What you should know—and do—if you think someone has dementia
- Posted on Feb 14, 2019
This article is based on information provided by Home Instead Senior Care.
Certain dementia symptoms can be difficult to distinguish from those of other, treatable conditions. An accurate diagnosis from a healthcare professional makes all the difference. A common first step toward getting a diagnosis is to become familiar with the 10 signs of cognitive impairment. This guide will show you what typically happens leading up to and following a diagnosis of dementia. Better information allows for more informed decisions moving forward.
Did you know…
that a Cognitive Impairment Assessment is part of your free Annual Medicare Wellness Visit (AWV)?
Step 1: Learn the 10 signs
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the most common cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include:
Step 2: Discuss symptoms with your doctor
The next recommended step, if any of the 10 signs apply to you, is to speak with your primary care doctor. He or she may refer you to specialists to figure out what’s causing your symptoms. According to the National Institute on Aging, neurologists generally have the expertise to diagnose dementia, although other specialists may also be skilled in making a diagnosis. Your primary care doctor can remain an integral member of your care team, while others may include cognitive neurologists, neuropsychologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and geriatricians.
Early Detection Makes a Difference
Being proactive with your health by requesting the assessment can lead to a number of beneficial results:
Diagnosing Alzheimer's & Other Dementias: Understanding Alzheimer's & Dementia
Laurie Owen from Home Instead Senior Care® and Dr. Jane Potter from the University of Nebraska Medical Center discuss how Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are diagnosed.