How do I discretely inform my parent's doctors that they are having memory issues?

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I would never want to embarrass them or take away their dignity. Any ideas? Thank you in advance for your help and experience.


The two problems I've had are:

-Docs are almost impossible to get hold of. Too busy for meeting, wont return calls.

-No do they seem to understand the need for confidentiality and protecting the caregiver from parents anger.

I FINALLY got my dads doc to return my call. I expressed my concerns about dads failing memory and was quite clear, DO NOT TELL DAD I SPOKE WITH YOU!

Week later, dad goes in for checkup, doc says, Your Son called. He's worried about your memory.

Was a big mess for a couple days. Dad thought I was trying to declare him insane and get his money. Luckily, he forgot all about it in about 3 days.

Moral of story, be ever so clear with the docs: KEEP THIS PRIVATE!

I've also found that although docs understand alz, dementia etc. they don't have a clue as to how to handle it in person. They will take to me about dad like he is not there or attempt to talk to dad and elicit information about his memory, health etc. Dad will tell anybody that he's just fine, eats right, memory is perfect and so on.

The obvious solution is for the doc to meet privately with the caregiver AFTER examining the elder patient.
Thank you for your answer and experience. I am quite worried about that very thing, and the possibility of retaliation after.
What a pickle. Doctors, unfortunately, are not the best communicators. They also have a duty to their patient. The patient has a right to be informed. And only a full medical evaluation can determine if the patient's symptoms are related to dementia. You cannot ask a doctor to withhold the reason for the evaluation.

And this is helpful information from the Alzheimer's Association: "Medicare now covers care planning services for people recently diagnosed with cognitive impairment, including Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Care planning allows individuals and their caregivers to learn about medical and nonmedical treatments, clinical trials and services available in the community, and
additional information and support that can contribute to a higher quality of life.
Under this new coverage, physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, clinical
nurse specialists and certified nurse midwives can provide detailed care planning that
• Evaluating cognition and function.
• Measuring neuropsychiatric symptoms.
• Medication reconciliation.
• Evaluating safety (including driving ability).
• Identifying caregivers and caregiver needs.
• Identifying and assessing care directives.
• Planning for palliative care needs.
• Referrals to community services for both the beneficiary and his or her
Experts note that care planning for individuals with dementia is an ongoing process
and that a formal update to a care plan should occur at least once per year."

You are in for a long haul. The patient will be upset because it is upsetting to know that your memory is going. Let the doctors do their job and be supportive of your loved one as they go through this process.
2 days before your parents' doctor visit, drop off a short letter at the doctor's office stating what you have observed, marked PRIVATE FOR MD ONLY. Have the receptionist attach it to his chart that they set up the day before. Call on the day of his appt. and have the receptionist confirm it is on the chart. Accompany your parent to the doctor visit and "skirt the issue" while your parent is in the room but the doc can ask pertinent questions. Try to talk to the doc after the visit, saying to your parent, you have to use the bathroom.
Try to video any unusual behavior of your parent that you could show his doc on your IPhone. It's so difficult in the beginning stages to preserve their dignity.
Been there. I called in prior and requested to see dr before my mother was seen. Worked perfectly and when she asked why I was doing I blamed paper work. Best of Luck
Have had to deal with this issue with 3 different family members over the years. Each case was unique, but worked. With one, I simply pulled the nurse aside and have her a heads up. She relayed it to the doctor. Who just happened to decide during her check up to test memory. The next family member, I just discreetly passed a note, to the nurse as we walked back to the exam room. Hubby who was too savvy for me to pull either one of those, I just called the office and spoke with the nurse, the day before. You notice there is one thing all have in common, didn't even attempt to try to speak to the doctor. A nurse can be your best tool.
Agree with all other suggestions. Dr's nurse can be your best connection to the Dr. You have to be careful though and be sure you are dealing with a nurse not a medical technologist who may be minimally trained. Definitely don't try and bring up such sensitive subjects when you are in the exam room with Dr and patient. Hubby did that to me this morning when he visited the audiologist. When I came home he said "Dr H urged me to tell you to make an appointment to discuss your accelerating hearing loss" "Yes " I replied "that's why i have an appointment with Dr H on Thursday morning" Wanted to see her because one hearing aid does not work. Hubby of course hardly wears his and mumbles so I can't hear or understand him. When someone is visiting he seems able to speak perfectly clearly and I can understand.
Same experiences here. Just irks me that is the case when others are present.
Have decided that I am not a parrot, have stopped trying to repeat or make him understand what I said. He corrects me, wanting me to use the words he would have used. With more practice, maybe just not answering him at all will help. What does it matter, anyway, most of the time? He does not listen anyway.
Finding that if I say nothing at all, he can argue semantics and misinformation all by himself. Like this morning....I say the keys are hanging on the hook. He says Oh, and goes to find them. No they're not...he says, they are not here. Oh, here they are, no, that is not them, he says. Then, he does not share he has them, as I sit here, watching it all play itself out....only calm I can get this way is to disengage from the conversation.
But I still love him, and he still can take me on an upset ride if I let my guard down.
I am not a 24 hr. professional, but a person, a wife too.
Wow Send are we sisters?
Emailed my SIL and referred to hubby by his father's name then corrected. SIL replied I am married to FIL as well!!!!!!
Yes, Veronica, it would be my honor to have you as a sister.
However, it is more likely that our husbands are brothers, same behaviors, same genes?

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