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  1. #1
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    Default Need ways to convince my dad to go get tested for alzheimer's

    ok so we'll have a conversation 3-4 times over a few weeks about a decision that needs to be made. He'll agree to something and than when it comes time to implement the decision he'll start yelling and insisting that he never said any such thing that we never had a conversation with him, that we're out to get him. even though I was there and i witnessed him making the decision. I suspect he's IxTJ if that helps any. he got tested before but the problem was he has a very high intelligence and functioned above most people and there was no baseline for him. So we knew that him testing average was not a good sign the problem is the doctors didn't know this so told him he was fine. and now he's in denial about the possibility of something not being quite right. He's becoming increasingly confused and forgetting things that he use to not forget. My grandma, his mom had alzheimer's. Thanks for any suggestions, we're just at a lost what to do because he needs to go get checked out and possibly be put on meds to slow it down.
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  2. #2
    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    Are there any other reasons for him to go see his doctor? Is his doctor willing to play along with some minor subterfuge? Most of the caregivers I've met who are dealing with a loved one with Alzheimer's have had to figure out an indirect way to get their cooperation.

    I found the following advice on a care giver website:
    There may be no way you can make your parent go to the doctor but there may also be some paths to pursue that could be fruitful. First, try asking her to accompany you to the doctor by suggesting you have a medical problem and would like her to be with you. Find a physician who will work with you in this bit of subterfuge. Your local AD chapter may know the best physicians to contact. Be sure to alert the doctor before your appointment and list all the changes you have noticed over the past year. Secondly, suggest to your parent that you are concerned about her blood pressure, or a previous illness, or a disease that may run in your family and ask her to check it out 'for you'. The less focus on your parent's cognitive issues, the better!

    Consider her long-standing personality. If she has always needed to have a sense of control over her life, don't expect this to change. This just may be her last stand against perceived interference by family and others as she feels the power to direct her own life slowly slip away. She may think of it as myself defense.
    You might also consider using another person as the scapegoat. Frequently, AD folks and other elders will do something for a stranger that they refuse to do for a family member since there is no history of parent/child behavior to rebel against. A Geriatric Care Manager may be a viable choice as they have training and practice in loving manipulation. Check out www.caremanager.org for further information on an experienced professional in your area.

    Try not to reason with your loved one related to the need for a doctor's visit. Remember, her ability to think rationally has been impacted by whatever is happening to her intellectually and the ability to reason is affected early in diseases like AD. Trying to force your parent to deal with an issue rationally may only increase her obstinance. The accuracy of the information you offer is not half as important as helping her maintain her self-esteem and sense of control.

    If nothing seems to get her to the doctor's office, seek a physician who might make a house call - Yes! They do still exist!
    and
    I often get this question from families who are frustrated with their loved ones’ denial. My counsel is usually to take a deep breath and relax. A diagnosis may satisfy your suspicions, but it will not change your daily life; if you force the issue with your loved one, you may put unnecessary strain on your relationship. There are a couple of medications on the market that help some people feel more focused; they slow down the progression of the disease, but they are not cures. In the meantime, you’ve come to the right place: Caring.com has the best advice from the most prominent caregiving experts in this country. You’ll find ideas and advice on interactions and approaches that will improve your relationship with your mom. Hopefully you’ll be able to establish such a trusting relationship with your mother that she’ll open up to you and wish to know for herself why she feels different.

    In any event, before getting an official diagnosis, make sure that all your paperwork is in order, i.e. Living Trusts, Durable Powers of Attorney, will, healthcare proxy and last wishes. Once a person has a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, her signature may no longer be legally binding.

    There are other factors to consider: Alzheimer’s disease still carries with it a terrible stigma, which we can’t ignore. Unfortunately it will change your mom’s relationships with old friends and acquaintances. We’ve had good results counteracting this stigma with our Alzheimer’s Café (www.alzheimerscafe.com) - if there’s one near you, get involved. Also attend support groups in your community (www.alz.org.)

