Is there a way to chart a select number of behaviors that we can use to more objectively determine is Dad is improving/ benefitting from use of a med for memory or depression. Dad with middle stage dementia taking Namenda. Doc asks Mom how is he doing on it? Mom and others of us find it hard to answer.

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My assessment test:
Does the face appear bright, clear, IS THERE SMILING going on?

If there are any self-care abilities, have they returned, like shaving/showering.

Has he self-initiated any activities, like going outside or asking to be taken outside?

Appetite: Has the appetite returned to what is normal for him/her?

Does he/she want to go out for ice cream?
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Original symptom was noticeable memory loss. Were told Namenda would hold back the progression of the memory loss difficult to tell
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I'd ask the doctor how he/she would like that evaluated. There are probably "family assessment forms" that s/he can give you that allow you to asses attention, responsiveness, clarity and the like.
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It is hard to answer! And your question is excellent.

First, are there any new symptoms that might be side effects? Nausea, coughing, dizziness, blurred vision, muscle aches -- anything new at all? The new symptoms might not be from the meds, but it is good to note them and discuss with the doc or a pharmacist.

What symptoms led to taking Namenda? Are any of those symptoms changed? My husband's hallucinations went away on Aricept, for example. Was Dad repeating himself several times a day, and now it only happens once or twice a week?

If you can list the specific reasons for taking the drug, that should help you determine if those reasons are being addressed. Of course the drug might help a symptom other than those you recognized to start with, so you need to be on the lookout for any improvement.

If you really cannot objectively tell the difference pre and post drug, then that drug should probably be discontinued. In case of depression another drug could be tried. The doc won't know to do this unless he or she hears about the results from Mom. So it is definitely a worthwhile exercise to track symptoms.

Good for you!
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