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Alzheimer's Disease

Testing and Legality of Alzheimer's Disease

08/29/2000

Question:

My father was placed in assisted living against his will. At home he had some difficulty focusing but this was exacerbated in assisted living. He is a farmer and likes familiar surroundings. The facility he is in has an alzheimer`s unit. Another facility brought this supposed tester in to give my father an alzheimer`s test.

I also need a legal support group`s assistance with those issues.

Thank you.

Answer:

Thank you for inquiring about your father`s condition. First of all, there is no actual Alzheimer`s test that can give you 100% accurate results. Usually when one tests for Alzheimer`s, it is a battery of tests that look at memory, what kind of thought processes he uses, a medical exam, what they are able to do day to day by themselves or with assistance and other people`s perspectives on their behavior. When all these tests are done, doctors are usually able to say that the patient has probable or possible AD or some other type of dementia. Right now, the only way one can be certain about a person having AD is through an autopsy at the time of death. According to some of the doctors here at the Alzheimer Center, the issue isn`t that the facility gave your father a test, but that you would like to be included in the decision making process for your father. Here are a few suggestions of actions that you could take: 1.talk with the facility director where your father is living. Power of attorney does not allow for total disenfranchisement of a patient`s child. 2. understand that the move from an assisted living to an AD unit has more to do with functional ability and your father`s level of competency. Can he live and function safely? Does he meet the requirements for independent living? Would it be in his best interest and safety to live in an AD unit? 3. It may be helpful for you, your sister and a social worker from the facility to meet - to talk out some of the family conflict. If this is not possible, 4. Linda BeeBe, a legal mediator, 14701 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107, 216-228-1500 may be of some assistance. (Or any other legal mediator - we just happen to be located in Cleveland, OH) Last, 5. you can contact the Alzheimer`s Association`s Doreen Kearney (Cleveland), who can talk to you to help sort out the real issues. Below is a link to the Alzheimer`s Association national web site, where you can find local chapters near to where you live that you can call as well. We hope we answered your question. If there is anything else that we can assist you with, please don`t hesitate to contact us again. Best wishes, University Alzheimer Center

Related Resources:

National Alzheimer's Association
Memory and Cognition Center

For more information:

Go to the Alzheimer's Disease health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jon Stuckey, PhD
Formerly
Case Western Reserve University