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Probably a strange question but...


Registered User
Jan 11, 2015
Hi everyone. My OH has memory problems, confusion an inability to do even the simplest thing ie put a screw in the wall (when he used to do all home repairs including plumbing etc) and a somewhat relaxed attitude, to say the least, to personal hygiene. What he can do is take our little dog out 3 times a day for his walk so all is not yet lost. :) He has been like this for going on 5 years now and apart from the fact I do not feel that I could leave him at home alone for more than a couple of hours or so it does not impact life too much. My question strange at it may seem is should I try and get him to go to the doctor to be diagnosed ( that would be an almighty battle as he does not like going, In fact has been maybe half a dozen times in the 49 years we have been married)
From my reading it seems that there is nothing which will cure whatever is wrong & any drug side effects may be more problematical than leaving things as they are for the moment at least. SO was just wondering is there any benefit at all to stirring up something of a hornets nest, at least until things get so bad that I have no option?


Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
My own feeling is that the sooner a diagnosis is made the better.

It may not be dementia but if it is there are drugs which might help certain conditions. My husband was diagnosed 14 years ago (with Alzheimer's) and I feel that the medication he was given helped us have a few more good years before real deterioration. Nothing will cure Alzheimer's but Donepezil or Rivastigmine might slow it down. On the other hand my mum has vascular dementia and there is no medication for that. She was prescribed an aspirin a day.

I know that many people do suffer side effects but my husband was lucky enough not to. I'm not saying it was all plain sailing but I do believe the he got benefit from them and I'm glad we went for an early diagnosis.

You might find this fact sheet useful -


Good luck and wishing you and your husband strength.


Registered User
Oct 18, 2010
North East England
Hello, I'm with Izzy on this. It will make things slightly easier with a diagnosis because LA's in particular, tend to be able to react to a diagnosed illness a bit more readily. It means you can claim attendance allowance (when relevant), a blue badge becomes more accessible and help and information from more sources. A discount for Council Tax also becomes applicable, a Needs Assessment and Carers Allowance ( subject to qualification)...there is a lot to be gained from diagnosis.:)
If medication is offered ( usually subject to Type of Dementia) it is not obligatory...My Mum didn't start on Aricept nuntil she was in a CH so that she could be supervised 24/7 and of course not every patient gets side effects.

Make a diary of OHs problems and go and see his Doctor first. Also it may be a good idea to do mirrored Lasting Power of Attorney forms and get them registered with the OPG. I say mirrored because it might be easier to get him to sign if he knows you are doing it too. You could check that your wills are up to date too.

And lastly, remember this is a long drawn out illness as a rule but it can come at a huge cost to a carer...draw up contigency plans for when you can't cope due to illness, stress or if you just cannot take anymore.
Good Luck


Registered User
Nov 27, 2014
Hi lilperson, I agree with Izzy, it's very imortant for your husband to be checked out because it could be something else causing the problems. Appreciate the difficulties in getting him to see a doctor, hope you can be igenious.


Registered User
Mar 11, 2014

Agree with all that Craigmaid and Izzy have said. My husband also refused to go to the GP, but after a year of increasing cognitive decline, he developed another medical problem which required a GP visit. I went with him and before we left I told the GP that my OH was having cognitive problems. My OH was very angry, but once I explained what I was seeing to the GP he took over and reassured my OH and arranged tests and finally a visit to the memory clinic: and there the journey began.

You could go to see the GP yourself first and if they are in agreement perhaps they would allow you to tell your husband that he needs to be seen for a health check.

Good luck. x


Registered User
Jan 14, 2010
East Kent
Hello Lilperson. Welcome to TP.
I agree with the others above.

To cut a long story short .
Mum had mixed Dementia ( two types ) a couple of years after she died I noticed some worrying signs in my Dad. Memory problems, blaming me for things , mood swings etc etc .
It took me around a year to get my dad to see the GP .
Thankfully it turned out Dad didn't have this horrid disease but was very low in Folic Acid. After a course of treatment I got my dad back.:):)

Their are several things which if out of kilter can mimic dementia and a simple blood test can find these out, they are mainly easily treated too.

It isn't easy to get someone to go to the GP who is unwilling .
I too advise letting his GP know the symptoms you are seeing , due to confidentially they may not discuss your husband with you but they should listen, or you could write to them.
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Registered User
Mar 4, 2012
I am probably going to be a lone voice shouting in the woods here . it's been five years since it became obvious my husband was ill. He was referred to a cpn with a mmse
of 25/30. So borderline. He then refused any further interaction and has refused ever since. His behaviour is not challenging but obviously he has continued to deteriorate. I5s made no difference at all to us for the reasons I have quoted in my post Vacant spells.
As things have turned out so far I have totally supported him. It has done far more good to learn how to keep him calm and contented and to live with his condition. But that is our view


Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
I do agree with Bemused in that learning how to keep my husband contented and adapting to and liiving with the condition has been a big part of our 14 years with dementia. Having said that I wouldn't have taken the chance of not trying the Aricept then Exelon.


Registered User
Oct 28, 2013
Hello lilperson welcome to taking point, pleased you have come here for some advice. It took me 2yrs to get my hubby to go to the memory clinic, two appointments were made, but he refused to go, then l insisted that he went as things got worse he went, the first test he scored 15/30 which was not good, Aricept was prescribed he was so much better for 2yrs.
For your peace of mind go and see your GP you need to get a diagnoises.


Registered User
Jan 11, 2015
Thank you

Thank you to everyone who has replied I will take your advice and try & get him to see the doctor, it is such a help to have other people I can ask for advice. x


Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
Hi. I see many responses and I am just adding my agreement to everyone else's views. You could access Medication for your husband, support and advice for you, financial support like attendance allowance and reduced council tax. As you recognise AD can't be cured but there are things to ease the path. Best wishes x

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