Her PC finally responded to my last email with this: "Once I review the results I will notify you of the next step, which very likely will be both a psychiatrist and a neurologist. I understand your concerns and know compassion, but patients need a full evaluation before these meds can be started. If meds are refused or don’t work effectively then it falls on the family members to cover that gap and it can get overwhelming which is where you are at."
Either I'm confused or the PC is. 🙄
BunnyLover, my wife sees a gerontologist (I think that is the same as a Geriatrician). In fact, the gerontologist is the department head at a mid-sized, local hospital. She has many years experience dealing with all types of dementia patients and she is very caring. So, if you can find the right geriatrician, it can make an enormous difference. Good luck.
On the advice of my PC doctor, I took my husband to a neurologist first. He ordered several tests, and then referred him to a neuropsychologist. This doctor did more testing to support the diagnosis shown by the brain scan, etc. After all the testing, the neurologist prescribed medication, and we now see him about once a year.
My husbands PC set us up with a memory care center and it was a psychiatrist that screened him and referred him to a neurologist. The neurologist then did an MRI and prescribed medication. The good thing about the memory center is they do offer therapy, they do activities with them to help them focus, which can be beneficial. Frank went for the first year but then choose not to go anymore.
My husband did see a therapist for awhile but he also saw his neurologist. A therapist can’t prescribe medication. We stopped seeing her when he went on Medicare because she didn’t accept Medicare. He was referred to a psychiatrist that specialized in dementia. We visited him once but decided that we preferred his neurologist. His neurologist said that as long as his needs didn’t increase, he could prescribe the medication for depression.
BunnyLover, I agree with the others who stress the importance of having your mother see a neurologist. If you are not sure about the value of the psychiatrist, perhaps you could arrange a phone interview or a televisit with the psychiatrist. It would give you an opportunity to ask about the aspects of ALZ that psychiatry can improve. You could also ask the psychiatrist about their experience working with ALZ patients.
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