Warning Signs of Dementia: When to Speak with a Doctor
Fear. Shame. Embarrassment. The feelings associated with a potential Alzheimer’s diagnosis can cause older adults to keep their suspicions to themselves. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, while the reasons may vary, many people are worried about becoming a burden to others and losing independence.
While there is some validity to those worries, there are also misconceptions fueling them. Researchers do not believe there is one cause of Alzheimer’s. And while age does increase risk, it is not a direct cause of Alzheimer’s. In fact, a little over 10% of seniors over age 65 are identified as having Alzheimer’s disease.
As a result, it’s important for older adults to speak with their doctors for the realistic, straightforward information they need – particularly if any warning signs of dementia are being detected, such as:
Memory decline that is disruptive to daily life
Planning and/or problem-solving difficulties
Problems with completing once-familiar daily tasks
Disorientation and confusion to time and place
Vision issues and difficulty determining color/contrast and judging distance
Losing things and leaving them in unusual places
A reduction in judgment
Below are a few tips to manage any reluctance in talking to the doctor about dementia, and how to make the conversation as successful as possible.
Make comparisons between then and now. Share with the doctor the particular changes that are causing concern. For example, an older adult might be a retired math teacher who, up until last month, did not have to think twice about balancing the checkbook, but recently is experiencing some frustration with the task.
Don’t put it off. The natural impulse might be to put off bringing up something that could potentially be so life-changing. Nonetheless, time is of the essence in receiving a proper diagnosis along with the most effective treatment.
Bring a friend. It’s reassuring to have the support of a trusted caregiver, friend or family member during the appointment. Ideally, this person can offer additional information to the doctor along with any concerns being noticed from their perspective.
The physician can review medications to see if side effects are producing an issue, and schedule tests and assessments to discover the best course of action.
The Care Company’s kind and friendly caregiving companions are always readily available to accompany seniors to medical appointments and procedures, and also to aid in making life easier and more manageable in a variety of other ways as well. Contact the experts in Alzheimer’s care in Toronto and the surrounding areas at (416) 422-2273 for additional details about our trusted home care services.