Can you tell him that the doctor's office called, and they need to see him again? Maybe tell him that one of the tests has to be re-done, or something?
I think that Tanyajohn is right -- it's probably best not to bring up the possibility of Alzheimer's right now.
You might contact your local Alzheimer's Association. Unfortunately, I think a lot of families run into this kind of resistance, and the people at the Alzheimer's Association probably have experience with it, and may be able to give you some advice.
If she has all the symptoms described in your first post, especially the recent development of difficulty swallowing, she doesn't sound "stable" to me. I can't believe the doctor won't even allow an evaluation by Hospice.
Is it possible to get another doctor to take over your mother's care?
Perhaps you could call your local Hospice and ask them about this problem; I imagine it's something they've run into before. Here's a Hospice web site with a phone number you might try, too.
You could also call your local Alzheimer's Association and Senior Resource Association (or whatever it's called in your area), and see if they can give you any advice.
I'm really sorry you've run into this obstacle. Just from my outside, non-medical perspective, it doesn't seem that the doctor is looking out for your mother's best interest.
Please keep us posted. I hope you are able to find someone to help you at least get an evaluation for your mother.
I read about this site today in a letter to the Editor of our local newspaper.
It gives some great information and advice about preparing for end-of-life care, and talks about advance directives and powers of attorney, etc. It looks like a great resource.
One thing that I found especially interesting is that you can add a provision to your advance directive, stating what you do and don't want to be done if you develop dementia. That is comforting to me, because I had always assumed you just had to suffer through the years-long, horrible process of dying from Alzheimer's or other dementia. I'm definitely going to add that language, to minimize the suffering of my family and me, should I develop dementia.
I'm glad you're getting the help of a support group. It can make you feel less alone as you go through this awful journey.
Alzheimer's very often does change people's personalities, and I think that's the hardest part of the whole disease. It can steal away the person you've always known and loved, and leave a completely different one in his/her place.
I hope you'll continue to let us know how you and your mom are doing.
I'm sorry this is such a struggle for you. Your memory problems could very well be caused by the stress this is obviously causing you.
It sounds as though your mother may be eligible for hospice care at this point, and it would be good to discuss that with her doctor. She could continue to stay where she is, but hospice workers would oversee her care and visit her regularly. They will do everything possible to make sure that her medical care is appropriate, and that she is as comfortable and happy as she can possibly be.
That would ease a lot of your anxiety, I think. It sounds like she's in the very advanced stages of her disease, so there's probably not a lot you can do yourself. Of course, you should do anything that makes you feel better, such as continuing your visits to her.
Hospice care will not only provide support and comfort for your mother, but for you. They don't just take care of the patient. I hope you will check into it; it can make a world of difference.
Please keep us posted. My best wishes are with you and your mother.
We all say the wrong word at times, and it's usually perfectly normal. If you're calling things by the completely wrong name, and it happens often, that could be cause for concern. For instance, if you're calling a car a piano, or calling a dog a shoe, that can be a sign of a problem.
If it's bad enough that it worries you, as Dave said, it would be good to get it checked out by your doctor. It would be very unusual to develop Alzheimer's at such a young age, but not unheard of.
I'm sorry about your mother's diagnosis. It's so thoughtful of you to realize how overwhelming this is for your father, and to look for ways to ease the load for him. It's got to be tough for you to be too far away to help him on a day-to-day basis, but it sounds like you're a great support to him.
I would recommend contacting the Alzheimer's Association first. You might call the chapter closest to your parents and talk to them about available resources and contacts. It can also be a great help to hire a case manager, to oversee and coordinate everything your mother needs, if you or your parents can afford it (it's usually not a huge expense, but I don't know what finances are available to your parents). A case manager can make a huge difference to the caregiver because he/she is so familiar with the disease and the problems that patients and caregivers face.
Even if a case manager isn't practical, the Alzheimer's Association can no doubt help you with your care plan.
Dr. Judith London, the expert on this board, has written a book that might also be of help to you and your dad: Support for Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregivers: The Unsung Heroes".
Best wishes to you and your parents. Please come back and let us know how you're doing.
Hi Frogette. I'm glad you found a support group. It would be nice if it met more often, but at least you'll get to meet people who are going through some of the same things you are, and who can help you navigate this tough road.
I'm really sorry that you're having such a hard time. There's no way to get through experience of a loved one with dementia unscathed, but knowing that you aren't alone can make a difference.
When she complains, maybe you could try just saying something like, "I'm sorry you're so frustrated" and then ask her if she'd like to help you with a puzzle or have a treat, to distract her.
I hope she enjoyed her ride and ice cream cone. It's great that you do those things for her.