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What steps do I take if my husband's doctor is refusing to diagnose dementia?

I feel my husband's doctor is refusing to give a dementia diagnosis. I have called the doctor twice with concerns about his behavior, etc, and have gone in once without my husband so I could have a candid consultation. They promise to call me "after his next appointment" but do not. They understand my concerns but I am unable to get a diagnosis of any sort, dementia or otherwise, regarding my husband. Everyone always says "talk to your doctorr" but his doctor is not being responsive. What steps should I take at this point?

Status: Open    Oct 05, 2015 - 07:33 AM


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Nov 05, 2015 - 11:07 AM

If your doctor is being unresponsive, the easiest thing to do is to get a second opinion. There's no need to inform the current doctor you are doing this if you do not wish to. Prior to getting another opinion, I would inquire with others that have been through this to see if they can recommend a different doctor. If you don't know of anyone you can ask, inquire at your local senior center to see if they can assist you in choosing an alternate, or direct you to a local source of information. Bottom line, seek out someone that you are comfortable with, and have confidence that the information you are getting is accurate.
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By glgerry4 on Jun 30, 2016 - 07:31 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

I also have doctors refusing to test me. I am 63 years old. I even had one doctor yell at me wondering why the "hell" I would want a "death sentence." I contacted another Alzheimer's specialist and he refused. He mostly didn't want to see me because he said that my insurance wouldn't cover it. I was even willing to pay out of pocket. I then saw a neurologist and she asked me a few questions, asked me my name, address, and phone number and said she doesn't see any problems.

My mother and her sister both had Alzheimer's. An autopsy was done on my mom to confirm it was Alzheimer's. I am having many problems with forgetting, placing things in weird places. My biggest concern was driving and not knowing where I was in a place where I grew up. I couldn't remember how to thread my sewing mahine.

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Nov 07, 2015 - 03:13 PM

Physicians today seem to feel the need to "fix the problem" like they are a mechanic. Many doctors will shy away from problems they don't understand or aren't able to fix. It is understandable, too. It would be a tragedy for your husband's physician to misdiagnose dementia, especially if the misdiagnosis incorrectly claims one form or dementia when the patient has a different type, possibly even one that is correctable. My recommendation is to get a second opinion from a neurologist. If your primary refuses to believe that there is a problem, it may be time to find a different physician for your husband's regular care.

WebMD has a nice overview on types of dementia:
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