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Carers UK Forum • Do I get my mum diagnosed?
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Do I get my mum diagnosed?

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:36 pm
by Karen_180812345
Hi,

I’m looking for some advice. For a while now my mum has been deteriorating mentally. Her memory hasn’t been good for a while and now she is forgetting things like how to switch on her tv and when to change batteries in her hearing aids. Today she couldn’t remember whether she had had her lunch and that was when I went in at midday! My problem is, I’m holding back from taking her to the doctor, because it seems a waste of time when they can’t cure dementia and I don’t want to upset her. At the back of my mind though, I feel that I could do with her doctor knowing just for the back up.

What do you all think?

Thanks in anticipation.

Re: Do I get my mum diagnosed?

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:56 pm
by Pet66
Hi Karen
Definitely, in my opinion you must get the ball rolling. Its a very hard thing to cope with, but better knowing than wondering. My late hubby was diagnosed and in a strange way it was a relief to my daughter's and myself. We had more patience with him too. Still scary and heartbreaking but we knew for definite. Also your mum will be entitled to other things like not paying council tax etc.
Your mum doesn't have to be told, and possibly she will forget what was said anyway. Write to her GP with your concerns as a starting point
I really feel for you

Re: Do I get my mum diagnosed?

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 4:32 pm
by Karen_180812345
Thanks very much Pet66, I had been wondering about writing to her GP, so I think I might take your advice. I know I need to do something, it’s just taking that first step.

Re: Do I get my mum diagnosed?

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 5:31 pm
by susieq
Plus, depending on what type of dementia she is diagnosed with, there are drugs that can help to slow down the progression of this dreadful illness.

My Mum had Alzheimer's and Aricept did help for quite a while.

Re: Do I get my mum diagnosed?

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:12 pm
by Karen_180812345
Thank you susieq, that is something I hadn’t considered. I will definitely put the wheels in motion. It’s got to be done.

Re: Do I get my mum diagnosed?

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:16 pm
by bowlingbun
Definitely ask for a referral to a memory clinic. Many people seem to have a brain scan, which can demonstrate how much of the brain has shrunk (that might not be the proper word). It can also help determine what type of dementia it is. Doctors are often reluctant to give a diagnosis, but they don't realise that it will mean the person concerned becomes exempt from Council Tax, and is possibly eligible for Attendance Allowance, and additional pension credits. This money can then be used to get extra help in the home.

Re: Do I get my mum diagnosed?

Posted: Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:31 pm
by Karen_180812345
Thank you bowlingbun. That is very interesting. You are all so helpful.

Re: Do I get my mum diagnosed?

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:25 am
by Albert_1604
I don't know how old your mother is but here's my different
take on what I did.

My wife had a dread of getting dementia, so when she got it herself I
was between a rock and that other place!
She had already been to hospitals many times with ulcers and ARMD visits
for eye injections and check ups. Also a broken hip. She was 90 ish at this time so her long term
outlook was not too long.

If a cure for dementia had appeared I would, of course, taken her to see a doctor.

But to make her last years as stress free as possible I
decided not to present her to the doctors, where she would have been terrified
having brain scans etc. with no cure at the end of it.

As it was her last years were happy until she passed away peacefully,
oblivious as to what she had.

Re: Do I get my mum diagnosed?

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:58 am
by Karen_180812345
Hi Albert,

Thank you very much for your advice. I think this is why I am hesitating so much about obtaining a diagnosis. My mum is 92 and I think is it really worth all the upset for her.

It really will take some thinking about.

Re: Do I get my mum diagnosed?

Posted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 12:11 pm
by bowlingbun
Maybe mum's financial situation is the most important element of all this to consider?

Try making a list (on the computer is easiest then you can shuffle things into order of priority more easily) of all the issues that worry you and or mum the most.

For example, money may or may not be of concern.

If she has well over the £23,000 limit and her own house, it might be better for her to stay there with more care, even live in or overnight carers.
If she cannot afford much, then a diagnosis would enable her to have much more money.

There is no "right" or "wrong" the list is for your eyes only, but sometimes it really helps to clarify the real issues.
Some things are more easily sorted than others. It's relatively easy to get a shower fitted instead of a bath, but not so easy if someone with dementia starts wandering outside in the middle of the night!