Mum is refusing to go to memory clinic

Discussion in 'Recently diagnosed and early stages of dementia' started by Layla Pigeon, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. Layla Pigeon

    Layla Pigeon Registered User

    May 15, 2013
    Essex, UK
    We have suspected Mum has dementia for 2 years now and at last have managed through stealth methods got her going to the nurse (high blood pressure excuse) and the nurse persuaded her to make an appointment for the doctor which she attended with my Dad BUT made his life hell in the run up to the appointment.
    The doctor was lovely and made a referral to the memory clinic and last week the memory clinic phoned and left a message on their answerphone - well all hell was let lose and my Dad really suffered and now Mum is blaming him for saying too much to the doctor - shouting screaming, etc. - My Mum and Dad have NEVER argued to my knowledge (I am 46 !).
    Today the memory clinic phoned and left another message and Dad went through hell again today.
    My dilemma is what should I do ?
    She has an appointment booked for Thursday for routine blood pressure test with the nurse so should I phone and speak to the nurse so she will make the appointment BUT how will it be taken out on my Dad
    should I leave it and see what happens ? but will they keep phoning and causing major upsets.
    I really want her to get help but she is really digging her heels in and it is breaking my heart hearing what is going on from my Dad.
    Any advice would be welcome, sorry to ramble !
  2. grove

    grove Registered User

    Aug 24, 2010
    North Yorkshire
    #2 grove, Dec 17, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
    Hello & much Support

    Hello Layla , Sorry you , your Dad & Mum are having all these problems :( with the M Clinic & its a shame they ( Clinic ) had to phone your Dad ( a letter might have been better ? so your Mum did not know your plans etc ) Sorry have no real advice , but just wanted to show you my support & hopefully a T P 'er who has had similar problems will read this & be able to give you advice

    Also sorry nobody has replied before & see you live in Essex used to live there many years ago ( Southend / Leigh -on- Sea ! :) )

    Lots of vibes you get some advice soon & you can help your Mum & Dad ..... sorry your Dad is suffering with your Mum shouting at him about the phone calls etc from the Clinic

    Love & Hugs

    Love Grove x x
  3. FifiMo

    FifiMo Registered User

    Feb 10, 2010
    Are they nuts? No wonder your mum is raging, especially if she is in denial. I would phone the memory clinic and explain the situation. Ask them to phone you in future so you can speak to your dad to make arrangements and deal with mum face to face if necessary.

    As to the appointment at the memory clinic. I would not mention it again. Let the dust settle. Either the day before or on the day itself, tell her she's going out for a nice lunch then take her to lunch via the memory clinic. Even then, I would play it down. Tell her we need to go there first to have a quick word with someone then it's off out to lunch. Ask her what she fancies to eat, drink, will she have a pudding, anything to stop her kicking off. If you're lucky, you'll see a miraculous change when she gets in the room and is drippingly nice and on her best behaviour.

    What you and your dad could do if you think she is in denial or likely to kick off, is maybe write a note to the memory clinic in advance telling them how she is struggling; what challenges she faces on a day to day basis; whether she has behavioural issues as well as memory problems. At least that way the person knows what is going on, compared to what your mum tells them. If you don't have time to post it before the appointment then take it with you on the day and hand it over in person.

  4. di65

    di65 Registered User

    Feb 28, 2013
    new zealand
    I agree Fiona. My husband 'can't see the need' for visits to the Memory Clinic as is in denial also. I only tell him about the appointment on the day, and have emailed the clinic with the latest updates on his 'progress' (silly word!!), He gets paranoid if he thinks I am talking about him to the doctor, so I find this the best method.
    Please God they find some resolution to this terrible affliction soon
  5. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Another approach is to say that this appointment will prove there's nothing wrong with her. I would use it as a back-up as the stealth approach.
  6. Noorza

    Noorza Registered User

    Jun 8, 2012
    In our area there is the option of getting the CPN or the consultant to come to the person's home in these cases to assess them, I don't know if it is national but it's worth asking. Also if the reactions to being assessed for mental health issues are explained they can tip toe around them. So they can describe what is happening without using the A or D words if that sets the person off. They need to be told of the reactions and what they are putting Dad through to prevent it happening again as much as is humanly possible.
  7. Layla Pigeon

