The thought that you (or a loved one) might have Alzheimer’s disease is quite terrifying. Many times when we notice difficulty remembering, we’re torn between dismissing it as simply “old age” and worrying it might be something more sinister. If you have such concerns, a good place to start is our handout, Memory Loss: Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Old Age–What is it?. You might also want to consider a memory screening, which may be offered at your local clinic , hospital, or can be performed by your healthcare provider. In the Tampa Bay area, the Alzheimer’s Association’s Memory Mobile makes visits to different locations to bring information and memory screenings to citizens. We enjoyed hosting the Memory Mobile earlier this year and helping spread Alzheimer’s awareness!
If you are concerned about a loved one’s memory, this can be a sensitive topic. Remember that it is not only difficult to admit that memory may be failing, but it also brings a lot of fear about what this might mean and losing one’s independence. It can help to reassure your loved one that you want to help find out if perhaps a medication is causing some problems or if there is some underlying health issue. There are reversible causes of memory problems and dementia symptoms, so getting an idea of what is going on could actually lead to an improvement and better well-being (and continued independence!). If there is some form of progressive dementia at work, such as Alzheimer’s, having a diagnosis will help with planning and early treatment. This can make a big difference in quality of life for many years to come.
If you are having difficulty when trying to talk about these concerns with your loved one, consider scheduling a time to talk to our Senior Care Consultant, who can offer advice and ideas. Our expert care managers have helped hundreds of families facing dementia and can assist with everything from obtaining a proper diagnosis to finding the best healthcare providers through planning and determining the best options throughout the progress of the disease.
Sometimes, the person with memory loss is good at covering for deficiencies and families may not spot the early signs, especially if living at a distance. Our care managers can help evaluate in a dignified way and we’re also available if an urgent situation arises (e.g. you come to visit and realize how far things have deteriorated and don’t think it’s safe to leave Mom alone anymore, Dad ends up at the hospital malnourished or with effects of medication mismanagement, your aunt is found by the police after getting lost).
Contact the Aging Wisely team online or at 727-447-5845 for assistance with memory loss concerns!
On October 25th, our team will join others in the local community for the Pinellas County Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Our team has been placing special focus on Alzheimer’s awareness and fundraising all year and we look forward to gathering with other supporters for this event! Check out the walk page if you’d like to support the event (or join a walk in your area if you don’t live near Clearwater)!