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frequently misplaces items, repeats topics in conversations, is unable to keep the home organized or is becoming withdrawn and isolated.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:
- 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?
- 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/