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My husband goes to an internist. I have thought for a long time that we need a neurologist or a dr who treats people with this type problem. But I have not found one yet. I have found several internist who only treat this problem, alzheimers.But they want us to leave our internist which we won't do. He has been going to the same internist for 30 yrs. I have read lots about alzheimers and have a good idea what stage he is in but I have not had a dr tell me. Our internist doesn't do or say much about his mental stage, he mostly treats only his physical problems, diabetes and a few other problems. What kind of dr have you found to be the best for treating and advising about his mental problems. I am an RN and up to this point I have pretty much told the dr what I feel my husband needs but it is getting out of my level of expertisel I need help, where do I go?

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You need a neurologist who can determine the extent and level of the dementia. They are the specialists in Alz and dementia-related medical issues. They can also tell you about what goes on with a patient with dementia during certain stages so that you would be able to tell what is going on with them when these symptoms begin. My mom is in early dementia and once we started going to a neurologist to follow her he helped us tremendously when he let us know mom was experiencing "sundowning" (doesn't know if it is day time or night time) and told us the things we needed to try around her room (such as turning the wall lights on in her room and open her blinds in the mornings to let her know its daytime; then at dusk turn off the wall lights and put the small soft light on in her room and close the blinds so she knows its nighttime) to help her know when it is daytime. He also told us about getting a larger calendar and put it on the front of her bedroom door so she could see what date it was every day (since she was asking what day it was everyday). He told us many things, and gave us literature on the stages of dementia leading to Alzheimers (like watching for swallowing problems as this progresses) -- as well as the signs associated with those stages. Please get your loved one in to see a Neurologist soon.
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Pam...Yes my partner feels so close to his doctor. He thinks of him as a friend. Actually, our doctor's wife is gone for 10 days and our doctor is coming for dinner. IF I can find time to cook. At least he is stopping by So my partner would never insult him by going to another doctor. Unless referred. PERIOD. I guess I am fortunate as our doctor really does care about us. But, does not want to hurt us. I personally have a health issue and our doctor knows about it. But, I have not wished to discuss it in front of my partner. He needs nothing else to worry about. Our doctor will help me if I have to tell my partner any negative issues. So, I guess we are fortunate. WE KNOW what is going on with the ones we care give. I guess I would rather have our doctor than anyone else.
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Mom still has the internist she's had for 20 years, she adores him. He does refer her to a Neurology Clinic and a Cardiologist, but they send their results to mom's primary, who sugar coats them for her.
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I have to agree with you that staying with the doctor he has known for so many years is important. I too am in the same position. My partner has been with his Dr for many years. But when we go, it is like I am talking to a wall. Oh He cares, in fact he really likes my partner and they are good friends. But, no discussion about the mental side of it. Of course, we also see a specialist for his Parkinson and I have to tell you, it is the same with this doctor. Sometimes I think we learn more on here or by checking out the NET. Then to have two doctors conflicting on the meds. I am getting so sick of it all. I feel like I should be his doctor..But, I can't...So I continue to trust the PROFESSIONALS???
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To be honest if you're an RN caring for your husband and are well read on ALZ disease you probably know more of what you're husband needs than a doctor can tell you in a 15 minute office visit.
My Mom sees a family practice doc. He's been ok, not great but ok. There is a family practice algorithm for treating dementia and he has followed it. Our biggest problem with him is he doesn't listen well and it seems his philosophy
regarding life is different from ours. Of course I could be wrong but he seems more interested in quantity of days one has rather than quality.
So we are in the process of finding Mom another doc. A family practice doc will do us fine. Mom is an uncomplicated case, no agitation or aggression and probably a stage 6 pt. What we do need though is a doctor who will listen and be easy for us to talk to. One that is able to provide some guidance to my brother and I regarding some of the issues we may be facing down the road, such as when is it appropriate to stop Mom's routine meds; when is it time to consider hospice and how to make arrangements for it etc.
Most docs use algorithms and standards of care in their treatment of their pts and that's great. We are not going to "fix" Mom. Our top priority now is keeping her comfortable. Having a doctor that not only cares for Mom, but who will listen to and provide guidance to my brother and I is the best way to accomplish this in our opinion. Good Luck in your search.
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Geriatricians are not in my area. Mom goes to a neourologist that can prescribe meds she may need. To this point she hasn't needed any. She has Dementia.
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For primary care, my husband saw an outstanding geriatrician. For the dementia he saw a behavioral neurologist who specialized in dementia. My husband also a psychiatrist who specialized in sleep disorders, and who recommended bot the geriatrician and the neurologist.

I guess I don't see the point in seeing two internists, but keeping the current pcp and also seeing a neurologist makes sense.

Seeing the right doctors can make a huge difference in treatment. None of them have cures, of course, but it is quality of life you are looking for now, right? And some are much better at that than others.

Good luck!
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