Memory Clinic -what to expect?

Pollywobble

Registered User
Nov 13, 2023
107
0
My husband hasn't been diagnosed yet, but gone donehill rapidly in the last 5 weeks. He has been referred to the Memory Clinic. What can I expect there? 🤔
He told me that if there's something wrong with him that won't improve then he'll take his life, so I've also got a mental health referral too.
6 weeks ago we could hold a conversation and go out for the day. He got a detached retina and got as far as the anaesthetist who cancelled the op due to high blood pressure. Since then it's been Groundhog Day everyday.
 

SeaGirl

Registered User
Nov 23, 2023
15
0
Hello Pollywobble,
Gosh, that's a difficult situation for you to deal with. I'm glad that you already have a mental health referral in place to assist. Do you also have support for yourself and your own well-being? If not, it might be worth getting that in train, pronto, by speaking to your GP. You need to be OK to give your husband the support he'll need.
The Memory Clinic appointment should not be something to be worried about. The idea of it is that the medical professionals get an idea of your husband's situation with a view to providing the help and support he needs, depending on the diagnosis. The format may differ depending on where you are in the country, but the aims will be roughly similar.
On that basis, it is likely to entail a initial chat covering the history of your husband's general health, and a discussion of the difficulties he (and/or you) have noticed that he's been having. Do be as honest about these as possible, there's no shame at all in struggling with day-to-day tasks.
They will likely want to do some form of memory assessment, either the ACE III test - for what this looks like, search 'ACE III' or 'Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination' with Google - or a mini version of this, just to get an idea of where your husband is right now and identify the type of difficulties he is having.
They may suggest something like having a scan (e.g. MRI or CT) to aid them in a more firm diagnosis, but not always.
They may discuss medication which could help, although for us this came on a follow-up appointment.
The idea is that by having this appointment they can start to look at the best way to support him, and also you, to live as well as possible with whatever the diagnosis is. That's what it's about really, living with it and making the most of life, not letting it wreck your life. Sounds easy, it isn't always but you won't be alone.
The Memory team should be able to point you to more information to help you - if they don't, the the Alzheimer's Society website is brilliant, and if you have questions (I had loads!) then use the Dementia Support Line - 0333 150 3456
or ask the folk here, since they have a wealth of knowledge.
All the best, SeaGirl
 

Pollywobble

Registered User
Nov 13, 2023
107
0
Thank you SO much for taking the time to reply. That's really helpful to know what to expect at the Memory Clinic. I am grateful to get this support. I'm finding it helpful to him explain things beforehand. He knows he is ill and knows it's to do with his brain (his words!) but hasn't a clue what it is. When he's 'lucid' (or sober, as he puts it!) he knows he needs help for his thoughts. He has had a CT scan, but we await results.
I hadn't thought of help for myself! Most of the time he is absolutely lovely, so I can cope with the 'episodes.' My mum is my rock and the daughters are both great.
 

SeaGirl

Registered User
Nov 23, 2023
15
0
Thank you SO much for taking the time to reply. That's really helpful to know what to expect at the Memory Clinic. I am grateful to get this support. I'm finding it helpful to him explain things beforehand. He knows he is ill and knows it's to do with his brain (his words!) but hasn't a clue what it is. When he's 'lucid' (or sober, as he puts it!) he knows he needs help for his thoughts. He has had a CT scan, but we await results.
I hadn't thought of help for myself! Most of the time he is absolutely lovely, so I can cope with the 'episodes.' My mum is my rock and the daughters are both great.
No problem. It's really worrying at the start when you just have no idea what to expect of anything. That your husband is aware that he is ill, and accepts he needs some help is a big thing, as is having your family to support you both. We don't really have family, but have been lucky that our GP and the local Memory Team (we moved to a new area just before my husband's formal diagnosis) have been really good, and given us loads of information and support. Hope you will find similar in your region.
 

