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CailinDeas | 18:59 Sat 30th Oct 2010 | Health & Fitness
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Do you people consider it wise to tell someone that their doctor has told family member that the patient is in the early stages of dementia. Patient mentions, from time to time, "my memory is getting very bad".


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It's possibly best to simply address the problem (without reference to the word 'dementia') by suggesting that the person seeks help at a 'memory clinic', which any GP should be able to refer a patient to.

The person will then come to grips with problem (as far as it's possible to do so) through the support of others attending the clinic, and the professionals who work with them.

Not trying to be funny and make a joke, but even if you do tell them won't they forget that they've told you and keep mentioning it, meaning telling them they have dementia is pretty pointless, plus when they initially hear it, they'll probably get quite stressed out.
I thankfully have no experience of this but should it chance upon my family I dont think I would mention it -tough one though as some Dementia sufferers have been on the TV this week discussing it and giving advice on their coping mechanisms.Like one has his MP3 player on all night so he doesnt have nightmares and has that to concentrate on whilst drifting off.
Im sure you'll get more hands on advice from others who have family members who are suffering at this time.
is it ethical for a doctor to tell anyone but the patient what the diagnosis is? And has the doctor actually told the patient? This sounds rather odd.
I think the patient has a right to know. I certainly would. My Mum has dementia and her deterioration over the last few months is heartbreaking. I know if she knew this was going to happen to her, she would have ended it.

Whilst I was sitting with her in the Care Home yesterday, holding her hand, she looked up at me and said, how long is this going to go on for Den, I had to hold back my tears, and just reassure her.

Cailin - if this patient has early stages of dementia I know there are drugs that will slow it down - but you have to be persistent - the GPs seem reluctant to try these on some patients.

Good Luck xx

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