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My mom has both, PCP & Geriatrician. Her PCP referred her to Specialist, who officially diagnosed mom with dementia. The PCP, after consults with Geriatrician over several months & extreme emotional & physical stress on my husband & I, approved that my mom enter a carehome. However, her PCP still sees mom for wellness visits about twice a year. The Geriatrician declared her mentally incapacitated at one point & is the one who dispenses/manages all dementia meds. The transition period was very rough, at one point I had to stop calling, (on advice of Geriatrician's nurse) as she would curse me out, not realizing she had dementia, she would hit the caregiver & her family members, as well as verbally abuse the other patients!
It took nearly a year before the right mix of meds were found for mom. At least now we can go out together for a few hours each week; shopping, lunch, just enjoy being out... and she's SO MUCH CALMER. I'm just doing the best I can for her and that's what's important.
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Reply to naia2077
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It is always best to see specialists for the specialized medical problems. A primary care practitioner helps manage the referrals, blood work, and typicsl medical problems like flu and fevers.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter
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Neurologist is the type of doctor with the most knowledge, if she has been diagnosed, then images were taken of her brain, and a neurologist would be her doctor.....Consult with her neurologist since that type of doctor is a brain specialist. If her "regular doctor" isn't a neurologist then, I would bet that her "regular doctor" has been consulting with a Neuro, if you aren't liking her "regular doctor" perhaps ask for a referral, so you can locate what you are seeking. Have you obtained, seen, been shown images of her brain? If not then ask to be shown those images so you can be obtain more information about her brain's specific ongoings. From my amateur understanding Dementia is a blanket term for cognitive decline, ALZ is a more specific label that pinpoints a decline in structural make-up of connections via proteins on prions declining or misfolding thereof, or bad replication...Obviously a neurologist would know more than my amateur descriptives. a GP knows a lot more than most...So what's going on ???
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Reply to Screennamed
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When you say a regular medical doctor, is this a primary care physician/general practitioner, do you mean?

If so, what you should do is ask that doctor whether s/he agrees that your mother would benefit from a referral to a geriatrician and/or an older age psychiatrist or dementia specialist and/or neurologist for more detailed investigations.

But I wouldn't get rid of her PCP, especially not if you're generally happy with the care and especially not if it's a long-established relationship. If the PCP is a good one, they're worth their weight in gold when it comes to co-ordinating health care and seeing the whole picture.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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My mom is 92 and still goes every 3 months to her regular doctor. We all know she has dementia and so the doctor is attentive to that. But at this stage she is not going to be having elaborate testing or treatment for any physical or mental condition. So that's where we are at for now. The practice has been so gentle and compassionate with my mom that I hope never to have to give them up until the end. My mom enjoys the visits and the attention, which is half the battle right there.
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Reply to tornadojan
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Screennamed Jun 3, 2019
(NOT to THE OP) tornadojan in your case images will confirm symptoms, "We all know" equates to zero. Since Dementia is a generalized term for cognitive decline. "But at this stage she is not going to be having elaborate testing or treatment for any physical or mental condition" = is not a medical directive, images are the most accurate way to diagnose, obtain accurate information since dementia symptoms can result from multiple factors, including being over-medicated or being dehydrated, CJD, etc. So, from a clinical perspective, images are the only next step, to pinpoint the cause, and to answer more specifics. Originally I though you were the OP, oops, I was wrong.
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I didn’t find it necessary to switch Drs. My friend liked and respected his Dr. When first diagnosed the dr did all the right tests, ct scan , blood work, mini memory test, etc. He was 88 when I brought him to the Dr requesting the Dr to check him for dementia. At that age there was no need to run him thru the mill for more advanced tests. It was not going to accomplish anything more. I think a lot depends on how old your mother is also.
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Reply to Barb53
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When Luz, DW, was diagnosed it was already too late for anything. We were seeing a specialist at the Cleveland Clinic here in Las Vegas.
Although nothing could be done, the clinic did help me with her actions and that helped me a lot. they explained to me what was happening and how to care for her as best I could and to understand that the day will come when I would no longer be able to help her and she would need a facility. Unfortunately she passed away before that day arrived.
to answer your question, Yes she should be seeing a specialist. They can, in most cases, help you as well and you will more than likely need it in the future.
You will have such a hard road ahead with much planning to go with it.
Do not hesitate with the future planning and don't hesitate to ask for guidance, help, or assistance from here or any where else.
Best of luck to you.
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Reply to OldSailor
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Momskg, I found once my parents changed over to an aging care doctor, the doctor had more understanding of what was going on with their health.

The best part for me, the doctor understood what I was going through, so she tried to get in as much testing during the appointment then scheduling other times.

And any time the doctor asked either parent a health question, and my parent would answer, the doctor would look at me to see if I was shaking my head yes or no. She was so good at pulling correct information out of my parents.

I still remember the time, after my Dad had fallen quite a few times, the doctor said it was time to get a medical alert to wear. I just rolled my eyes when my Dad said "that's for old people"..... my Dad was in his late 80's at that time.
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Reply to freqflyer
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