Alzheimer’s Disease is a type of dementia that can cause problems with memory, thinking, cognition, and behavior. Symptoms usually, although not always, develop slowly and get worse over time, with end-stages of the disease becoming life-threatening.
To-date, there is no cure. Early detection offers the best chance for effective treatment and improved quality of life. Memory loss is the most widely recognized early warning sign, and knowing what to do about it could make all the difference in your treatment options.
Let us share several important items to keep in mind when approaching someone, perhaps a loved one, with potential Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia-related memory issues.
Access the situation early.
What changes in memory, thinking, or behavior do you observe? What is the your loved one doing, or not doing? What exactly is causing concern? Has anyone else noticed the same changes that you are seeing?
Writing down your concerns and cataloguing them over time can help establish the difference between what could Alzheimer’s Disease and the normal aging process. A certain amount of memory loss and confusion is to be expected, and other factors may affect older adults as well, such as prescription medications, stress, and other health conditions.
Researching memory loss, especially as it relates to Alzheimer’s Disease, can also help bring clarity to the situation. Do not be afraid to proactively speak with a medical professional or qualified health care provider.
Talk about it together.
Like any problem, acknowledging your concerns is the first step. This can be easier said than done when confronting a loved one about his or her mental health.
Speak with other family members and decide who should begin the conversation. Sometimes it is best to raise such concerns in a face-to-face talk, or it may be best to include several family members when raising the issue. In any case, compassion, understanding and support will be key.
Reach out for help.
Scheduling a doctor’s evaluation is a critical first step. There are also a number of support organizations, Alzheimer’s Disease, and memory loss assistance programs, and caring professionals to help with daily challenges, getting to medical appointments, and important legal and financial planning items. Further, law firms like ours can help you plan for the future to determine what type of long-term care may be needed in the future and how you may be able to afford it.
We know how difficult this conversation can be and want to help. Do not wait to contact us to schedule a meeting with our firm to help you plan for the future.