My feed

to access all these features

Elderly parents

My dad asked me how to go about getting a Dementia Diagnosis

3 replies

QuintessentialOldDear · 06/06/2013 09:43


Short back-story:
My parents live in the far north of Norway.
Mum has Levy Body Dementia and been living in a care home for over two years.
Dad had a stroke 10 years ago and has been paralyzed and in a wheelchair for 10 years. He is 86. Mum was his carer. Since she got ill and moved out, he has had to learn to live on his own with his disability. It has been going well. He has wrap around care, nurses coming around 3 times per day. My elderly aunt (80) does his shopping, and I handle his banking from London, and take care of his admin.
He has a couple of friends that look in on him and help him with other stuff in his rambling old 3 storey house, with a massive garden and an orchard.

Now he wants to see his GP and get himself checked over for Dementia. He says he is shocked at his memory, and worry about his own thought processes. He says he is beginning to feel that his grasp of what is happening around him is changing.

I should say, he has always been a man of great intellect and intelligence. I guess it is a good sign that he wants the diagnosis. But what now?

What if he too gets a dementia diagnosis? What will happen in terms of him living on his own? He says he will die in his house, he wont ever move.

OP posts:
Needmoresleep · 06/06/2013 10:22

Having a formal diagnosis can be distressing for all. However Aricept or similar can make a big difference. For some it can delay further memory loss apparently for around three years. Therefore the earlier in the illness you get a diagnosis, the better.

In the UK, or at least the one my mum faced, there is a memory test lasting about 90 minutes and a brain scan. Combined this allowsthe doctor to know where any damage is and to have a sence of whats causing it. I think Aricept only works on Alzheimers. Not dementia caused by mini strokes or other damage and not on Lewi Body. But I am no expert.

Good lick.

WynkenBlynkenandNod · 07/06/2013 09:54

Oh Quint I am sorry Sad. First thing he needs to do is have bloods and check there's no urine infection as these and some vitamin deficiencies can create havoc with the memory.

My Mum had exactly the same as Needsmoresleep for diagnosis after they had checked bloods for no underlying problem and taken her off statins to check it wasn't a side effect of them. She has mixed dementia which includes Alzheimers so is able to take medication - though didn't tolerate Aricept and is on another, dose to be increased today. In her case it definitely helps her memory, the idea is though to keep it stable for as long as poss. In some countries I believe they do give Aricept for Vascular Dementia but not in the UK unless it is just part of the dx as with Mum.

Mum is still living on her own. For now we're taking it one step at a time but I am looking at all our options. She wants to stay at home but knows she will need to go at some point now she has had time to think it through. For now if I were you try as much as you can to take one step at a time and see exactly what you're dealing with.

CMOTDibbler · 07/06/2013 11:42

Quint, I think the main thing is to take it one step at a time. Your dad is at really high risk of having urine infections which can really affect cognition, so thats a first step to rule out - but he needs to be assessed to see what (if anything, because it could be nothing pathological) is going on. Then take things from there.

I know your mum deteriorated very quickly, but even if your dad has a form of dementia this isn't the case in all types or for all people. But there will always be support here for you.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.