Scenario 8: Talking to your GP

“I suspect that my wife may have early dementia but our GP says she is just getting old and we shouldn’t worry too much.”

  • Some GPs may not recognise early dementia while others may think it is better not to discuss it as they believe there is nothing to be gained from this.
  • It is important to get a clear picture of the situation, as a person with early dementia needs to start whatever planning they wish to do before they lose capacity.
  • It is important to trust your own feelings and be prepared to be assertive in getting your questions answered by the GP.
  • Inform yourself through reading material on the Alzheimer’s Australia website.
  • It may be helpful to talk to friends or family members who have had some experience with dementia.
  • Prepare a number of questions to take for discussion with the GP. Asking Questions About Dementia Can Help, a booklet from Palliative Care NSW and Dementia Australia NSW may help you prepare for a discussion with your GP.
  • Let the GP know about information for GPs that is available on this website as well as the Detect Early website.

What to do if your concerns are not addressed

  • If you still feel your concerns have not been addressed, ask for a second opinion or a referral to a geriatrician or neurologist.
  • If your GP is still unresponsive, consider transferring to another GP.