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New diagnosis

Clairdad

New member
Aug 26, 2020
4
0
Hi,
My dad just got confirmation from a brain scan that he has vascular dementia. His GP confirmed over the phone this morning and said that he would now be referred to a memory clinic. (My dad can't hear very well so my brother speaks to the Dr in his behalf so is not yet aware about the diagnosis). When my brother asked about other information, possible medication, what's likely to happen going forward, what we do now etc, the Dr just said that this will all be dealt with by the memory clinic - is this correct? I have no idea about procedures, what happens etc after a diagnosis but I'm very surprised at the lack of information the Dr has given us regarding next steps - is this the normal way? The Dr just simply confirmed he had dementia and said he would be referred - that was it?
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
75,868
0
Kent
It`s a while since I`ve had dealings with a memory clinic @Clairdad but it does sound as if this is the usual practice.

The memory clinic might be the one to monitor your dad`s progression and recommend medication. Sadly not all memory clinics practice in the same way so I`m afraid it will be a wait and see time for you and your dad.

If you speak for your dad because of his hearing impairment, unless he asks for specific details it might be best to keep the diagnosis to yourself.

My husband didn`t know he had Alzheinmer`s until months following diagnosis when he asked what was wrong with him. By then he was unable to realise the implications and was satisfied any treatment he received was to help him get better.

I think the pandemic might have slowed things down so if you don`t hear for a while, you can phone the memory clinic and ask for an appointment.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,705
0
My mother in law had both vascular and Alzheimers and was dealt with totally by the memory clinic. She was referred by her GP after my husband raised some concerns with the doctor and after she had a short mini test during a home visit by the GP. Because my mother in law was both housebound and deaf, the memory clinic came out to her for a fuller memory test . I was present during this visit. She then had a CT scan which confirmed the vascular damage and a follow up appointment with the memory clinic for a proper diagnosis. She was not given any medication for the disease because she already had a high history of falls and any medication offered would have placed her more at risk of falling. She had two further follow up appointments with the memory clinic and then was discharged to the GP.

We were given some leaflets about the illness and then referred to our local dementia hub (in a London borough) . From then on we were very much on our own. My mother in law was self funding and we just organised carers and did the power of attorney ourselves. My mother in law already had pre existing mental health conditions so she already had attendance allowance . We never involved social services because she was self funding , although she was entitled by law for a needs assessment. In all it took about 6 months to get the diagnosis , this was in 2015, so things might have slowed up since.
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
778
0
Hi,
My dad just got confirmation from a brain scan that he has vascular dementia. His GP confirmed over the phone this morning and said that he would now be referred to a memory clinic. (My dad can't hear very well so my brother speaks to the Dr in his behalf so is not yet aware about the diagnosis). When my brother asked about other information, possible medication, what's likely to happen going forward, what we do now etc, the Dr just said that this will all be dealt with by the memory clinic - is this correct? I have no idea about procedures, what happens etc after a diagnosis but I'm very surprised at the lack of information the Dr has given us regarding next steps - is this the normal way? The Dr just simply confirmed he had dementia and said he would be referred - that was it?
In my experience it is not the Dr who diagnoses the dementia but a specialist via the memory clinic - of course I suppose that may be regional - the GP may suspect vascular dementia and refer to memory clinic for more specialist advice, or the other way around, I'm not sure how much it varies!

Just to warn you that my dad has vascular and Alzheimer's and I was told that if it was just vascular there would be no treatment options in terms of medication as the drugs prescribed for Alzheimer's have no effect, given vascular means it's a physical blockage or blood clot causing the problem. Or at least that's how it was described to me.

As it was, once dad had a scan, there was also clear excess shrinkage of the brain which is associated with Alzheimer's. Dad was also told he could, in theory, have an operation on his blood clots but he was terrified at the prospect and the Drs advised against it given his age and physical frailty (he's alright, really, but healing is slow, low mobility due to a previous accident, anemic etc).

Dad's dosages etc have all been dealt with by the memory team and his GP is made aware. Any problems and his care home go to the memory team and by all accounts they are very good as they are the experts on this kind of thing. Hopefully you'll also get good service. It took ages to get dad diagnosed but now he has been they have been good.
 

Clairdad

New member
Aug 26, 2020
4
0
In my experience it is not the Dr who diagnoses the dementia but a specialist via the memory clinic - of course I suppose that may be regional - the GP may suspect vascular dementia and refer to memory clinic for more specialist advice, or the other way around, I'm not sure how much it varies!

Just to warn you that my dad has vascular and Alzheimer's and I was told that if it was just vascular there would be no treatment options in terms of medication as the drugs prescribed for Alzheimer's have no effect, given vascular means it's a physical blockage or blood clot causing the problem. Or at least that's how it was described to me.

