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Dementia Diagnoses? Questions to ask your Doctor.

 

Receiving a dementia diagnosis can be devastating. It’s possible that you already knew it was coming or maybe it caught you by surprise. Either way, the news does not make it easier. Dementia is defined as a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning. Depending on what stage you are in, dementia affects your memory, communication, speech, focus, concentration, reasoning, judgment and visual perception. You might not know what questions to ask when you receive your diagnosis, however here are 12 important questions we found on verywellhealth.com to ask your doctor in your next visit.

north-star-senior-advisors-diagnosis-dementia

How Did You Arrive at This Diagnosis?

Sometimes, it can be helpful to know what tests were conducted and how you or your loved one scored on those tests. This can give you information about decision-making ability and judgmentexecutive functioningcommunication ability, and short and long term memory.

Is There Any Possibility That These Symptoms Could Be Triggered by Any of the Reversible Causes of Dementia Symptoms?

While this was likely considered by the physician before the diagnosis was made, it’s still a good question to respectfully ask. There are times when these conditions masquerade as dementia or worsen dementia symptoms, so testing to eliminate these possibilities is important.

What Kind of Dementia Is This?

Some people don’t ask this question because they don’t want to know. And, some clinicians use the word “dementia” because the word “Alzheimer’s” scares people more. As hard as it may be to hear, it can be helpful to know what to expect and to learn as much as possible about the specific type of dementia that the physician believes is causing these symptoms.

What Stage Is the Dementia?

Some types of dementia have stages that are fairly predictable, such as Alzheimer’s. Others, such as vascular dementia, can often remain fairly stable for a time and then suddenly progress.

How Quickly Does This Dementia Typically Progress?

Being prepared for how this disease may develop and affect you or your loved one can be helpful in making decisions ahead of time about care options, financial and legal designations and medical treatment

What Else Should You Expect?

Ask what other symptoms might develop so that you know what to watch for as things progress.

What Medications Might Be Helpful?

There are only a handful of medications approved by the FDA to treat Alzheimer’s disease, and they are often prescribed to treat other types of dementia as well. Ask your physician if any might be appropriate and beneficial, as well as what side effects might develop with that particular medication.

Are There Any Clinical Trials That Might Be Appropriate to Try?

Some clinical trials might be available for your particular situation. You can also refer to the clinical trial match program on the Alzheimer’s Association website. There are pros and cons to participating in clinical trials, and your physician may be able to help you evaluate these, given your specific situation, diagnosis, health and philosophy of disease management.

What Non-Drug Approaches Might Be Helpful?

Non-drug approaches to dementia such as exercise, diet, and mental activity can be quite beneficial for some people.

Is It Still Safe to Live at Home?

Based on your reports, the doctor’s observations and the results of the cognitive screening tests, your doctor may be able to make a recommendation regarding the safety of living in your loved one’s own home.

What About Work?

Again, depending on the symptoms and expected prognosis, your physician may be able to help determine how long this person can continue to work if he is still employed.

What Resources Can Help?

Many communities have local Alzheimer’s Association groups, as well as other support groups and resources. Your physician may be able to suggest where to begin as you adjust and cope with this disease.

 

You might want to start gathering information about Memory Care Facilities. These communities provide specialized care for those living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of Dementia in a secured environment. They will provide you or your loved one with the quality of life and enjoy activities, personalized care, and medication oversight. If you are ever interested in getting some more information, please feel free to contact North Star Senior Advisors at 407-796-1582. We will make the search process easy and ensure that you or your loved one locate a facility that is able to accommodate the level of care, budget, location and what you or your loved one is looking for in a senior living community.

About the author : Veronica Quiñones

headshot of Veronica Quiñones

Owner and Senior Advisor

Article by:

Veronica Quiñones

Owner and Senior Advisor

headshot of Veronica Quiñones

Recent Posts

Topics

By Published On: January 4, 2019Categories: Elder Care, Elder Care Resources, Tips for our Seniors

Share this article on social media!

Dementia Diagnoses? Questions to ask your Doctor.

 

Receiving a dementia diagnosis can be devastating. It’s possible that you already knew it was coming or maybe it caught you by surprise. Either way, the news does not make it easier. Dementia is defined as a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning. Depending on what stage you are in, dementia affects your memory, communication, speech, focus, concentration, reasoning, judgment and visual perception. You might not know what questions to ask when you receive your diagnosis, however here are 12 important questions we found on verywellhealth.com to ask your doctor in your next visit.

north-star-senior-advisors-diagnosis-dementia

How Did You Arrive at This Diagnosis?

Sometimes, it can be helpful to know what tests were conducted and how you or your loved one scored on those tests. This can give you information about decision-making ability and judgmentexecutive functioningcommunication ability, and short and long term memory.

Is There Any Possibility That These Symptoms Could Be Triggered by Any of the Reversible Causes of Dementia Symptoms?

While this was likely considered by the physician before the diagnosis was made, it’s still a good question to respectfully ask. There are times when these conditions masquerade as dementia or worsen dementia symptoms, so testing to eliminate these possibilities is important.

What Kind of Dementia Is This?

Some people don’t ask this question because they don’t want to know. And, some clinicians use the word “dementia” because the word “Alzheimer’s” scares people more. As hard as it may be to hear, it can be helpful to know what to expect and to learn as much as possible about the specific type of dementia that the physician believes is causing these symptoms.

What Stage Is the Dementia?

Some types of dementia have stages that are fairly predictable, such as Alzheimer’s. Others, such as vascular dementia, can often remain fairly stable for a time and then suddenly progress.

How Quickly Does This Dementia Typically Progress?

Being prepared for how this disease may develop and affect you or your loved one can be helpful in making decisions ahead of time about care options, financial and legal designations and medical treatment

What Else Should You Expect?

Ask what other symptoms might develop so that you know what to watch for as things progress.

What Medications Might Be Helpful?

There are only a handful of medications approved by the FDA to treat Alzheimer’s disease, and they are often prescribed to treat other types of dementia as well. Ask your physician if any might be appropriate and beneficial, as well as what side effects might develop with that particular medication.

Are There Any Clinical Trials That Might Be Appropriate to Try?

Some clinical trials might be available for your particular situation. You can also refer to the clinical trial match program on the Alzheimer’s Association website. There are pros and cons to participating in clinical trials, and your physician may be able to help you evaluate these, given your specific situation, diagnosis, health and philosophy of disease management.

What Non-Drug Approaches Might Be Helpful?

Non-drug approaches to dementia such as exercise, diet, and mental activity can be quite beneficial for some people.

Is It Still Safe to Live at Home?

Based on your reports, the doctor’s observations and the results of the cognitive screening tests, your doctor may be able to make a recommendation regarding the safety of living in your loved one’s own home.

What About Work?

Again, depending on the symptoms and expected prognosis, your physician may be able to help determine how long this person can continue to work if he is still employed.

What Resources Can Help?

Many communities have local Alzheimer’s Association groups, as well as other support groups and resources. Your physician may be able to suggest where to begin as you adjust and cope with this disease.

 

You might want to start gathering information about Memory Care Facilities. These communities provide specialized care for those living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of Dementia in a secured environment. They will provide you or your loved one with the quality of life and enjoy activities, personalized care, and medication oversight. If you are ever interested in getting some more information, please feel free to contact North Star Senior Advisors at 407-796-1582. We will make the search process easy and ensure that you or your loved one locate a facility that is able to accommodate the level of care, budget, location and what you or your loved one is looking for in a senior living community.

Article by:

Veronica Quiñones

Owner and Senior Advisor

headshot of Veronica Quiñones

Recent Posts

Topics