My husband has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and Vascular Dementia.
My husband is 96 years old. When he started forgetting things, we felt like this was normal, due to this age. However, over the recent months, his short term memory has got progressively worse. Over the last few weeks, he has also been having strange hallucinations. For example, he was seeing people that were not there, from our children and grandchildren to strangers I had never heard of.
This was when I decided to contact my GP.
We attended an appointment at Cross Keys Practice in Princes Risborough. After discussing his symptoms in detail, our GP referred us to the Memory Clinic. We got our appointment within two weeks. I thought this was incredibly fast. The appointment took place in The White Leaf Centre in Aylesbury. This was good as it isn’t too far from our house and has lots of parking. It is easily accessible for us.
My husband was extremely stressed and nervous before this appointment. It was a worrying time for us all.
My daughter took us to this appointment. Although the Memory Clinic advised that only one person could come into the appointment with my husband, the doctor was extremely accommodating and even moved us into a bigger room so my daughter could listen in and support us throughout. This was amazing. The test consisted of various written and word tests. The doctor did not put any pressure on my husband. He explained everything clearly and was extremely patient. We can’t praise him enough. He really made the experience comfortable for us.
My husband was diagnosed at the appointment with Alzheimer’s Disease and Vascular Dementia. We expected this diagnosis. However, it was good that a diagnosis was given there and then and we did not have to wait for further appointments or follow up letters.
My husband has been prescribed Donepezil. This is to help manage his symptoms. The doctor advised that although they may take a few weeks to work, they should help with his hallucinations. We did not realise anything could be prescribed for Dementia and/or Alzheimer’s and the thought that something could medically help with these symptoms was a great relief to us. These tablets do have a lot of side effects but the doctor talked us through these in detail and gave us appropriate advice.
At the end of the appointment, the doctor told us really important things that we needed to consider. Such as power of attorney etc. He gave us lots of leaflets and information packs about the illness and also the medication prescribed.
We have a follow-up phone call appointment in two weeks with the same doctor from the memory clinic.
The journey so far has been extremely stressful. However, it has been made easier, clearer and more comfortable with the amazing staff at our GP Practice and the Memory Clinic. We would like to thank them for this. We have a very scary road ahead but can take comfort in the fact we have the support of our lovely family and medical staff alike.
I would like to advise anyone who is in the same situation as me, who feels nervous and confused about starting this journey that and making your first GP appointment, to do it. There is so much support out there.