We are soon to be visited by a Doctor from the Memory Clinic, arranged by our G.P. Can anyone enlighten me as to what they do, if it's tricks and games I can't see my husband being interested in the slightest! Do they do regular assessments?
The times my Dad went to the Memory Clinic he was asked questions such as 'Who is the Prime Minister ?' (President etc.) We also thought Dad wouldn't be very co-operative but when he's in the presence of strangers he often can't do enough to please!
There is something called 'The Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) ' and I think Dad was asked similar questions, (I find it hard to remember all the details while trying to cope with the emotions), although I don't know if everyone is tested in this way;
This visit will probably involve a visit from your Consultant Psychiatrist to carry out an MMSE test, [easy general knowledge questions if you don't have AD of course]. This will then be graded to assess your husband's memory level. The CP usually will let you know at the time. Your CP will then advise you upon the next steps, together with any recommended medications, such as Aricept.
Thanks Hazel and Jude, hopefully that will help us along a bit, however he's visiting during the morning and my husband is at his most lucid then, they always seem to like to do this in the mornings! No one ever sees him when he's at his most confused (afternoons and evenings ) and that doesn't seem like a fair assessment to me!
We shall see I suppose, but I always get the feeling that people think I'm exaggerating...family included.
Our appointment was at the Memory Clinic, not at home, but at our first appointment Mum went off with the nurse, whilst we were asked to complete a questionnaire about how Mum coped with everyday life -using the phone, cooking, etc. Then Mum came back to join us before we all went in to see the Consultant, who gave us the diagnosis. There followed appointments at regular intervals until the Aricept was up to full dose, and now we have just started 6 monthly appointments when the Dr does the MMSE test. It was all very relaxed and calm, and they were very good with Mum.
From my own experience people also believe I exaggerate Mum's problems, family included. They too, often see her in her good moments, and also because I don't want her to be embarassed, I tend to cover up for her before she gets into difficulty. So not only do they not believe she has AD, but they probably think I am an awful control freak! I wish you well with the assessment.
Our CP used to visit in the mornings too. His explanation was that the result was the best possible score that my parents would ever get and he would take into account the time of day, masking techniques, etc. I'm sure your CP will do likewise.
Our experience of the memeory clinis has always been very positive . The appointment times are always kept to prevent any hassle for the patient with wiating. The nurses are always positive to my husband and compliment him even when he has difficulty answerung a question. I hope they take into account that when they ask him the dat- he always looks at his digital watch first but that's how he copes. The tablets he was given were Reminyl and that has supported him well so far and the initial extra effect was to make him more alert . I often come out of the appointmets feeling a bit of a fraud as he always makes a special effort there. As you say, they should see them when we've just had a major incident over a minor issue. You can get so fed up with people saying "he seems fine to me". My reaction is to say "Well you spend a day with him then". No takers so far!
Don't expect too much of yourself. We carers are all doing the best we can to help our loved ones.
Keep in touch.
Hi Chrissie. take a step back, no one is on trial here. Consultants and the like use the scores from the memory clinic tests as a sort of base to go forward from.
When is a good time of day. Lionel has his tests at all sorts of times, and no one knows him like I do, caring for him 24/7
We have to give acknowledgement to those doing the assessing. They also know that no single test provides all the answers. It just provides a level platform from which to go, hopefully, forward. Regards, Connie
Connie, I only worry that my husband will get the right treatment and that I will know what I can do and can't do, i.e. use my own judgment and if I think he is o.k. leave him for short spells of time to do something for me or pop to the local shop etc. It also helps with other people, especially family if you can tell them where you are at.
I also worry that my husband will not cooperate if there are too many silly questions or games etc. he has no time for that.
do not worry too much about the memory clinc.
Consultants understand,my wife is often very casual answering the questions,the consultant said to her "you are in a very frivolous mood today Peggy"
The ask the questions but they also make allowances,the tests are guide lines really.
I the early days my wife saw a psychologist,Peg did not like her and told her she would not waste any more of their time (Peg's time as well).
That was it no more psychologist.
It will be alright on the day
I'm not sure how much this will help as I'm not sure that all clinics carry things out in the same manner, but I worked in a memory clinic last summer and usually what would happen was that the doctor would chat to the carer and ask them to complete a scale about the patients activities of daily living (eating, dressing etc) whilst the 'patient' carries out the MMSE or other cognitive tests (some of which take a bit longer). There may also be a blood test with a nurse to check for other explanations for confusion and a chat with a psychologist. The carer and 'patient' are usually then seen together to discuss how things are at home. The maximum score for the MMSE is 30, and I think anything less than 26 is looked into further.
In my experience, the doctors (at the memory clinic I was in) were extremely thoughtful and actually discussed matters together before reaching a diagnosis, even suggesting forms of support for the carer. If a diagnosis of AD is made, then the medication will require monitoring so the procedure is then repeated at each visit.
Emma, thank you that all sounds very reassuring, I feel a lot better about it all now I've read everyone's replies. I can perhaps get on with coping with all the other problems a bit better now. There are so many things to consider aren't there!
Hi Chrissie. My husband has gone to the memory clinic once every 6 months for 4 years now. Prior to him going the CPN used to come to the house to do the memory tests but now the doctor just does them when we are there. It's all very positive when we're there and once the tests are done he gets his prescription for the next 6 months supply of Aricpet. Fortunately he doesn't get upset by the tests and I'm much more relaxed about them now. Sometimes I get a questionnaire to do while he is doing the tests. His score has remained 25-26 other the last 4 years so I think the Aricept must be doing some good.
I'm not quit so worried about it all now. I decided to stop sending my husband to day care because it distresses him so much and since then he has calmed down dramatically, he's less confused and much happier. It means I don't get as much time, but I'm hoping that the test will go well and perhaps we can settle down for a while. He's quite happy with home care so things are looking up a bit. fingers crossed!