Facing the diagnosis of an illness is never easy, but conditions like dementia can pose even greater challenges because they impact the cognitive abilities of the patient. Those facing symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease may become defensive about their condition and are likely to hide it or deny it when confronted. So, it’s a situation that you need to approach in a sensitive and tactful way.
If you suspect a loved one may be displaying early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, here are some tips on how to approach it.
Understand the symptoms of dementia
Before bringing up your concerns, it is worth educating yourself further on the symptoms of dementia. Some memory problems may simply be explained by old age, while more serious memory lapses may be associated with dementia. Look out for other symptoms that aren’t related to memory, such as a change in personality, to help you confirm your worries.
Start a conversation with them
If you still think there’s a problem after researching the condition, the best thing to do is to bring it up with the person. Make sure you approach the topic in a friendly, sensitive, and non-judgemental way. Bring up the changes you think you’re seeing in that person and suggest that they should consider seeing a doctor to see if there is a problem.
You might find that they have noticed the same changes in themselves and are open to having the problem assessed by a doctor. Offering to visit the doctor with them might make them feel more comfortable and make the process a little easier.
How to respond to resistance
It’s common for dementia patients to resist or deny their changes initially. If your loved one refuses to see a doctor for the symptoms you’ve noticed, continue to monitor their health as much as you can. If you continue to notice symptoms, then you might want to visit the doctor yourself for advice on how to handle the situation.
Another option is to convince your loved one to visit the doctor for another reason, like a general health check-up or a flu vaccination. At this point, the doctor may be able to assess the patient’s memory problems and any other symptoms they are displaying.
After a diagnosis
If your loved one is ultimately diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it’s important that you support them and are patient and understanding of their condition. Get advice from their doctor about handling the progression of the illness and when to consider professional care for your loved one.
If you or a loved one need support and care throughout a dementia diagnosis, then contact Brookstone of Clemmons to find out how we can help you get the level of memory care you need.