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My dad has never been formally diagnosed with dementia by his primary physician. It was obvious to friends and family soon after my mom passed away. I asked primary physician about it and received a blank stare with no answers or further discussion. All that doctor would say is that he did not have Alzheimer's. It's a very long story that involves numerous falls, 24/7 caregivers at home, 5 trips to ER, a 10-day stay in hospital with AFIB, a 30-day stay in rehab, and finally moved to NH .....all within 9 months. OT and PT at rehab say dad has moderate dementia. Cardiologist and Hospitalist that saw dad in the hospital also agree that he has dementia, but every time I had an appointment with Neurologist, I would have to cancel due to dad being in hospital or he would refuse to go. Doctor in NH says that diagnosis really doesn't matter at this point....that medications usually given to an early stage dementia patient are not going to help now. From what research I have done, I would guess that my dad is Stage 5. However, he has random good days that are unexplainable (carries on conversation with a good bit of detail, but still can't remember what he had for lunch an hour after eating). Should I push for NH to transport dad to Neurologist for further testing?

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If Dad were at home and his behavior was very confusing to his loved ones and no one knew quite how to treat him and/or there was a lot of denial by some parts of the family, a diagnosis could be very helpful. If Dad were in very early stages and still had time to travel and make the most of his abilities for a while, a diagnosis could be very helpful.

I would never say there is no point to getting an accurate diagnosis when dementia is suspected, but in your father's case I'm not sure it would be worth the hassle to him. If he is being taken care of appropriately, that is the best you can expect.
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Gunner,
CT Scans don't always show strokes. I went to get my dad up one morning and he couldn't talk or move his left side. I knew it was a catastrophic stroke but it didn't show up on the CT Scan. It showed up in a MRI that was done later. The MRI showed 2 small strokes and a large stroke.
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I'm not sure it matters that much to get a formal diagnosis as to dementia and what kind. You could go through all the fights and hassles with your dad and continue testing , doc appointments etc. but I don't think it accomplishes much. Some may say that's it's important so that dementia can be treated properly according to diagnosis.

My dad starting showing signs about 6 to 7 years ago. He is currently moving from mild to moderate dementia. His long time doc says he has all the classic symptoms of alz but dad has always refused any testing. His doc also does not think any of the dementia drugs are effective. My mom sees the big pharma ads on tv and bugs me about getting the latest pill for dad but I won't do it.

I'm not going to fight with him and upset him now just to find out if he has vascular dementia or alz. We deal with it as it comes. It's getting harder now.
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OT and PT are probably stating that based on his score on an MMSE - Mini-Mental State Examination. Ask them what his score was on that. This will help you to know how he is progressing as they normally will repeat this test over the months.

I am not familiar with all the types of dementia, but I would guess that a formal diagnosis is only really necessary if there is some type of treatment available for the particular type that would stop any progression or have him regain some ability.

My mom has vascular dementia and there is no treatment for that. They can only manage her diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol in order to reduce further damage.
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At Moms NH the Psychiatrist's Nurse Practictioner sees Mom once a month. Ask if your Mom has one. If so, ask if she is seen regularly. If so, ask to have them give u a call. If not, tell the head nurse ur concerns and ask her what she thinks at having Mom seen.
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Gunner, my Dad had some type of dementia but it was never formally diagnosed.

My Dad was in his 90's when my Mom passed on, then he needed caregivers, then moved to senior living. It was the Staff at senior living who said it was time for Dad to move to Memory Care. Again no formal diagnoses. Could be because Dad was so mild mannered, and didn't display some of the difficult symptoms, thus he didn't need any special meds. Yep, Dad had his share of falls, too, and visits to ER and stays in rehab.

As for your Dad remembering what he had for lunch... hey, many of us without dementia sometimes can't remember because we were so rushed at work :P
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I also wanted to add....dad is 84 and wheelchair bound. ER doctors have confirmed no stroke based on CAT scans. Dad has been tested numerous times for UTI - all negative.
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