5 Benefits of an Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or Dementia

5 reasons why a complete medical exam and proper diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia symptoms improves quality of life

What to do if you suspect Alzheimer’s or dementia

If your older adult is behaving oddly or showing signs of cognitive impairment, like memory or judgment problems, you might wonder if they have Alzheimer’s disease 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.

There are many treatable health conditions that cause dementia-like symptoms, like urinary tract infection (UTI), normal pressure hydrocephalus, hospital-induced 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 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.

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 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.


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By DailyCaring Editorial Team

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  • Reply February 11, 2017


    I’m a 57 year-old male who suffered 2 major accidents, the first accident I was working for the Defense Dept. and broke my back, herniated 2 disc and dislocated my shoulder. I had back surgery (twice) but my pain became worse. While waiting for test results (I spent more time waiting for the Dept. of Labor to review and approve test and procedures it was painfully slow and depressing) Someone forgot that all I wanted to do was go back to work and live a normal life. I had a 3rd surgery in 2008 a two level spinal fusion. I did all the latest therapy but I lost feeling in my leg. I lost my balance and fell, suffered a TBI, 8 days in a coma, 63 in rehab learning to walk again. So my goal when I was injured at a young 30 years-old, my goal to return to work, I just bought a house and my second just turned 1, was totally changed. I didn’t quit. I went back to school and earned a degree in Computer Science and worked 15 more years before my injuries got the best of me. 57 and forget simple things, have trouble getting dressed some days and have trouble walking.. I’ll never play with my grandson like I want to. Never be able to jog. I guess my only option is live me life in serious pain. So I saw the Amazon Echo being used for reminders. maybe I’ll skip eating for a week and see if I can afford one, or maybe some mega-billion dollar company can help. A person should not feel this bad at 57.

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