Alzheimer’s is a disease that wreaks havoc on both those affected by it and the people who love them. The condition worsens over time and can eventually destroy someone’s ability to perform everyday tasks such as feeding or dressing themselves. If you suspect a loved one may be showing signs of Alzheimer’s, it is important to help them do what is necessary to get the medical help they need.
If someone is suffering from Alzheimer’s, they will be unaware of their changing or worsening symptoms. Family and friends will need to closely monitor and document their loved one’s behavior and actions in order to help them gain a proper diagnosis. Your loved one may be unable to communicate relevant issues to their doctor, and the notes from family and friends will help to make sense out of what is truly happening.
Gather Necessary Documentation
To test for Alzheimer’s, your loved one could possibly need to see a neurologist or mental health professional. Having a complete medical history available could help these specialists have a better understanding of your loved one’s medical history. There are various documents needed to access medical information. Once these documents have been compiled, you should be able to get the health records you need.
Make an Appointment
Speak with your loved one and carefully express your concerns. Let them know that you would like for them to make an appointment to see their general practitioner and that you would like to accompany them to that appointment. From there, the primary care physician will do initial testing and make referrals if necessary. Take good notes at each visit and try to communicate findings to your loved one as best you can. It will be important for someone to keep track of all appointments and to accompany the patient to each one. They will need an advocate to communicate on their behalf.
If your loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you will need to make a plan for their care. Some with Alzheimer’s are docile and not particularly difficult patients. Others can be combative and riddled with anxiety and confusion. The important thing to remember is to remain patient with your loved one and never try to argue with them. They will be unable to hold onto the information you give them, and arguing with them or correcting them will simply increase their anxiety and your own.
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