What to do if you suspect Alzheimer’s
Nobody wants to admit that someone they care about could have such a devastating condition. Even though you’re worried, you might think it’s useless to get a diagnosis because there’s no cure.
But ignoring what’s happening isn’t going to make it go away. Even if there aren’t any cures right now, there are still 5 good reasons why a complete medical exam and proper diagnosis of their symptoms will improve your senior’s life.
5 benefits of an early Alzheimer’s diagnosis
1. It might not be Alzheimer’s or dementia at all
Signs of memory or cognitive issues don’t always mean someone has Alzheimer’s or dementia. There are many treatable health conditions that cause dementia-like symptoms, like UTI, normal pressure hydrocephalus, hospital delirium, or medication side effects.
If your older adult doesn’t see their doctor for a full physical exam, they won’t know what’s causing their symptoms. Nobody should have to lose quality of life because of a condition that could be effectively treated.
2. Maximize benefits from available treatments
An early Alzheimer’s diagnosis or detection of dementia means that treatment can begin right away. Medications and lifestyle changes are often more effective in the early stages and can reduce or delay the onset of more severe symptoms.
3. Have time to plan for the future
Getting a specific diagnosis gives your senior control over their own future. While they have good cognitive function, they can make key decisions about their future care and finances, choose who they want to make decisions for them when they’re not able, and sign essential legal documents.
They’ll also be able to share their end-of-life wishes. That way, you and the rest of the family won’t have to guess, fret, or argue about what you think they would want when that time comes.
4. Pursue lifelong dreams before symptoms become too severe
With an early diagnosis like Alzheimer’s or dementia, older adults will still have time to work on their “bucket list” items, fulfilling lifelong dreams while they still can.
5. Get support and resources
When you don’t know what’s causing troubling behaviors and symptoms, it’s tough to find support and resources to deal with what’s happening. With a specific diagnosis, you’ll be able to find the information you need to understand and manage day-to-day challenges.
It’s scary to admit that your older adult might have a serious health condition like Alzheimer’s or dementia. But facing it head-on and getting a diagnosis allows seniors to quickly regain their lives if it’s a treatable medical condition.
If their condition does turn out to be Alzheimer’s or dementia, getting a specific diagnosis as early as possible gives everyone time to plan for the future and find support.
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: The Bristal Assisted Living