How to Address a Possible Dementia Diagnosis with a Physician

Get support while discussing a possible dementia diagnosis.

While there is some validity to those worries, there are also some misunderstandings fueling them. For example, nearly 50% of the participants, who were adults age 40 and over, believe they’re prone to get dementia as they grow older. The reality is that just over 10% of seniors over age 65 are identified as having Alzheimer’s disease.

As a result, it is vital for senior adults to speak with their physicians for the practical, straightforward information they need about a possible dementia diagnosis – especially if any warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease are present, such as:

  • Memory decline that is disruptive to day-to-day life
  • Planning/problem-solving challenges
  • Difficulties with accomplishing once-familiar tasks
  • Confusion and disorientation to place and time
  • Vision problems and difficulties determining color/contrast and judging distance
  • Writing/speaking changes
  • Losing items and leaving them in unusual places
  • A decline in judgment
  • Social withdrawal
  • Mood/personality differences

The following are some suggestions to conquer any hesitance in talking with a doctor about Alzheimer’s, and how to make the conversation as productive as you possibly can.

  • Don’t wait. The natural impulse might be to procrastinate bringing up something that could potentially be so life-changing. Nonetheless, time is of the essence in obtaining a proper diagnosis along with the most effective treatment. 
  • Bring a friend. It’s comforting to have the support of a dependable friend, family member, or caregiver at the appointment. Ideally, this person can offer more information to the physician in addition to any concerns being noticed from their perspective.
  • Compare then and now. Share with the doctor the specific changes that are causing concern. For instance, a loved one might be a retired math teacher who, up until last month, didn’t have to think twice about balancing the checkbook, but lately is experiencing some confusion with the task.

The doctor can review prescription drugs to see if adverse reactions are causing an issue, and schedule assessments and tests to develop the best plan of action.

Home Sweet Home In-Home Care’s kind and friendly caregiving companions are always on hand to accompany older adults 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 us online or call us at (269) 373-5444 in Kalamazoo, (269) 763-5350 in Paw Paw, (269) 849-9252 in St. Joseph, or (269) 963-9888 in Battle Creek for more details about our dementia care in Battle Creek, MI and other Michigan communities. For a full list of the communities we serve, please visit our Locations page.

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