What to do if you suspect Alzheimer’s or dementia
It’s a scary thought, but it’s important to face these fears head-on and have them get a thorough doctor’s exam and proper diagnosis.
If their dementia-like symptoms turn out to be caused by a treatable medical condition, seniors can get proper treatment and regain their lives faster.
If their symptoms are caused by Alzheimer’s or dementia, getting a specific diagnosis as early as possible gives everyone time to evaluate treatment options, plan for the future, and find support and resources.
We share 5 important reasons why a complete medical exam and proper diagnosis of their symptoms improves your older adult’s quality of life.
5 benefits of an early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia
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.
If your older adult doesn’t see their doctor for a full physical exam, they won’t know what’s causing their symptoms and won’t get the help they need.
2. Maximize benefits from available treatments
An early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or detection of dementia means that treatment can begin right away.
3. Have time to plan for the future
Getting a specific diagnosis gives your older adult control over their own future.
Before their cognitive function becomes too impaired, they can make key decisions about their future care and finances, like choosing someone to be power of attorney and signing 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 of 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.
Recommended for you:
- 7 Treatable Health Conditions with Dementia-Like Symptoms
- SAGE Test: 15 Minute At-Home Test for Alzheimer’s
- The Mini Mental Status Exam: A Dementia Screening Tool
By DailyCaring Editorial Team