A suspicion of a problem with a loved one’s health should be acted upon. It is difficult to bring up the subject of Alzheimer’s with an aging loved one, but doing so is necessary to ensure that he or she gets the proper care. If you suspect that your mom needs Alzheimer’s care, the first step is to keep track of your observances.
Keep a written record of memory loss problems.
Memory loss is the hallmark characteristic of Alzheimer’s, but everyone experiences it from time to time. It is when memory loss is significant enough to impair everyday functioning that doctors begin to suspect someone needs dementia care. Look for the following issues:
- Problems managing money
- Poor judgment
- Forgetting to go to appointments
- Forgetting how to navigate to a frequently visited destination
- Repeating herself frequently
Talk to your mom’s doctor.
Adult children are often unsure about the extent to which they can involve themselves with an elderly parent’s healthcare. Everyone in the U.S. has the legal right to keep their medical records private. However, it is not a violation to meet with your mom’s doctor, with or without her presence. If you are not ready to discuss your concerns with your mom yet, you can share them with her doctor. The doctor can consider whether your observations about your mom’s memory loss warrant referring her to a neurologist for screening.
Discuss the idea of getting screened for Alzheimer’s.
It is common for older parents to resist the idea of getting tested for Alzheimer’s. If your mom is among them, try saying something like this, “You are right, mom. I am sure there is nothing wrong. I think getting screened would give us both some peace of mind, however.”
Empower your mom to direct her own care plan.
One fear of newly diagnosed individuals is that they will eventually have no say in what happens to them. Let your mom know she is still in control of her own life. Tell her that you want to make sure you are able to follow her wishes in the coming years, and so it would be best to tour memory care locations while she is still able to process information well. Choosing where she will eventually live may help her come to terms with the diagnosis, and it can give you peace of mind knowing that she will be well taken care of.
Avalon Memory Care is privileged to be the assisted living location of choice for Dallas, Arlington and Houston families. We offer gracious living options within a home-like setting. Call (214) 752-7050 to discuss our unique approach to continuous care.