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My dad with early dementia has agreed to see a dr next week. This is the first time to this dr, (geriatric specialty). I mentioned that he has "memory issues" when i made the appointment. So this is the first time he has gone to a dr. to even begin looking at this issue. Any idea what i should expect from this? Other tests they will do? Questions we should ask?

Kind of concerned that they will not like the outcome of this since both my mom and dad are in such denial. My dad seems agreeable to going..today anyway. I dont know if he realizes they will be looking at the dementia issue.

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Yes, please update us. We all learn from each other.
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We had our appointment this morning. So .. yea he REALLY didn't want to go when the time came. Was very agitated and nervous.. then we had to sit in the office for a while so he could get even more nervous.

Another thing i didn't mention that my dad also had some dizzy spells in the last couple of weeks. I think the dr. kind of keyed in on that .. and the fact that his heart rate was very low (in the 40's). He also has poor circulation and has several previous procedures to improve circulation in his legs.

I believe the dr.really thinks his problems are vascular and problably related to his heart. We have another appointment tomorrow with the cardiologist to see what is going on there and how the blood flow to his brain looks.

Anyway... he drew blood, watched him walk, tested his strength and coordination, asked him some questions.

So we have another appointment tomorrow with the cardiologist which i will also give an update on.. if you guys are interested.
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I think the clinics are now going computerized. Since last year, my doctor's clinic has everything in the computer. He's busy looking at the computer and typing as he asks me questions. That's one of the bad side effects of going 'online'. They're too busy clicking on the space and typing as you talk. Less eye contacts. Blannie,I can see how awkward that is. But, the doctor should have asked the nursing station for a file folder, stick the note on top of sheet of paper, and then walk into the room with the file.

Katie, if I'm not being too nosy, will you let us know how it went with his appointment?
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Yes, my parents are the same way as Freqflyers. The idea of paying for a missed visit would get them to go anywhere. :)

You might also consider a note that would be given to the doctor ahead of your dad's visit, so that the doctor knows what to look for if there are particular memory issues. When you think about it, we ask doctors to do a lot when we expect them to walk in cold with a new patient and figure out what is going on when often the patient won't report the whole truth of their situation (sometimes because they're in denial or because they really can't remember).

I wrote out a note to my mom's doctor before her last visit. Unfortunately (or fortunately) mom's doctor no longer carries around a paper "chart" for my mom, she only had her laptop. So she was juggling my folded piece of paper with her laptop. It was kind of awkward. But my mom didn't catch on.
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Any time my Dad wants to cancel an appointment the same day, I tell him that he would have to PAY for the appointment whether he used it or not. That gets him into the car :]
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Thanks everyone for the input!. I have taken my parents to many dr.'s in the last couple of years but this is the first where they might address the memory/dementia subject so I am kind of nervous. In other dr. appt's I usually go in with them and listen to what the Dr says because they have a tendency to miss a lot.

I'm really not sure what my dad expects from this or if he is even aware that they might approach this issue. Bookluvr, I am expecting that he might want to back out at the last minute.. hopefully not though. He has been at my house since Sunday and knows that he has a dr. appt tomorrow morning.... and that the dr. is an "old person" dr... lol.

I'm a little nervous about it myself though... so is my mom. In some ways its better not to know.. officially. Maybe they will listen more to a dr.

I'll report back and let you all know how it goes...
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Getting information from local health care providers is very helpful and particularly nurses that are well established in the local community. There are many issues that differ in the geriatric assessment from the full grown adult. Ability to prepare meals, continence, memory, ambulation and stability plus medications. All of which should be assessed periodically throughout the course of the physicians'
attendance.
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Don't take mental notes, tske paper and pencil ones. The one time I would talk at my mom's doctor appointments is when the doctor would sum up her opinion, diagnosis and treatment options. I eould jot these down and say to the doctor, let me make sure I've understood you, you are saying x, y, and z. That way, I was on solid ground when I corrected my mom's misperceptions.
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Be prepared for your father to change his mind or be wishy-washy as the appointment date draws near. He might find all kinds of reason not to go. My father did that all the time.I hope your father doesn't change his mind. If your father asks you why he needs to go to the clinic, just say it's his annual visit to the doctor.
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ha ha ! Yes when the MD sees my jaw drop, he knows mom has told a big fat fib.
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Pam is right, let the patient do the talking. A good Geriatric physician will look at you for facial expressions as a guide to ask more questions.

I always go into the exam room with both my parents, unless the exam becomes really personal, because I found after the fact Mom would have heard one thing, and Dad would hear the opposite. At least I can settle the disagreement as I try to listen carefully and take mental notes.
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Well, we take our children to a pediatrician because they specialize in childhood diseases, so it makes perfect sense to take old people to an MD who specializes in an aging body. If you decide to go with your parent, just keep your eyes open and your mouth shut. Allow the MD to draw the patient into his confidence and you will learn a lot. Sit behind your father so as not to distract him or divert his attention, and answer ONLY if the MD directs his questions to you.
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Geriatric physicians are concerned with health problems that frequently affect older adults, such as pain, falls, memory loss, incontinence, and medication side effects. Another important aspect of geriatric medicine is evaluating an elderly patient's ability to care for him/herself (e.g., prepare and eat meals, bathe, dress).

My parents have a geriatric doctor who I think is doing an excellent job. My parents are now in their mid-90's.... but my parents don't like the doctor because the doctor is a *woman*.... [sigh].

Anyway, I like this doctor because she take into consideration the caregiver, too. If my parents need any testing, she tries to have it done at the time of the appointment so I won't need to take more time off work to drive my parents, etc.
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