New to TP and to Alzheimers issues

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Poet1, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. Poet1

    Poet1 Registered User

    Aug 10, 2015
    21
    I have been worried about my wife's memory and behavour/character for two to three years. I believe she is being treated for Alzheimers. She just says she is fine. Her pills and appointments tell me otherwise.

    How should I deal with this?
     
  2. chick1962

    chick1962 Registered User

    Apr 3, 2014
    11,282
    Female
    near Folkestone
    Good morning :) my husband got diagnosed 5 years ago but knows he has got mixed dementia ( Alzheimer's and vascular) and is quite open about it . There are many however who are not. Perhaps you could send an email to GP and Mental Health outlining your concerns? I don't know where you are but a call to an admiral nurse , if you have them , would be good . They are there to support you in your caring role and might also be able to gain access to the medical records. They offer great support and advice . My husband and I just take each day as they come and try and concentrate on the things he can still do, rather then the things he can't . There are still many good days to be had . Hope this helps a little x


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  3. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,547
    Female
    England
    Hello Poet and welcome to Talking Point.

    it is very sad that your wife can't or won't share her knowledge with you. If she is in denial that anything is wrong then as far as she is concerned there is nothing to share, everything is fine.

    The medication does point to Alzheimer's as the cause of her behaviour. All you really can do is support her, make sure non of her behaviour puts her at risk and you know as much as you can about getting help when and from where,when you need it.

    You will find the forum invaluable for getting advice and support and understanding, just ask away we are here to help.
     
  4. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    3,802
    Essex
    I echo everything that jaymor has said. Welcome to TP, where you will find a wonderful of group of people who will become your friends, and support you through these difficult times.

    There is always someone who has been through the same experiences you have had, and can offer help and advice.
     
  5. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    8,007
    Norfolk
    Saw this thread earlier Poet and thought I'd just pop in and wish you well, even though you've come to the point where you're now looking for advice. As has already been said, just say whatever you need help with, and someone will be along to give you the info.

    You really need to speak to someone from Alzheimer's Society, who can point you in the right direction for anything you're concerned about.

    Do drop in here for a chat and a bit of support whenever you need it.
     
  6. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    9,525
    North East England
    I'm not sure how to answer your query, Poet1, but just wanted to say hello and welcome to the forum.

    One thing my dad says is that he takes things one day at a time. This is something that I personally find almost impossible to do, because I'm a terrible worrier about the future, but this approach seems to work for dad; perhaps it would work for you too?

    Do keep posting, this is a great place for friendly advice and support.
     
  7. Bree

    Bree Registered User

    Oct 16, 2013
    241
    As she is your wife, I think you should talk to her about her medication. It all depends on your relationship, but with my OH, it was obvious to me that he was developing Alzheimer's Disease. I told our GP what I suspected, and talked MOH into going with me to see our GP.

    I never thought that he would accept the diagnosis, but he did, at first he asked me not to tell our children, but I said that they had a right to know. He is much more open about it now and we face the future together, whatever. I think if your wife opens up to you, it will take a lot of stress from both of you, and you can then reassure her that you are there for her.

    Obviously this may not be the way for you, but it has been for us. Whatever happens, good luck and stay strong.
     
  8. JayGun

    JayGun Registered User

    Jun 24, 2013
    291
    Hello lovely,

    In your position I'd be tempted to make an appointment with her GP and have a chat about it all. As I expect you have guessed, they don't give you Donepezil if you get the top score on the test. I think it's probably important that you know what's going on with your wife's health so that you can help her and keep her safe.

    Did she take herself off to the doctor with memory concerns then? Or did another family member take her?
     
  9. Tiller Girl

    Tiller Girl Registered User

    May 14, 2012
    91
    I sympathise with you. My husband has been diagnosed with mixed dementia but is in complete denial about it.

    I think that's mainly because he can't remember there's anything wrong with him! He had a bowel cancer op last year and he can't remember anything about it at all.

    You really need to be fully aware of what the problem is with your OH as you will need to plan and take control going forward. Does she remember to take her medication? It maybe that's she's in denial herself or has forgotten she even went to the doctors.

