Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mawmaw's dementia screening results

Well, the doctor said he had been as generous as he could be in the scoring.  As in, if she got it wrong at first but then corrected herself, he gave her credit for it.

Her score: 22

He explained it to me this way:

30 is a perfect score
26-29 is a bit off but nothing to really worry about, could be explained by a bad day, not enough sleep the night before, being stressed and worried about the test, etc.
25 and below is where you get into marked dementia, the resulting issues it causes and support a person needs to still function properly.

He said that at 22 she's right where he would have expected her to be from what we've told him and what he's seen.  She can still do things like bathe, but she needs to be told to do that on a regular basis, she needs someone to be in control of her medicine dosages even though she can hold and swallow them, stuff like that.  Exactly what we are experiencing, in other words.

I looked it up online when we got home and found this description for her results range:

Significant effect.  May require some supervision, support and assistance.

Yep, that's our life right now.

So.  What did this test tell us?  Nothing.  Nothing that we didn't already know, but it did get the information documented officially and in her medical records in case we need that in the future.

He put her on a medicine to help slow the build up of plaques in her brain in hopes of helping her retain her current level of functioning.  He said that after we see how she does on it for a month or so then he may add another one that is often prescribed with the first but he never likes to start both at once in case there is an issue with one or the other.  Starting them separately lets him easily see which one causes any problems.

I did giggle because at one point he forgot about her hearing and started talking in a normal voice.  She was nodding and agreeing whenever he looked at her.  I butted in and said to her (loudly where she could hear me):

You have no idea what he said do you?
Her:  No
Me:  You better stop shaking your head yes when you don't know what he's saying, you might be agreeing to wash his car or something!


fullfreezer said...

Ah... the good old MOCA. I regularly do cognitive evaluations in my job but I always provide families with a list of specific recommendations. So sorry to hear you are on the receiving end of it. It's a rough road. She is very lucky she has you to help her through.


hoosier girl said...

I have been in your shoes. Literally. And the following website saved my sanity. Literally. Please check them out, the forums are so helpful. Prayers will continue. http://www.alz.org/

Erin said...

She is a very lucky woman to have you looking out for her, I know it will be a long road ahead and I wish you the best!

Shelli said...

She's blessed to have you...it is not an easy job you have. Sending love and prayers for all of you.

~*~The Family~*~ said...

Sometimes you just have to laugh because it is not as messy as crying. My mom looked at me last week in a room full of people and exclaimed loudly how old I looked. At this point if she thinks it, it comes out of her mouth. Not sure how old she thought she was if her youngest looks old, not even sure if she knew who she was talking to. I laughed.