Is a diagnosis of any use?

Is a diagnosis of any use?
Sat Dec 29, 2018 21:40 PM
My husband had a stroke ten years ago, which left him with memory loss, Aphasia and some confusion. These symptoms are gradually getting worse and I realise he has vascular dementia. Would there be any purpose in getting a proper diagnosis? I have not mentioned the word dementia to him and I am not sure how he would take it, although he would immediately forget it of course. Would a diagnosis help in any way at all do you think?

Ann
Re: Is a diagnosis of any use?
Wed Jan 2, 2019 14:54 PM

Soroti originally posted: My husband had a stroke ten years ago, which left him with memory loss, Aphasia and some confusion. These symptoms are gradually getting worse and I realise he has vascular dementia. Would there be any purpose in getting a proper diagnosis? I have not mentioned the word dementia to him and I am not sure how he would take it, although he would immediately forget it of course. Would a diagnosis help in any way at all do you think?

Ann


Hello Ann and welcome to the forum.
There are definitely benefits to obtaining a diagnosis. It would enable your husband to access specialist support and, just as importantly, would enable you to obtain support too. There are many different types of dementia and a diagnosis can help understand the symptoms and also allow you to plan for the future.
Obtaining a diagnosis can often take a while but would start with a referral from your GP. You mention that your husband is forgetful but does he still have the capacity to make his own decisions? How would he feel if you made an appointment for him to see his GP to discuss a possible diagnosis? Would he be cooperative?
Many areas have specialist dementia nurses known as Admiral Nurses who can provide information and support. More information about Admiral Nurses can be obtained from the Dementia UK website www.dementia.uk.org
It would also be worth having a look at the Alzheimer's Society website which provides more detailed information about the process of obtaining a diagnosis. www.alzheimers.org.uk
Please give us a call on our Hub number - 0300 303 1555 or drop us an email to hello@carersfirst.org.uk if you would like to have a chat about this with one of our staff. We can provide more information about the support available to you in your area.
It would be great to hear what other carers think and what their experience of obtaining a diagnosis has been.
Re: Is a diagnosis of any use?
Wed Jan 23, 2019 17:09 PM
In my experience the diagnosis is only useful if there are services available in your area (and if you are told about them in the first place). My husband was diagnosed in December 2017 at the age of 58. We were given the diagnosis and a prescription of Donepezil then sent on our way. No explanations, no advice, no contacts and no information on support services. I've discovered a lot over the past 13 months the most important of which has been that strategies have more effect than anything else and I would say that our life is better now than it has been for a very long time. My mum also went through a memory test with her GP a couple of years ago and dementia was mentioned. This sent her into a complete panic as she lives alone and has the usual picture of dementia in her head. She is nearly 90 and I decided that there was nothing to be gained by putting her through everything to get a proper diagnosis. Instead we have systems and strategies in place which means she is well cared for but continues to live alone without worrying.