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NHS new service / are pills to slow dementia down a good idea?


Registered User
Jan 6, 2015
Hemel Hempstead
I got a letter from my dads surgery , they are introducing a new service for people at risk of unplanned hospital admission (Herts area). A more tailored support from GP.

So I signed my 93 year old dad up. it means he gets same doctor every time and i have phone access to that doctor who will reply same day. Also a nurse who will review his condition every 3 months. He has now had a whole group of blood tests and am now waiting for a 1 hour home assesment for his dementia, so that they can give him the correct treatment.

This is all very positive for me, i feel a lot less on my own looking after him. He may now get pills to slow the dementia down.

But Im not sure that pills are such a great idea as he is already quite bad. Pills To keep him as he is? is a bit of a night mare as he keeps cutting the garden down and rearranging the rooms and grazes in the food cupboards. every time i come home i dread to think what hes done next. (he ate a raw fish last week)
ware as if he got worse he may not do these things and sleep more, he might be better to cope with.

Anyone here had their patciant take these delaying pills and do they think it was better with or without them?


Registered User
May 21, 2014
If you are talking about Aricept/Donepezil, we got that via the Memory Clinic, and while it's always difficult to figure out how much they actually help, they do him no harm and he reported feeling more positive since taking them. Don't rule things out before you have tried them - if the doc thinks he might benefit, give them a go.


Registered User
Nov 13, 2014
I'm of the same view as you, the pills only mask the symptoms, they don't help the cause and I don't see the point in letting Mum suffer any longer than she has to, x


Registered User
Jun 19, 2014
My partner has been taking Donepezil for about 18months and although his memory is slowly declining I don't think the meds have 'hurt' him in any way. I do feel that tackling any under lying depression is of real importance, depression is sometimes put down to dementia when it may be treatable separately.


Registered User
Nov 4, 2015
My mother has been taking Donepezil since her diagnosis in January. She does appear to be benefitting from the drug, although the main benefit might be placebo effect, since she thinks the pills 'will stop me getting Alzheimer's until I'm 186' (she gives me this 'news' on an almost daily basis).

Rich PCA Carer

Registered User
Aug 31, 2015
North Gloucestershire, UK
I see the objective of taking drugs like Donepezil as being to improve standard of life rather than lengthen it. I really do hope that it will enable my wife to be more independent for longer, retain her sense of self for longer and keep out of a care home for longer. However, since it doesn't actually slow down the disease process I don't think it will keep her alive for longer.

It is equally important to keep mentally and physically active, avoid stress, get good sleep and have good nutrition. Enjoying life is good for everyone's health.

If you can take these drugs without undue side effects and you believe they will have a positive effect even if only in the short term, then I think it makes sense to take them.

Sent from my iPad using Talking Point


Registered User
Jun 2, 2015
My husband has been taking Donepezil for the past 2 years. As others have said I don't feel they have done any harm and he does seem to me to feel positive about his Alzheimers as he seems happy to talk about it. Although he does seem to believe it is just his memory which will be the biggest worry in the future. Physically he is very well and still very active and is very placid with no mood swings. At the moment I feel fortunate in my caring for him. He was diagnosed 3 years ago but we do take each day as it comes. I wish you well


Registered User
Feb 6, 2012
Father on them for five years

My view is that if ultimately they give two months of retaining continence then they would be worth it. I am not sure. He is clearly gradually declining. There was a point when he knew he had alzheimers and could say he reckoned he had 2 hours of memory. Now the memory is only there for about a minute unless its something truly significant connected to money. E.g. horror at paying for dental treatment.