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My dad goes to the VA for his primary care exams and doesn't see the same doctor. Mom went with him and discussed that he has had some personality changes such as short temper, not following instructions, etc. The doctor just said oh he seems so nice I don't see a problem. He has now stopped bathing and doesn't wear his dentures, won't change out of pajamas, starting to live in pile of his favorite stuff that we can't touch, won't put flooring in the house, etc.. Would written documentation to the doctor help or calling the VA to ask for an exam, or does he still have to commit to this. We can barely get him to listen to us and it's very stressful on my mother and myself to get him to do anything let alone something that may help him. Thank you.

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Contact the social worker at the VA hospital; I was told by one that each medical team has a social worker attached to it. Explain your concerns to her/him and she/he can brief the doctor before your father arrives for his appointment.

The SW may also have other suggestions. I've found them to be far superior to nonVA social workers, as well as more proactive and knowledgeable. (No offense intended toward any social workers posting here on the forum; the VA SWs have a far different scope of work. And my experience with SWs has been primarily through home care and rehab, which are only limited venues.)
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Yes, thank you. I have found a lot is in the phrasing of suggestions to him in the past few months. Mom is very good about this but he just bucks her at every turn so thank you for the note suggestion. He's a very stubborn person, always has been, and this is now being aggravated by the changes he's going through. He goes about once a year to the VA but we know when he goes, that is when he takes a bath really quickly. The past few weeks we have noticed a slide in his decision making and being very short tempered about everything. Thank you again.
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Gee, why would any one want to get an exam for dementia? The whole idea is kind of scary, isn't it? So I wouldn't phrase it that way. "You seem tired a lot lately. Maybe it would be good to be checked by a doctor."

But if he is going regularly for medical checkups, I don't see a problem with your mother writing ahead of time to the VA clinic and asking that the note be passed on to the doctor who will be seeing Dad. Briefly list concerns, and when the behavior started. Not following instructions doesn't sound like a medical problem, necessarily, and a doctor may brush that off. But the newer behaviors are worrisome and I think most doctors would recognize something amiss in not bathing and not changing out of pajamas. At least worrisome enough to do some preliminary in-office testing. The doctor may not be able to respond to your mother for privacy reasons, but can receive information from her.
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