1. PennyBrite

    PennyBrite Registered User

    Jul 27, 2015
    After falling and breaking her wrist, my mum has been in hospital a week today. Her dementia has never had a full diagnosis because my dad wouldn't put her through the 'humiliation' and mum was always canny enough to make her GP believe all was well. However, without going into all the details, mum's mental deterioration has been quite dramatic this past week and today she is due to see the hospital geriatric Dr. She is desperate to come home, my 83 yr old dad wants her back and is in total denial about what this will involve for both of them.
    My question is, what is likely to happen for my mum in the next few days? The problem is we never see the same person twice. The nurses are lovely but can't really tell us very much beyond what she's eaten, pain relief etc. Do I demand (politely) to speak to a consultant? I understand she's got to see an Occupational Therapist, but this has yet to happen. Everything seems to take place piecemeal and at a snail's pace. Nothing is joined up.
    Any advice about breaking through the wall of bureaucracy and getting someone to talk to us about the next stage?
  2. Rodelinda

    Rodelinda Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
    Hi - just some ideas from my recent experience

    It's tough, isn't it. First, the deterioration is I think very common when someone is taken out of their familiar surroundings so don't over worry about that (it took my mother about 10 days to get back to 'normal' after her recent spell in hospital). She probably will see several doctors and other specialists but my experience has always been that this is joined up and there's probably a daily meeting in the ward for the whole team (including OTs, Physios, medics, nurses, discharge co-ordinator etc) that looks at each patient.

    It's worth finding out whether there is some sort of dementia support team based at the hospital - they got involved with my mother in hospital and a lot of support from the holistic team was put in place (she is also undiagnosed). I found talking to the ward discharge co-ordinator helpful and also simply quietly asked to see the consultant and had a really useful discussion; when we were getting close to discharge I asked again to talk to the medics about her condition.

    We may be lucky and others may have very different experiences but I hope things work out as they did for us. Take care - and you will probably get more expert replies from others with much more experience than I have.
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Now that your mums symptoms have been noted I expect that the Geriatrician will want to make a diagnosis. Assuming that it is, indeed, dementia your mum will probably have an assessment from social services to work out what support is required when she goes home. This will probably be things like whether she needs help washing/dressing. getting up or going to bed, or help with tablets; or it might be a few hours day-care. Even if it is decided that your mum doesnt need any help at the moment she will be on their books for when there are needs.
  4. OlKlein

    OlKlein Registered User

    Mar 10, 2015
    That's a good point. Then they will know she was there before. My grandma always pretended that she could do everything on her own when someone came over to assess her condition.. even though my mom was already doing most things for her. That was a bit frustrating as we really needed more help but wouldn't get the different stages right away.. and there is a lot of paper work involved.
  5. PennyBrite

    PennyBrite Registered User

    Jul 27, 2015
    Thank you everyone. It seems it was all action stations today and when I arrived mum was being seen by the psychiatrist then the Occupational Therapist. Their diagnosis is Frontal Lobe Dementia which all makes perfect sense. I've googled it and the symptoms fit my mum so much. Her intellect and reasoning has until fairly recently been unaffected which is why she's been able to convince all who speak to her (even medical professionals) that there's nothing amiss.
    My mum was becoming very agitated and distressed by the end of so much questioning. The ot is coming back tomorrow morning. I feel we've made progress.
  6. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    Congratulations on getting a diagnosis! I've been waiting for 2 years to get a diagnosis for my dad. Everything moves at a snail's pace and only moves at all because I am constantly emailing the Community Carer. From my experience it takes an average of two months for one person in the chain to pass on the relevant information to the next person in the chain.

    I honestly think my father will be dead before he gets a diagnosis. It's all about elderly dementia patients being the lowest priority of all patients in the medical system.

  7. PennyBrite

    PennyBrite Registered User

    Jul 27, 2015
    To be honest this diagnosis has only arisen because of the broken wrist which meant a stay in hospital. We've been determined to 'capitalise' on this enforced incarceration and made more progress in one week than the previous 4 years.
    Long Suffering I understand your frustration. How severe is your father's dementia? Has he had a memory test? Is he co-operative (my mum isn't) or resistant to visiting the GP?

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