    Layla Pigeon Registered User

    May 15, 2013
    Essex, UK
    Thanks for all the support and helpful comments.
    Mum went to see the nurse yesterday and had her blood pressure checked and it was back to normal so came home really happy.
    I phoned the nurse later and she said perhaps hold off on the memory clinic at the moment to save all the aggravation and take the pressure off Dad over Christmas so at least we can try and have a nice time. She is going to tell them not to phone and leave messages anymore.
    Will take up the fight again in the New Year :):)
  8. crazycaz

    crazycaz Registered User

    Jan 6, 2014
    thornton cleveleys
    My mum is in early stages of dementia&refuses to see anyone in the 'health' profession. As mum is forgetting things constantly the memory clinic was offered. She flatly refused to go! Mum gets angry&aggrevated if asked to do sumthing involving her health. It seems she trusts no-one&me&my sister get the blame and anger. I cant give you a solution but just know you are not the only one goin thru it.
    We managed to get a palliative care nurse round but mum says she will not set foot in her house again! Called her all the names under the sun too. It is very hard to deal with&wouldnt wish it on anyone.
    Sorry its new year im replyin but only just joined.
    Caz x

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Talking Point mobile app
  9. Patv82

    Patv82 Registered User

    Jan 10, 2014
    Illinois, USA
    Classic Evasive Manuevers

    Your mother (and father) are going through something similar to the stages of grief. Denial and refusal rank right up there as techniques to avoid their new reality. How you deal with it going forward is extremely important. You have recognized that she is irrational about the situation - thus you already know that having a rational discussion with her just won't work. Same goes for your father - less said the better.

    I recommend you sit down with all/any family members who will be your support system. Come up with your own plan of action and then proceed forward. Do not delay, do not wait. Your mother is not going to improve, get better or any way become someone without dementia. The disease doesn't work that way. I do hope you have help - spouse, children, siblings. Your parents need you - more than any other time in their life. Do whatever it takes to care for them - whatever it takes - and do not feel guilty or victimized. You will want the same strength in your kids, when you reach their age.
  10. gbeast

    gbeast Registered User

    Jan 21, 2014

    My Dad has recently been diagnosed with AD and VaD and we had similar problems. Probably took 2 year s to get diagnosed. I find the best approach to be gently frank and honest with him.

    I started out saying I'd noticed he wasn't himself and was concerned, giving examples. I'd point out odd behaviour etc when it happened so he'd remember. I also point out concerns and fairness to mum. He eventually acknowledged something wasn't right but it was diagnosed as depression. Prozac helped for a bit but quickly plateau ed and we noticed memory and processing problems. The light just seemed to go out.

    My mum and I started writing down what we noticed and example s and went to see his GP, who immediately referred him. We went straight home and told him, needless to say he wasn't best pleases and understand ably felt wed gone behind his back. We kept reiterating that we were worried about him, give him examples and highlight it might be nothing but if it was something the early you know the more can be done. Again pointed out that being stubborn was unfair to mum. Whilst unhappy he had to begrudgingly accept. Deep down I always felt Dad had noticed the same things as us and was frightened to acknowledge.

    Dad was eventually diagnosed last year. He would try not to go to every app. We'd always repeat above concerns and that it might be nothing. He was referr Ed to memory clinic,he went to about half before digging his heals in. We got him to go by saying mum needs a break.

    It is v difficult but I've found honesty to be the best approach and pointing out how it effects the people he loves. Luckily he is still in early stages so understand s a lot, which helps.

    Keep persevering!

    Nb. New to TP…its refreshing to see others going through same things and highlight s that the change s in my Dad are down to dementia. Thx
  11. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    I don't think it's always a case of denial/refusal. When people's symptoms have become bad enough for other people to notice (or maybe bad enough that they can no longer be ignored or put down to age) it may well be the case that the sufferer genuinely thinks that there is nothing wrong with them. By the time short term memory is getting very bad, people may be unable to remember that they can't remember, if that makes sense, or to remember that they can no longer manage to do this or that any more. People are often convinced that they still e.g. do all their own shopping/cooking or managing their own finances, when in fact they have been unable to manage these for some time.

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