    When my brother and I realized that Dad was having problems handling his own affairs, we decided it was time to take over his living trust. We needed confirmation from the two medical professionals that he was no longer competent. At the time he had some dementia, but still functioned pretty well living alone, except for money and bills. We got him to a psychiatrist who apparently was very blunt with him. When we asked him to go to a second doctor, he flatly refused and protested forcefully that he was not crazy!

    I realized the only way we would succeed was with a bit of deception. It took calls to several doctors before I found one whom I felt would work with our dilemma. We set up an appointment for a general check-up. The doctor was very gentle, low-key and treated Dad with genuine respect. While he checked Dad’s vitals and took his blood, they were chatting away about his career and interests. At some point Doc said, “We’ve checked your heart, your lungs and your reflexes. What do you say we check your memory while we’re at it?” Doc’s tone was completely natural, so Dad responded with a cheerful “sure.” - He failed the mini-mental and we got our second confirmation. As we left the doctor’s office, Dad said, “What a nice young man. We should come back and see him soon.”
    Hope this helps.
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

  3. #3
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eilonwy View Post
    Are there any other reasons for him to go see his doctor? Is his doctor willing to play along with some minor subterfuge? Most of the caregivers I've met who are dealing with a loved one with Alzheimer's have had to figure out an indirect way to get their cooperation.

    I found the following advice on a care giver website:

    and


    Hope this helps.
    Thanks. Also another problem is he is a doctor and is convinced he can diagnose and treat most things wrong with him, so it's next to impossible to get him to a doctor.
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    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prplchknz View Post
    Thanks. Also another problem is he is a doctor and is convinced he can diagnose and treat most things wrong with him, so it's next to impossible to get him to a doctor.
    So maybe the suggestion about getting him to go to the doctor by telling him that someone ELSE needs to see the doctor might be your best bet. Be creative. Good luck.
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

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    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eilonwy View Post
    So maybe the suggestion about getting him to go to the doctor by telling him that someone ELSE needs to see the doctor might be your best bet. Be creative. Good luck.
    thanks, I'll need to brain storm on this.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eilonwy View Post
    So maybe the suggestion about getting him to go to the doctor by telling him that someone ELSE needs to see the doctor might be your best bet. Be creative. Good luck.
    Turns out my mom's tried this, didn't work
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    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    If he honestly doesn't remember agreeing to a visit you might kill two birds with one stone asking him to write down some note about an appointment the next time he agrees. It doesn't have to be a formal agreement, just something like: "see doc smith on tuesday 15th" and keep the note or put it on the fridge. That way, when he denies ever agreeing, you can show him his own handwriting. That should not only convinve him that he did agree but also serve as a point in case, one he can't deny and that might even shock him enough to really want to have this looked into.

    I keep my fingers crossed for you!
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    It's very hard to deal with someone at this stage from what I've heard. There may be nothing that you can do right now. Maybe get in touch with the Alzheimer's Association and see what they suggest as far as coping with him and preparing yourselves for what's coming.

    Since it upsets him when you disagree with him, you might have to stop trying to reason with him (this is one of the hardest things for me with my mom's dementia--it would be so much easier if she got it, but she can't), and do what it takes to keep him calm. Since he was a doctor, maybe he knows what's happening and is scared out of his wits about what's in store for him. I know I would be.

    to you and your mom and your dad.
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

  9. #9
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    If he honestly doesn't remember agreeing to a visit you might kill two birds with one stone asking him to write down some note about an appointment the next time he agrees. It doesn't have to be a formal agreement, just something like: "see doc smith on tuesday 15th" and keep the note or put it on the fridge. That way, when he denies ever agreeing, you can show him his own handwriting. That should not only convinve him that he did agree but also serve as a point in case, one he can't deny and that might even shock him enough to really want to have this looked into.

    I keep my fingers crossed for you!
    I told my mom about this, she said good luck. Knowing him he'll throw a fit if you try to do something like that. because how could he ever forget? it's always someone else's fault. that's the one thing you need to remember about him is it's never his fault nothing stems from him.
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