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Memory Clinic - Carers UK Forum

Memory Clinic

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Dad had first apt at memory clinic today. He show enough symptoms to be referred to the next level of assessment but basicaly he was quite coherant and talking sense, having a good day just as I expected. This evening we have spent 15 to 20 minutes changing from channel a to channel b over and over again, going via channels c-z in between! "The buttons don't do what I want, why isn't it working?" -doolally at its height!

Does anyone know what kind of questions they ask at the second level of assessment with nurse at the second appointment? Dad seems quite goodish at general memory questions but give him a buttton to press and I get a huge range of responses.
From what I remember Henrietta they ask more or less the same questions !

Mum's GP did the 1st assessment just based on the MMSE questions and then referred her to the Geriatric Psychiatrist; he did a home visit for his 1st assessment of Mum and was much more thorough, engaging her in general conversation. I was present throughout but wasn't allowed to participate in the conversation - he then sent Mum to make a cup of tea and quizzed me on her answers so I was able to give him the full picture without her in the room.

Subsequent appointments at the Memory Clinic (every 6 months) ran along similar lines - except for the tea making ! He would also check her general overall health and, if necessary, tweak her medication.

The MMSE questions can only give a general overview but are useful for determining how the dementia is progressing. Because dementia sufferers tend to forget recent events they don't remember doing the test before or what answers they gave previously.
Thanks Susie
Dad did not forget that much, but the issues are more cognative. Like you I was present and left him to answer but she checked with me as we went along.
I've been googling this on the NHS site and seems the diagnosis can be Dementia, Mild Cognative Impairment or All is fine. I think he may prove to be in the middle category.
My mother's memory isn't that bad for some things, although she will ask the same question twenty times a day sometimes. She has, they think, mild cognitive impairment, but has also lost the ability to plan and organise and make decisions. This comes out in being unable to do things like wash up without guidance, or choose what to wear out of a wardrobe full of clothes or cook a meal without supervision. She has given up using the TV gun most of the time, but occasionally surprises me by changing channels.
Hi Fi
Yes I've noticed nearly all those things aswell except the repetition which Dad hasn't started yet. He also watches easy to follow things on TV or stuff from the 70s or 80s. Absoloutely no decisions, or finance or reasoning.
Why don't they ask them things like 'How do you make toast' or something like that? Better still, get them to try and make toast etc!

It's the practical 'helplessness' that 'defines' dementia in terms of how much care a dementia sufferer needs.

Or show them one of their own bank accounts and ask them questions about it - like how much council tax they pay, or where their bank is ,or stuff like that.

My friend's dad can answer questions about history and politics to his heart's content - but he has no idea if he's had lunch, and keeps trying to control the central heating via the burglar alarm!!!

A nurse visiting a dementia sufferer could spot in five minutes whether they can cope with living on their own any more, or need someone to look after them...
Yes I agree, although when there are other things in the equation like deafness cataracts and poor mobility there could be a combination of things meaning they can't practically do something.
I've been told the next level of tests is another long set of questions and practical tests (which I assume meant drawing things like clocks and visual spatial things) to determine which parts of brain are affected.
When Dad tries to hear me and the TV is on he waves his remote and tries to zap me instead of the tv. I keep telling him he can't shut me up that way LOL. He presses so many random buttons on the remote all the white numbers and symbold have worn off it now so I've had to order a new one!
Oh dear, that's worrying - I quite often find myself pointing my car keys at my front door as if the car key automatic opening gizmo will do the same for my house! :)
I am glad that I am not alone in that, jenny!
Drawing clocks is the easy bit; mum was asked to copy an interwoven figure of eight - she made a far better job of it than I could have done.