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What to do when you Suspect Dementia

What to do when you Suspect Dementia – Andrea Leavitt

People often ask, “Where do we start?” when they begin to see signs of memory problems with their loved one. Perhaps the senior begins to miss routine appointments, makes financial errors, frequently misplaces items, repeats topics in conversations, is unable to keep the home organized or is becoming withdrawn and isolated. These may be indicators of the onset of dementia.

This blog is the first of a three part series which will cover five ways you can become informed and gain control for the difficult road. Here are the first two steps:

  1. Get Assessed – This is a critical first step. It is important to have a neurologist do a thorough evaluation. This may include a physical exam, lab work, x-rays, cognitive assessments as well as consideration of information provided by the senior/family/friends regarding the changes. This will determine if there are medical reasons causing the dementia symptoms which can be addressed, resolving the presenting concerns. However, if a medical diagnosis is ruled out, then dementia may be confirmed. If you haven’t consulted a geriatrician, now may be just the right time. Read more about why: What is a Geriatrician?
  1. Get Informed –Educate yourself on the disease. Contact local chapters that are connected to the diagnosis (Alzheimer’s Association, Parkinson’s Foundation, etc.). Attend a class or seminar on the subject. See links below.

While a dementia diagnosis is devastating, please know that you are not alone. There are many caring professionals and individuals who will kindly walk the sacred path alongside you. Supporting, informing and caring so that you can live the best life possible.

Alzheimer’s Association: www.alz.org 

Heart of America Chapter (find local resources and support groups for the Kansas City Metro Area): http://www.alz.org/kansascity/

National Parkinson’s Foundation of the Heartland: http://www.parkinsonheartland.org/

Lewy Body Dementia Association: https://www.lbda.org/

Educational and Support opportunities from AgeWise: http://8dc.6a8.myftpupload.com/events/

 

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“AgeWise was a godsend. They are very knowledgeable and skilled in working with people with mental health issues. She did a super job holding my family member's and my hand throughout the process. She was very sensitive to managing the cost of her services and at the same time delivered excellent value. AgeWise exceeded my expectations.”
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“I’ve worked closely with the AgeWise team in my role as private duty care manager/Apartment nurse at a retirement community. Because of the competent and compassionate service they provide, I highly recommend them to you and would personally use them if my family member needed care management.”
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“… is very competent, goes the extra mile and very dependable which is hard to find.”
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“AgeWise has the gift of striking just the correct and proper balance between caring, being your client's advocate, and yet effecting change in a professional manner for the children who live at a distance.“
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“Again, I am so impressed with the services you are offering and the way you impact lives. You have a calming, caring, confident, and very real spirit that makes the difficult conversations easier. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
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“Thanks for the input, it was great. I really appreciated what you had to share and I believe we all found it valuable. It got us going in the right direction.”
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“AgeWise staff have been a delight to work with for a number of years. They have been integral team members in caring for four senior adults in my family. They have dealt with difficult situations with intelligence and sensitivity. We know we can count on them to assess needs ranging from Alzheimer's care to end of life issues and help provide compassionate solutions. AgeWise staff have gone above and beyond to assist my family.”