Sometimes aging adults experience cognitive changes or memory troubles and become concerned that they’re developing Alzheimer’s disease. If that’s the case for your senior, there are some steps you need to take in order to help her to approach the topic from a fact-based standpoint. Once you have answers, you’ll know how to best proceed.
Ask Her Why She Believes She’s Developing Alzheimer’s Disease
Try to avoid any sort of knee jerk reactions when your senior brings this topic up. If she truly is afraid she’s developing Alzheimer’s disease, she has reasons and you need to know what they are. Talk about whatever she’s willing to talk about with you and try to refrain from making any proclamations about what you think just yet.
Evaluate Her Medical History and Her Family History
Often people with Alzheimer’s disease have a family history of some sort with the condition. Talk with your elderly family member about what she knows about that family history. It might also be a good idea to talk with her about her medical history, both in the past and more recently. There are a lot of health issues that contribute to memory problems, and these may be part of what’s going on.
Make an Appointment with the Doctor
The next concrete step is to bring this issue up with your senior’s doctor. Make an appointment and you and your senior can share what you know about what’s going on. In the past, Alzheimer’s disease was a little more difficult to diagnose until later stages. Now there are tests and other diagnostic tools that your senior’s doctor can use to get a diagnosis as early as possible. The earlier you confirm whether this is actually Alzheimer’s disease or not, the better for your senior and for you.
Bring in Some Extra Help
Whatever the answer is after your senior’s doctor has finished evaluating her, it might be a good idea to have some extra help around. Your senior may be more comfortable knowing that you and elder care providers are there to help her with whatever needs to be done. Sometimes the stress of worrying about so much can contribute to memory problems, so this can help on many different levels.
Being afraid of Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t mean your senior is definitely developing it. But it can help you to talk more about how she’s feeling and what might be on the horizon for her in terms of her health. And if she is dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s better to know sooner rather than later.