...... When a family member attends with a patient there is implied consent and it makes clear to the GP that there are concerns and what those are. The sensitivity to pick up something as early stage dementia is much better amongst relatives than medical professionals:....
Attendance with the person at the doctors is key. Our lives (me and Mrs Avtur) are totally given over to looking after Mum in law; we've moved house in order that we can provide 24/7 care under the same roof. Her main ailment is Parkinson's but there are many others running alongside including a Parkinson's related dementia.
M-i-L has not been to the doctors on her own for the best part of 5 years now. She is always accompanied by Mrs Avtur (but occasionally me). We've had no problems at all with this arrangement and it means that we are 100% informed about M-i-L's state of health. Her needs are no so complex that there isn't the remotest chance she can fully understand what she is told by doctors. We're now at a stage where she can't be trusted to take her own medications, they have to be controlled and administered by us (18 tablets per day over four different times). This would not be possible without us having 100% knowledge of her precise condition, and that is only possible because we are always in attendance at all medical interventions.
Mrs Avtur has the earlier 'enduring POA', the implications of this are widely misunderstood, Mrs Avtur has had full control of all her mum's affairs for about five years now although it has not been activated, but that's a whole different ball game.
If you want knowledge of medical status then attend the doctors with the person concerned.
Whatever happens, don't shy away from the conversation, things will only get more difficult. We have been extremely lucky that conversations have been open and inclusive of all family members, luckily there have been no misunderstandings and we've easily reached agreement on the necessary actions.