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GP apparently ignoring dementia symptoms

(13 Posts)
CecilyNeville Thu 28-Sep-17 11:39:27

I'm trying to understand the thoughts of my mother's GP, regarding what looks like dementia.

GP made a home visit to my mother a few weeks ago, after she reported my sister missing to police. GP told me afterwards that there was memory loss - couldn't name the PM etc. Booked her in for general tests with the nurse.

My mother had previously visited the practice asking if there was a psychologist or someone she could see, as she feared something wasn't right in her head. She was brushed off by the receptionist, that "we don't have things like that here any more".

So, I made an appointment for my mother at the GP yesterday, and she remembered to go. She chose to take a book about Alzheimer's with her, which the GP apparently showed an interest in. The result of the appointment is that my mother has a prescription for statins, and that's it.

I was hoping for some kind of progress, given that the GP knows that my mother:

* has gone thousands into overdraft, but doesn't understand that banks don't keep giving you money - she thinks it appalling that Barclays isn't going to continue to support her.

* isn't sure what a mortgage is, or whether she has one (she took out equity release products years ago, but doesn't understand what this is. I would like to establish whether my mother has any ownership of her flat, of whether she's released the whole thing).

* believes my sister lives with her. She is utterly convinced, and will not be accept that she doesn't. Also believes that sister has been taking papers, jewellery, and clothes from her flat.

* can't remember things told to her seconds earlier (like, "hang up the phone now, then pick it straight up and call that number you just wrote down")

* says and does things to people (some pretty upsetting), and angrily denies they happened straight afterwards.

Is there nothing that can be done? No one lives near her - there is no one to accompany her to an appointment.

starpatch Sun 01-Oct-17 18:01:29

Hi there, you can write a letter to your mum's go explaining all this so that next time she goes go is aware. Or you could ring and ask for go to call you back.

Good luck with it

PostNotInHaste Sun 01-Oct-17 18:07:42

In our trust there is a protocol that should be followed, starting with bloods to rule out anything underlying. After those it should be referral to the Memory Clinic.

Agree with Starpatch about writing a letter to her GP. It would also be an idea if your Mum will consent to it to get her to say to the GP that she is happy for them to speak to you if she is. Keeping a diary can be really useful hen you have something to fall back on with dates etc. Also if she hasn't already done it, a gentle conversation about POA.

Sorry you and your Mum are going through this flowers

LidlAngel Sun 01-Oct-17 18:17:52

I wrote to my mums GP outlining my concerns, it was more impactful having them all written down coherently rather than just talking about it. From the points you have mentioned I too would be concerned so I urge you to write. All the best, it's such a horrible stressful time.

Alonglongway Mon 02-Oct-17 01:51:13

It’s so tricky. My mum is maybe 12 years into Alzheimer’s but doesn’t have a formal diagnosis. Entirely her choice and my dad started reading books about dementia years ago so I’m guessing the GP said something. But she chose not to pursue it and to avoid the whole thing.

Pithivier Mon 02-Oct-17 09:12:22

In these circumstances, I would contact the Local Authority, Elderly Persons Unit. You should explain your mums issues and the fact that she requested help from the GP which was refused.

A good phrase to use is this, "my mum is a vulnerable adult and I need to ensure she is safe. Is it possible for you to ring her to arrange a visit to assess her needs"

Also start making a record of phone calls you make on her behalf. Time date, person you spoke to and the outcome. I find that it often takes more than one call, and being able to quote back previous conversations is helpful. Particularly if promises are not kept or timescales not adhered to.

Samesituation Wed 11-Oct-17 20:10:18

Hi all, I've read this thread as I have concerns about my own mum. Over the last 6 months or so she has been saying some really random and weird things- like there was a street party going on til 5am. She can be quite rude and aggressive to people - and this is the opposite of how she normally behaves. She appears to be losing the functionality of managing her money- and keeps blaming her bank. She also lives alone. Anyway us children have approached her with our concerns, she does not think there is anything wrong and would not visit GP. So we were stumped as to how to deal with this. I like the idea mentioned on here if writing to her GP - can I ask what you guys did ? Did you send it just to the practice? To a named Dr? Was it annonymous - and what / how do they act on it ? My mum has to visit GP next week for unrelated issue was just wondering if I could make any headway then.

annandale Wed 11-Oct-17 20:15:31

Just write to the surgery samesituation -as long as you include your mother's date of birth and address they will get it to the right doctor. I would actually email the surgery so that you have a dated record of what you sent, and then ring the surgery the day before the appointment to make sure they have put the email into your mother's records.

Petalflowers Wed 11-Oct-17 20:22:00

The doctor can only act on what s/he sees. Possibly, in the appointment, your dm was clear, coherent and had a normal conversation. There may not have been any sign of dementia during the brief time the gp saw her.

I think you need to make a new appointment and go with her. Tell the gp everything you have told us. If dm don't mention these things, how is the go meant to know.

Samesituation Wed 11-Oct-17 20:34:30

Annandale - thank you for your reply. I will do that.

Pithivier Thu 12-Oct-17 07:54:46

People seem to draw on inner reserves when faced with GPS and dementia specialist. My step-dad passed the assessments but would ask when we could visit my mum in the home. She had died some-time before. He was also asking me to draw out £300 a week as he needed it. I think that contacting the G.P. with actual examples really helps.

UserThenLotsOfNumbers Thu 12-Oct-17 07:57:53

Definitely visit the GP with her. We had a similar situation with MIL. On a good day she may have seemed ok to the GP. Has she been checked out for UTIs as they can give dementia type symptoms?

brightlightsofblah Thu 12-Oct-17 08:19:14

Just wondering how you know the GP hasn't done anything? Did you go with your mum? Maybe she has forgotten what the GP said.
You would be amazed how many elderly (any age tbh) patients only give partial
Info to their loved ones. Not always a bad thing of course!
Maybe you don't have the whole story? We very often get phone calls from very worried family members complaining about their parent being ignored, or not listened to or forgotten about. We can't obviously tell
them any different due to patient confidentiality but it's seldom correct.
I also think you should write or email or even take her back yourself. Good luck flowers

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