BeeBeeDee

Registered User
Apr 19, 2023
67
0
When we went to the Memory Clinic I had been give lots and lots of forms to fill in beforehand - some where about him and his behaviour and what I had noticed was different - lots and lots of them, some where multiple choice and it was hard to pick the answer so I typed out sheets of paper explaining things. When we got to the Memory Clinic I was asked what I had noticed about him and he denied every single thing I said, without starting an arguement in the clinic I just had to listen to him and hope that the lady was experienced enough to know that I was telling the truth not him. He then did a long assessment, lots of different questions testing different areas of his brain. At the end of it we were told it was inconclusive but that they would refer him to the Specialist and then as we were leaving they asked for the completed forms. I would have liked some time on my own with them to tell them things but that didnt happen. We were called back 3 months later and then told it was Alzheimers
 

Pollywobble

Registered User
Nov 13, 2023
107
0
When we went to the Memory Clinic I had been give lots and lots of forms to fill in beforehand - some where about him and his behaviour and what I had noticed was different - lots and lots of them, some where multiple choice and it was hard to pick the answer so I typed out sheets of paper explaining things. When we got to the Memory Clinic I was asked what I had noticed about him and he denied every single thing I said, without starting an arguement in the clinic I just had to listen to him and hope that the lady was experienced enough to know that I was telling the truth not him. He then did a long assessment, lots of different questions testing different areas of his brain. At the end of it we were told it was inconclusive but that they would refer him to the Specialist and then as we were leaving they asked for the completed forms. I would have liked some time on my own with them to tell them things but that didnt happen. We were called back 3 months later and then told it was Alzheimers
Thank you for taking the time to reply. We still haven't heard anything. Luckily, when the Integrated Support Team phoned up, he gave permission for me to answer all their questions, because he doesnt like using the phone! The upshot on that one is that they are doing a home visit for him. They have said that the Memory Clinic may not accept his referral because he doesn't want to know what's the matter with himself! We'll see.
 

Enfrance

Registered User
Mar 18, 2020
12
0
My experience of the memory test is entirely different. My wife doesn’t accept that she has a problem but I managed to persuade her to take the test. It was conducted by a nurse in the med centre With no forms or other preparation. He did a short intro and asked if my wife understood. She said yes but I could tell she had no idea what was going on. The first question was what is the date, my wife replied with 2016 (this was in 2022) and the test went downhill from there.

The nurse called the doctor into the room who immediately spoke the dreaded word ‘dementia’. My wife glared at me realising what she had been put through. She refused to attend the Memory Clinic or see a Specialist and any time I mention it now she says she hasn’t got a problem. By the time we got home, about ten minutes from the med centre, she had forgotten everything about where she had been etc. And that’s where we remain.

i do hope things progress quickly for you as the waiting can be so frustrating.
 

Pollywobble

Registered User
Nov 13, 2023
107
0
My experience of the memory test is entirely different. My wife doesn’t accept that she has a problem but I managed to persuade her to take the test. It was conducted by a nurse in the med centre With no forms or other preparation. He did a short intro and asked if my wife understood. She said yes but I could tell she had no idea what was going on. The first question was what is the date, my wife replied with 2016 (this was in 2022) and the test went downhill from there.

The nurse called the doctor into the room who immediately spoke the dreaded word ‘dementia’. My wife glared at me realising what she had been put through. She refused to attend the Memory Clinic or see a Specialist and any time I mention it now she says she hasn’t got a problem. By the time we got home, about ten minutes from the med centre, she had forgotten everything about where she had been etc. And that’s where we remain.

i do hope things progress quickly for you as the waiting can be so frustrating.
Thank you for taking the time to reply. What an experience you've had! We are still waiting for the appointment. He keeps asking why. When I say it's because of his memory, he says that he forgot!! He also keeps saying that he hopes they'll make him better. He's so down about being ill and not being able to see (needs eye ops) that I daren't say anything. The waiting, as you say, is so frustrating.
 

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