of mental health services will not see people with high alcohol intake and although dementia conditions are diseases it is seen largely as a mental health condition or a social care one. Alcohol masks the symptoms or exacerbates them. The memory clinic should really explain this to your aunt so she has a chance to think about it at this early stage.
 

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