    I'd have a word with the doctors if they will talk to you. Tell them your concerns and ask them what you need to do. You'll probably need Lasting Power of Attorney setting up and you can do it specifically so that you can deal with her medical problems.

    Good luck with it all.
     
  10. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,987
    Suffolk
    Hi
    Just to say, Jaygun, that OH scored 28 on first test and 30 on several subsequent ones, but was still given donepezil at the beginning. He had Alzheimer's and vascular dementia. He accepted it early on and we even did a couple of talks on it, before reverting to 'your bad memory'.
    As many have said, one day at a time. Also get wills and Lasting Power of Attorney sorted ASAP. If you both do them, no argument!
    Good luck!
     
  11. Poet1

    Poet1 Registered User

    Aug 10, 2015
    21
    #11 Poet1, Aug 13, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2015
    Admiral Nurse

    Admiral nurse? Sounds that they are specialist Alzheimers Nurses like the Macmillan Nurses for cancer. Where would I find an Admiral Nurse. My local hospital is quite large. They have Macmillan Nurses at our local hospital.
     
  12. Poet1

    Poet1 Registered User

    Aug 10, 2015
    21
    I don't think it is denial. She has become very nervous and secretive. A year ago I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer. She went to great lengths to keep it secret even though I wanted her to help at consultations and be open with friends and family. I think it may be the same with her ailment. I suspect she has forbidden the doctors to involve me 'save me trouble and worry', If only she could understand that it is not knowing that ZI find so very difficult. It of course does affect my health but I do not know if that gives me any rights to know.
     
  13. Poet1

    Poet1 Registered User

    Aug 10, 2015
    21
    Thank you. Am I asking in the right place? Is there a more relevant thread I should try, please?
     
  14. Poet1

    Poet1 Registered User

    Aug 10, 2015
    21
    A chat would be so helpful. How do I get that please? There is a centre about ten miles away. Can one just drop in. I don't have even an unofficial diagnosis. Just my own assessment plus the Docepezil (my only hard evidence) I am particularly worried about one symptom. She started slurring the occasional word about 3 months ago and it is much more frequent now. Thank you for writing.
     
  15. Poet1

    Poet1 Registered User

    Aug 10, 2015
    21
    Thank you. A few years ago we both set up Enduring Power of Attorney with a lawyer. Yes her memory is not too bad. Patchy. She is defensive so she may hide a lot of her lapses. In the last feww weeks she has several times burnt the cooking. She has always been a good cooked. Her failures are quite new. I am worried about her driving. i don't know there is much I can do without a diagnosis. She will be very distressed to loose her licence. That alone could set her into denial.
     
  16. Poet1

    Poet1 Registered User

    Aug 10, 2015
    21
    Thank you. Just to understand. You OH started in denial, became open and the returned to nenial. That sounds so difficult. moral, get things sorted out while you can?
     
  17. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,903
    Female
    Dundee
    This is the Admiral Nurse site -

    http://www.dementiauk.org/what-we-do/admiral-nurses/

    You will find out there if there is one in your local area. If not you can phone their helpline or email them.
     
  18. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,903
    Female
    Dundee
    #18 Izzy, Aug 13, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
    The Alzheimer Society has a National Helpline. You might find it useful to chat to someone there -

    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents.php?categoryID=200365

    0300 222 1122

    If your wife is in Donepezil then she must have a diagnosis of Alzheimer's. As far as I know she would not be prescribed this drug without a diagnosis.
     
  19. JayGun

    JayGun Registered User

    Jun 24, 2013
    291
    Ooh, that's interesting Spamar, thank you. I guess there must have been other diagnostic criteria at play there then? My MIL (84 now with Alzheimer's) scored around 22 in the first few tests but they said that was just Mild Cognitive Impairment and they weren't going to give her any medication.

    The most frequent three words in MIL's vocabulary are "I can't remember" - but God help anybody who alludes to her having any memory problems at all in her hearing. :D
     
  20. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,903
    Female
    Dundee
    When my husband was first diagnosed he consistently scored in the high 20s for the first few years. He was prescribed Donepezil from the beginning though. Over the 14 years since his diagnosis the score gradually began to drop. He is now on no mediation as he would score nil on the MMSE now.
     

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