94 MIL, we just got her moved to ALF. And that was a big step. We are working at getting her to take her meds for high blood pressure and her breast cancer. Over the years we have noticed that she has been showing the 8 symptoms of alzheimer/dementia. With her age, along with the big move and the fact she doesn't like Dr's. Should we try and get her to see geriatric psychiatry for a more accuracty diagnoses or just let it go? I'm wondering is the problem might be her diet or some other problem.

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I don't think at 94 it is useful to go through a lot medical tests or evaluations unless something will happen as a result. But if there is a chance of improving one's quality of life, then yes, seeing an appropriate medical care provider is worthwhile, in my opinion.

So, what would change if you had an official diagnosis? Well, if it turns out that some of the 8 symptoms you have noticed for years are due to something treatable, like a vitamin deficiency, that could lead to an improved quality of life.

And if you get an "official" diagnosis of dementia (Alzheimer's or some other type), there may be some treatments available, depending on the type of dementia and how far it has progressed. For example, Aricept might be tried.

Another benefit of having a specific diagnosis rather than just accepting that MIL is "not quite herself," is that you then have a better idea of what to expect. If you read up on her diagnosed condition you are less likely to be blindsided as new behaviors occur, and you can get ideas from reading and from other people how best to cope with the behavior. This benefits you and also MIL.

If she has dementia. there is no cure. There are often treatments that can help with the symptoms, but knowing for sure that she has dementia won't change the fact that she has it.

Is it worth getting your MIL, who hates doctors, to see a specialist to get an official diagnosis? Would the potential benefits outweigh her objections? That is a judgement call that only you and her family can make. In my opinion, yes, it might provide some benefit. I'd try to arrange it. But I also would understand and support a decision not to bother.

My warm wishes go with you as you struggle with this caretaking decision.
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Just one thing to add; my MIL had vitamin deficiency found through blood work and I had to take her monthy for injections. Can't remember if it was B12 or Vit D. Lack of this vitamin affects the immune system and supposedly helps with memory. Think it did help the immune system as she was never sick with viruses, bacterial infections, etc. But it did not help her memory at all. So, who knows - everyone is different in their response to vitamins, meds, etc. Take care.
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Another thing to keep in mind is that there are different types of dementia, besides Alzheimer's. So, in my mind, one of the benefits of being tested, if you so see fit, is that they may be able to narrow down the type of dementia, as they did with my mom who has Primary Progressive Aphasia (which is very different from Alzheimer's). If it is a specific type of dementia, then you all can know better how to help her along in the process and make her life better. I wish you, your MIL and the rest of your family all the best in making this decision and going forward!
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It does help to have some type of framework to go from. It it wonderful that the other member had the type of demenita narrowed down. It'a useful. but after a while my father is just sick of being testing and poked and proded. For him he knows what is going on but, forgets the next minute. It's a struggle. He just wants to be left alone in peace. We took Dad to a nurologist who was an "expert" all she did was recommend medication and sent us out the door. Gee how special. We gave her the boot.

Good Luck....
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Lilblue2, We had the same experience with my mom's first neurologist. She looked at all of us, told the type of dementia, looked at my mom and said you will become mute, looked at my sister and said you'll have to take over her finances and here's a pill. Like you said, gee how special. We're now moving her to someone who specializes in the type of dementia she has where they have many more resources, and from what I've heard, a much better bedside manner.

I do understand about being sick of being tested and poked and prodded. Mom gets to that point too because she has a multitude of serious health issues, and it can be very challenging to know what to do. But when we suggested this new neurologist, she jumped at the opportunity.

Hang in there!
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