If someone you care about is displaying signs of dementia, your first emotional response will most likely be fear. We are afraid of what the future will hold for them and for us if they are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another dementia-related disease.
Denial is also a frequent reaction. Couples don’t want to admit that there is anything wrong, so the healthy spouse takes on more and more responsibilities and they become very adept at hiding the symptoms from friends and family. They learn to compensate and conceal the behavior until there’s a crisis.
When someone tells me they suspect a parent or spouse may have Alzheimer’s, I encourage them to do two things immediately:
The first thing is to get an accurate diagnosis. Ask your regular doctor for a referral to a geriatric neurologist. You need a specialist who understands that there are ten common types of dementia, as well as a number of other medical reasons a person can be displaying memory loss or confusion, including:
- Immune disorders
- Low blood sugar
- Sodium imbalances
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Reactions to medications
- Alcohol and drug abuse
Getting an accurate diagnosis will ensure that your loved one will get appropriate medical treatment.*
The second thing I recommend is making sure all of your loved one’s business affairs and end-of-life records are in order. If you aren’t sure what you need, please email me at Elaine@EKSanchez.com, and type “End of Life Docs” in the subject line. I will send you a free PDF that will help you understand the documents you need to have in place to avoid expensive legal proceedings and emotional family meltdowns in hospital corridors.
For more information on the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, click on this link: https://www.alz.org/10-signs-symptoms-alzheimers-dementia.asp.
**For more information on medical conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, click on this link to the Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dementia/symptoms-causes/syc-20352013
If you have a question or comment, please write it in the comment box below, or contact me at: Elaine@EKSanchez.com