My Husband was referred to Letterkenny Dementia clinic for assessment due to memory/cognitive issues in 2020. We found the experience to be de-humanising. Everyone had the same appointment time. It was pre Covid and the waiting area was full of people at various stages of Dementia.
It was distressing waiting to see the Doctor. We found the doctor dismissive and felt that we were wasting their time. He was referred for an MRI scan and the results were that there was no indication of mental deterioration. The letter with the results was abrupt.
I realise that it is difficult to diagnose Frontotemporal Lobe Dementia and the patient does not present as obviously having Alzheimer’s and can score well on mini memory tests.
We did not accept the results and went privately to St.Jame's Memory Clinic in Dublin. The experience there could not have been more different.
On looking at the scan the consultant decided that it needed to be followed up. He referred my husband for a PET scan and the results there were that he has mixed Dementia -Alzhiemers with Frontotemporal elements.
We received the results via video link as the pandemic had started. Although the results were devastating they were also vindication of what we had suspected. We were treated with professional courtesy then and in subsequent appointments. We got some very good advice and it was suggested we contact Alzheimers Society of Ireland. This proved invaluable and a lifeline during Covid.
The experience in Letterkenny made us wary of accessing services in our home county. It was so difficult trying to access help and support locally and luckily I am able to research and find services.
Since then recently we have been able to connect with Mental Health Services for Older Persons locally and so far that has been a positive experience.
"Mental Health Services"
About: Letterkenny General Hospital Letterkenny General Hospital Letterkenny 0500-2800 Psychiatry of Later Life / Psychiatry of Old Age / Psychiatry of Later Life / Psychiatry of Old Age CMHT Psychiatry of Later Life / Psychiatry of Old Age Psychiatry of Later Life / Psychiatry of Old Age CMHT
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