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The memory might be gone but he's not daft!

Mike'sDaughter

Registered User
Dec 30, 2012
15
0
Today was Dad's 6 monthly visit to the hospital. The only reason I bother to keep taking him is it's the only way to get his Aricept otherwise it's just a waste of an afternoon's annual leave. The doctor has a very strong accent and Dad is a bit hard of hearing which just adds to the comedy value of the whole visit.

All the way to the hospital Dad always keeps asking me to tell him the day and date as he knows they always ask this - no chance he'll remember by the time we get to the hospital.

Today we went through the usual memory tests. The only bits Dad gets wrong are where he has to repeat words back to the doctor and the day and date (zero short term memory). So his score is always 23 - not bad since he was diagnosed 7 years ago.

Today, however when he was asked the date, Dad was holding his appointment card and just read off the day and date. The doctor said told him he thought he was improving and to come back in 6 months - I was speechless but had to smile at Dad's naughtiness
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,958
0
67
Toronto, Canada
I agree with your title completely. The intelligence is still there, it's the connections that are messed up.

My mother read the doctor's calendar desk pad upside down and got the month right. He was aware of it and gave her a point for it.

But I think you should have told the doctor what your father did, afterwards and in private because he thinks your father is improving when your father is not.
 

sarahp

Registered User
Feb 23, 2013
110
0
Yes my mum did that in the doctors after trying to secretly get the answers off me! They asked her what time it was and that was the only question she got right but she read it off the big clock in front of her! X
 

Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,597
0
South West
Hi I have been saying this on talking point for years about the memory test we have take if we want to stay on the medication donepezil hydrochloride referred to as Aricept, since it is the brand most people will be familiar with, unfortunately other brands have now become available in the UK since the patent expired in February 2012. and as you rightly say Mike’sDaughter because we have a diagnoses of dementia were not daft our brain works fine ok maybe not in every case
 

Anongirl

Registered User
Aug 8, 2012
2,668
0
Brilliant! :D

A few weeks ago I told mum I would treat her to a haircut. Her short term memory is getting worse and details get muddled when you tell her things. The week after I took her to the hairdressers. I had to nip out so said I would be back to pick her up. She immediately shot back with "don't be long, remember you're paying!" I had to laugh, even the hairdresser stifled a giggle! Certainly not daft! :D
 

Janey_B_

Registered User
Jul 29, 2013
13
0
Ha ha, this reminds me of something my Dad did a few weeks ago. Mum takes Dad to the Dementia Cafe every other week, he always enjoys it once he's there, but beforehand he'll try anything to get out of it. Mum had popped out in the morning before they were going ( he's fine to be left for short amounts of time), when she got home, he told her that the lady who runs the cafe had phoned to say it was cancelled, of course when Mum dialled 1471 no one had phoned all day. Now he tries the same thing every time! It makes me giggle how cheeky he has become :)
 

creativesarah

Registered User
Apr 22, 2010
9,635
0
East Hunsbury Northamptonshire
at an Atos assesment (don't ask, just don't ask) the doc showed me a bottle of coloured water and said to remember it

when he asked me what it was I had to remember i couldnt but I followed his eyes and they landed on the bottle!;)

I did point this fact out to him;)
 

zeeeb

Registered User
I think that's why he keeps getting 23 instead of 16, he's finding ways to compensate for his shortfalls. Once they can no longer find ways to prepare for these tests, it's clear that they've passed the point of being able to prepare, compensate and find a way to just get by.

At least he's capable of still giving it a good shot.
 

Butter

Registered User
Jan 19, 2012
6,737
0
NeverNeverLand
Yes. Exactly. We may have dementia - but we are not stupid. So important people realise this.

Also - to be honest - it does not sound as if the doctor is improving. That is a basic mistake. Reminds me of my husband's consultant taking us through that test - getting to 'which floor are we on?' when it was clearly one of those floors which could be ground/could be first depending on how you interpreted the semi-basement.

And - by the way - my husband is highly skilled at those sorts of memory tests, always does better than me - yet he is the one with brain damage, small vessel disease and possible AD.
 

pippop1

Registered User
Apr 8, 2013
501
0
At my MIL's memory tests the nurse always gives copious hints so that she can guess the right answer. Hence her score as improved and then dropped over the years, depending on how helpful the nurse has been with the suggestions for answers. e.g. when asked which season we are in,they say look outside, does it seem like summer or winter so she can guess right!

When asked to write a sentance she always writes, "These tests are stupid" which makes me laugh. It's a very poor picture of her mental state. I wish they would listen to the experiences we have had with her instead (e.g. called the fire engine in the middle of the night as her toilet was leaking).
 

Butter

Registered User
Jan 19, 2012
6,737
0
NeverNeverLand
The best example we ever had was as follows:

Consultant (aged 40 something) to me: How are things?
Me: My husband does not like me talking to you. It makes him angry.
Consultant to husband: I cannot help you if you do not let me talk to your wife.
Husband (aged 80 something) gestures that I may speak.
Me: I don't think you (husband) know your driving licence expires in four hours.
Consultant to husband: Did you know that?
Husband to consultant: DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOUR DRIVING LICENCE EXPIRES?
 

Hair Twiddler

Registered User
Aug 14, 2012
891
0
Middle England
It is interesting to read pippop1's experience with the nurse at the memory clinic. I have "sat in" on 2 of my mum's memory tests, one with the consultant one with a nurse, neither gave any hints or clues. For the latest test I was interviewed by one nurse whilst another went through the MMSE with mum - there was lots of laughing and loud chatter going on in their room (walls are thin but not so thin).
Would you believe mum's score had increased! Doc was surprised - being cynical - I wasn't. Bonkers way to conduct any sort of test if you ask me.