Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Clinical physiology tests for memory problems

There is something which bugs me about clinical physiology testing for memory problems, and no matter how I look at it, and no matter who I ask, no one can give a straight answer.

In Lewy body dementia like many other people I no longer use the mini mental test. I use a different type which is longer.

You get asked the usual questions about where you are and where you live etc, and then you are told a short story about someone, name address, town and county, which you are asked to remember.

After a while you are asked to repeat it all. If you get stuck you are given prompts, and no matter whether have forgotten the answer or not you have to pick one answer. 

This always gets me because I cannot remember things like this. 

If you are lucky enough to pick the right answer by sheer fluke you get a good mark, but what does this prove, if at the end of the day it is a guess and nothing else.

But what is the point of giving us prompts, if we do not remember the answer anyway. We do not get prompts in daily life, we have to struggle on trying to remember things without support.

In my job I had many exams which were sometimes multi choice, similar to this in many ways, but you either passed or failed. 

You had to know the correct answer and nothing else.

There are many times in life where you hear something, then in a few moments it's all gone, so can someone please tell me what thus achieves as many people with dementia have said that they feel the test is very upsetting and does not prove anything to them.

I go from day to day trying to get on with my life, with my memory problems, no one can prompt me because they simply do not know what I was trying to think through. 

There are times when I think of my short term memory problems, I do wonder if there is something else causing this or if it's a mixed type of dementia.

That is something for the consultant to decide when I go back again in the future. 




Graduate nurses and dementia

This week we have another three morning sessions talking to graduate nurses at Northumbria University, about coping with dementia. I say &q...