Was getting help a BIG mistake?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Bassetlaw Badge, May 7, 2015.

  1. Bassetlaw Badge

    Bassetlaw Badge Registered User

    Oct 30, 2012
    52
    Well, after several years of badgering dad's doctor we finally had our first Memory Clinic yesterday.

    And while the bloke we saw was genuinely nice, everything seemed to gravitate not towards helping dad but ensuring that everyone else is protected from him. Before he's even been properly assessed or diagnosed he's already talking about his driving and the fact he looks after my son for three hours each week whilst I go out to work. I understand they need to be addressed but do they really think that I would leave my four year old with him if he wasn't safe or competent? There was no mention of what we could do to improve and prolong dad's current (pretty good) standard of life.

    All I've ever been told is that early diagnosis is the key. To what? Getting other people out of the way? I'm not sure how optimistic I am about the future.

    I hope I haven't failed him. Last night I took the Bristol ADL they gave me and scored 11.
     
  2. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,498
    Female
    Near Southampton
    Mu husband was scoring 28 out of the 30 when our GP informed the DVLA and he was asked to return his driving licence, which he did albeit reluctanctly. However, the test is only a guide and my husband really wasn't safe to be driving then. He was also unsafe to do many other things.
    The consultant psychiartst who diagnosed my husband said that a higher level of education and intellect can warp the results.
    11 sounds pretty low but I'm not sure if this is the same test.
    Once your husband has a diagnosis then he may be offered donapezil (Aricept) if Alzheimer's is judged to be the cause though this is often diagnosed by ruling out other causes, of which there are quite a few.
    There are other advantages to having a diagnosis, some financial such as Attendance Allowance and reduced Council Tax, but the more important factor is being able to plan for the future.

    I think you have done the right thing.
     
  3. Bassetlaw Badge

    Bassetlaw Badge Registered User

    Oct 30, 2012
    52
    You are very right with the level of education and intelligence - I thought that at the time.

    Dad left school at 15 - by his own words 'factory fodder'. He's quite bright and intelligent, but lacks maths and English skills. I felt he did pretty well when they did these tests on him yesterday, but it did cross my mind that he would have done the same in them (maybe even worse) had they done them 40 years ago.

    The people who do this for a living must surely be able to see this and take it into consideration?
     
  4. chick1962

    chick1962 Registered User

    Apr 3, 2014
    11,282
    Female
    near Folkestone
    My husband scored also 28 but it's only a guide really , no diagnosis is made just on scores alone . Early medication for dementia helps to slow the disease down . As for driving, my husband informed the DVLA about his dementia diagnosis and he was invited to take their driving assessment which he passed with zero faults so he got his licence back albeit a yearly one . He gets assessed every year now and even though we are coming up to 5 years into this journey he still passes .


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  5. chick1962

    chick1962 Registered User

    Apr 3, 2014
    11,282
    Female
    near Folkestone
    Ps I do believe that his early medication helped to slow the decline down


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  6. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,547
    Female
    England
    The test is an indication that there is a problem. Further medical test will determine the diagnosis. My husband's first test saw a score of 23 out of 30 which suggested he had a problem. Blood tests, MRI scan indicated Demntia.

    He progressed as expected but his scoring got better, 28/29 was not unusual. Had he scored 28/29 on is first visit he probably would not have had further tests and would have remained undiagnosed. Without the diagnosis there is no help so I think you have done the right thing. Once you have the diagnosis then you can start the ball rolling to get the help and support to give your Dad a best care going forward. It is from assessments that suggestions and help come.

    My husband was tested annually and continued to drive for 4 years. He also managed to work too.

    I am looking after my 6 year old great grandson today because his school is closed for the election. He is a live wire and I am very aware of the responsibility I have. Would I have left him in the care of my husband? No, although most of the time he was more than capable there were times in every day when logic and understanding disappeared for a while and his own safety was in doubt. I don't think the person was doubting your ability not to see the dangers, probably more to say your Dad might find it difficult to care on a not so good day.

    it is not easy, but you have made a start and hopefully as you access support you will find some comfort and ease.

    Take care
     
  7. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,498
    Female
    Near Southampton
    Only if the medication fits the cause, such as Aricept for Alzheimer's.
     
  8. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,498
    Female
    Near Southampton
    #8 Saffie, May 7, 2015
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
    My husband was diagnosed on his history of long term diabetes and linked Peripheral Artery disease alone. He had a blood test to rule out lack of B13 but that was it.
     
  9. Blackfield

    Blackfield Registered User

    Mar 8, 2015
    21
    I think you have done the right thing. Sounds exactly the same story as my dad, all the hospital seemed interested in was his driving, so mum made the decision not to take him again due to the hassle it was going to cause. He was given an MRI at that time, but it was never followed up. 3 years later when his condition was a lot worse we actually found out that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. If dad had been given medication at that time it may have delayed his decline for a few years. That is something we will never know.

    It's easy to try to bury your head in the sand but it will catch up with you in the end.
     

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