As it was, once dad had a scan, there was also clear excess shrinkage of the brain which is associated with Alzheimer's. Dad was also told he could, in theory, have an operation on his blood clots but he was terrified at the prospect and the Drs advised against it given his age and physical frailty (he's alright, really, but healing is slow, low mobility due to a previous accident, anemic etc).

Dad's dosages etc have all been dealt with by the memory team and his GP is made aware. Any problems and his care home go to the memory team and by all accounts they are very good as they are the experts on this kind of thing. Hopefully you'll also get good service. It took ages to get dad diagnosed but now he has been they have been good.

Thank for your reply. It seems what has happened is that due to covid, the memory clinics weren't open so the Dr couldn't refer him and sent him straight for a brain scan which has revealed the vascular dementia. They've now referred him to the memory clinic who I assume will then explain things a bit more and hopefully give help and advice if what happens next. It's just happened the wrong way round due to covid.
 

Clairdad

New member
Aug 26, 2020
4
0
It`s a while since I`ve had dealings with a memory clinic @Clairdad but it does sound as if this is the usual practice.

The memory clinic might be the one to monitor your dad`s progression and recommend medication. Sadly not all memory clinics practice in the same way so I`m afraid it will be a wait and see time for you and your dad.

If you speak for your dad because of his hearing impairment, unless he asks for specific details it might be best to keep the diagnosis to yourself.

My husband didn`t know he had Alzheinmer`s until months following diagnosis when he asked what was wrong with him. By then he was unable to realise the implications and was satisfied any treatment he received was to help him get better.

I think the pandemic might have slowed things down so if you don`t hear for a while, you can phone the memory clinic and ask for an appointment.
Thanks for your reply - things seemed to have happened the wrong way round for us due to covid and the memory clinic not being open so we've had the diagnosis before anything else. Hopefully the referral will come through and we'll get some help from the memory clinic for the next steps.
 

Clairdad

New member
Aug 26, 2020
4
0
My mother in law had both vascular and Alzheimers and was dealt with totally by the memory clinic. She was referred by her GP after my husband raised some concerns with the doctor and after she had a short mini test during a home visit by the GP. Because my mother in law was both housebound and deaf, the memory clinic came out to her for a fuller memory test . I was present during this visit. She then had a CT scan which confirmed the vascular damage and a follow up appointment with the memory clinic for a proper diagnosis. She was not given any medication for the disease because she already had a high history of falls and any medication offered would have placed her more at risk of falling. She had two further follow up appointments with the memory clinic and then was discharged to the GP.

We were given some leaflets about the illness and then referred to our local dementia hub (in a London borough) . From then on we were very much on our own. My mother in law was self funding and we just organised carers and did the power of attorney ourselves. My mother in law already had pre existing mental health conditions so she already had attendance allowance . We never involved social services because she was self funding , although she was entitled by law for a needs assessment. In all it took about 6 months to get the diagnosis , this was in 2015, so things might have slowed up since.
Thanks for your reply. Things look to have happened the wrong way round due to closure of the memory clinics in lockdown so we got the diagnosis first - hopefully once we get the appointment we can get more help and information from the memory clinic.
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
778
0
Thank for your reply. It seems what has happened is that due to covid, the memory clinics weren't open so the Dr couldn't refer him and sent him straight for a brain scan which has revealed the vascular dementia. They've now referred him to the memory clinic who I assume will then explain things a bit more and hopefully give help and advice if what happens next. It's just happened the wrong way round due to covid.
Ah I see - tell me about it! Dad's financial assessment has happened backwards for exactly the same reason. MC should have a specialist who can give you more detail I would think.
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
11,087
0
Southampton
my husband had a mri first as he was wobbly on his legs. found he had mini stroke. memory problems t6hen went to memory clinic to confirm diagnosis by memory test and the original mri scan
 

Ruth1974

Registered User
Dec 26, 2018
128
0
Hi,
My dad just got confirmation from a brain scan that he has vascular dementia. His GP confirmed over the phone this morning and said that he would now be referred to a memory clinic. (My dad can't hear very well so my brother speaks to the Dr in his behalf so is not yet aware about the diagnosis). When my brother asked about other information, possible medication, what's likely to happen going forward, what we do now etc, the Dr just said that this will all be dealt with by the memory clinic - is this correct? I have no idea about procedures, what happens etc after a diagnosis but I'm very surprised at the lack of information the Dr has given us regarding next steps - is this the normal way? The Dr just simply confirmed he had dementia and said he would be referred - that was it?
Yes, the psychiatrist makes the big decisions, the GP just does the routine stuff