So here's the deal. I just moved in with my 82 yo Dad who has what appears to be late 5 stage Alz or Dementia. I'm ihs 26 yo son, by the way. I brought him to his primary care physician, who did a mini memory screening and detected some memory loss. He scheduled an appointment with a neuro-psychologist, prescribed Aricept, and said he thought we were looking at Early stages of Alzheimers. I have a couple topics to post on, but I'll stick to one for now. Is it likely that he said "early" stages to avoid upsetting my dad, or do you think he got the wrong impression based on the test results and the limited number of examples of memory loss I gave him? I didn't want to blurt out every embarrasing thing that my dad has done since I moved in with him 3 months ago, because it seems disrespectful. Am I allowed to talk to the doc alone for 5 mins or does that violate patient/doctor priveleges? I wish he was in the early stages, but he drools, lays his hands in his food without feeling that he's doing it, can't cook, can't pay bills, can't hold a "real" convo, can't feel if food is on his face, cant drive, occasionally wakes up an hour after heading to bed and gets dressed thinking it's 10 am instead of 10 pm (picture him pulling his pants on stumbling into the living room: "Sorry I overslept! Let's get some breakfast in our bellies!")
I'm hoping the Neuro-psych exam will give the docs a better understanding of how far along he is than the mini-memory screening. FYI, the Mini-memory screening including an animal fluency portion (where you name as many animals as possible in 60 secs). He "failed" the overall screening, but "passed" the animal fluency section with flying colors, which is also supposed to be the most accurate part of the screening. I read only 9% of persons with Alz can name over 15 animals, and he named 17. I also heard that of those 9%, a large portion were well educated/read, and my dad owned a used bookstore and read tons.
Anyway, thanks for listening, and for any feedback! You guys are great! If you have any questions or anything, ask away. I'll be checking the board regularly.
One idea is to write down what you have seen and hand it to the doctor's receptionist when you get to the waiting room. As your dad goes to sit down, say "I really need Dr X to have a look at this before we talk!"
I used to usher my Mom out of the examining rooms into the waiting room after her exam, then I told her to sit tight while I phoned for a cab. Meanwhile I went back to the doc and told him anything Mom wasn't allowed to hear - things we didn't want to upset her with.
You seem to have the right instinct - do not do or say anything that might upset your dad. You could print the '7 stages' list and highlight things you are seeing and take it with you to the neuro psych.
Are you in Australia? One or 2 of our steady posters are from Down Under and use that term (neuro psychiatrist) which I think is not used here in the States.
GOOD luck! Sorry you have to deal with this at your young age - my youngest of 3 children is older than you. I was 61 when I moved in with my Mom as she began to lose her rationality ... it is a long hard road. God bless you!
Thanks for the ideas, Martha. Using notes seems to be a fairly popular way of dealing with this. I originally thought that my father was lying to the doctor about his memory to hide the problem, but I've learned that he's mostly just forgetting that he's forgetting.
I'm not in Australia, but would like to go someday! I grew up in NYC and Baltimore, and moved three months ago in with dad, just outside of Madison, WI. It's tough at any age to be a cargiver, but being young and not tied down to a career made the move a little easier. And, thankfully, my girlfriend moved out here with me.
My dh has declined markedly so as we are going into the three month visits w his various specialists, I discretely tell the receptioninst I need to talk to the dr first. My dh thinks I am off to the ladies' room. I also have called the drs before visits. I too do not want to shame my dh.