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Is the cognitive testing always worth
looking4relief
Posted: Monday, February 15, 2021 7:54 AM
Joined: 11/27/2019
Posts: 65


I have posted here before, I continue to have a steady decline in some capacities. For example lately it has gotten hard to conceptualize things I read or people tell me. But there is much more.

So my question is aside from financial benefits like having an insurance and official recognition of an illness are there other uses to neuropsychological evaluations. I have certainly not made a lot of money lately and would not benefit from any insurance with an official diagnosis, even one indicating a strong possibility of dementia.


Are there other advantages of getting an extensive psychoevaluation I'm not seeing. Also I imagine some people would want to have two evaluations to show the decline.

 

Thank you if someone answers to this.


Iris L.
Posted: Monday, February 15, 2021 5:14 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17430


I'm not quite certain of your question.  Are you asking if you should have more neurocognitive testing?  Do you have a diagnosis?


Repeated neuropsychological evaluations can document the progress or absence of progress.  In my case, full neurocognitive testing about a year after beginning medications documented a small decline in some areas, improvement in other areas, and no change in other areas.  The next year there was no significant decline documented.  This, along with the negative Amyvid PET scan, confirmed to my neurologist that I do not have Alzheimer's Disease.  
 

Iris

MyMaxie
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2021 11:52 AM
Joined: 7/20/2019
Posts: 11


As a spouse of someone whose memory is declining I know it would help me be more understanding if there was a formal diagnosis.  He had neuropsyc testing two years ago and it showed significant weakness in his short-term memory; now things have rapidly declined and we are waiting over three months to get him re-evaluated.  The neuropsyc was reluctant to diagnosis Alzheimers or another dementia two years ago because the doctor had no standardized testing for my husband as a baseline comparison.  Also, some medical professionals will allow me to act on his behalf without the formal diagnosis or anything in writing granting me permission to make medical decisions for him.  Recently, he was hospitalized and the hospitalist gave him instructions to make an appt for a heart monitor but that info was never relayed by anyone to me so it went undone until the cardiac nurse called me to follow-up.  If he had a formal diagnosis perhaps the hospital staff would have been more inclined to repeat info to me rather than assuming he would relay it.
Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2021 2:12 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17430


Hello Maxie.  The neurocognitive tests are one factor in the diagnostic process.  It would help you to learn more about what is happening and be prepared for inevitable changes.  Don't rely on  medical personnel to be proactive for you.  You have to become an advocate.  The members of the Spouse/Partner board are very knowledgeable and supportive.  Also, be aware of anosognosia.  It's common in the majority of PWDs.  

Iris L.


looking4relief
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2021 5:42 PM
Joined: 11/27/2019
Posts: 65


I have no diagnosis no, but these days something is different and worse. My initial plan was to get diagnosed only when my condition gets completely obvious. I don't know. I am pretty sure the neurocognitive test would show a decline.
looking4relief
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2021 5:55 PM
Joined: 11/27/2019
Posts: 65


My family and friends have been understanding of my condition. Most believe I must have some kind of tricky health problem even if they officially found nothing. People will watch after me sometimes and remind me things I'm forgetting. Like remind me that I put something in the oven earlier, or ask me if I have thought about certain things I'm likely to forget. Well if I'm alone I normally remember I'm cooking something with the smell.. those little reminders are useful enough. Lately however I have felt more apathic and uninspired, also slightly boring to be around.
AndreeAndree
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2021 8:58 PM
Joined: 10/8/2020
Posts: 9


I was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's at age 55.  Getting the diagnosis is definitely worth it.  I was able to go on FMLA at work (before losing my job).  I was able to get my long term disability  I applied for and received SSDI, which at my age is very important because it takes 2 years from acceptance before Medicare will set in.  All of those are good reasons, but the most important reason of all is that I was able to obtain medication which is slowing the progression of the disease.  Both my husband and I have noticed significant positive changes with the medication.  Regardless of whether you are diagnosed, check out Memory Warriors on Facebook.  It is a support group for people WITH  memory loss or dementia.
AndreeAndree
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2021 9:02 PM
Joined: 10/8/2020
Posts: 9


Check out the support group on Facebook called Memory Warriors. It is for people WITH memory loss or dementia (regardless if diagnosed).  You may find it helpful.  (Note membership questions must be answered because ONLY people with memory loss or dementia are accepted).
Iris L.
Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2021 9:16 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17430


Looking4relief, I believe a very important task is to develop a philosophy about having dementia.  Having dementia is a most difficult and lonely journey.  I came up with the concept of being a Dementia Pioneer for myself to keep me motivated and moving forward.  


Iris


looking4relief
Posted: Saturday, February 20, 2021 9:55 PM
Joined: 11/27/2019
Posts: 65


It's a new way of life for sure. I am a little more used to experiencing constantly memory problems and confusion now.
Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, February 21, 2021 1:05 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 17430


It helped me to set up systems to limit needing to remember so much.  For example, every night I write down what I plan to do for tomorrow.  I also make a weekly to-do list.  I make use of my calendar for monthly reminders, such as birthdays or appointments.  I have many bills on automatic payment.  I removed distractions, such as watching television news programs.  All these tactics and more, are helping me function better, because I have great difficulty with my executive functions and memory.  


Iris


Kay89898
Posted: Friday, July 23, 2021 8:08 PM
Joined: 2/12/2017
Posts: 6


Hi, I had a full mental health assessment performed by a neuropsychologist.  When the diagnosis came back as mild neurocognitive impairment, I filed for disability as I knew I would not be able to work.  I had already been having trouble well before the diagnosis came as far as keeping a job because of my impairment.

I am now receiving Disability, thank goodness. I do not have any other source of income. I had not had health insurance for about a year prior to my diagnosis.  Now that I am on Disability, I was able to get an ACA health insurance policy and I pay a very very small premium.

So the benefits to me in having a full mental health assessment is that I now have income and insurance.

So depending on your  situation, I would say that would play a part if you need to apply for Disability or not.

Also, a diagnosis is necessary to be placed in Memory Care or Skilled Nursing facility. 

Please continue to reach out through this message board for help and ideas.


 
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