It can be difficult to know how to approach a conversation about Alzheimer’s with someone you love. But if you have noticed changes in behavior or memory, it is important to determine whether these changes could be a sign of a health concern. Below, we’ll discuss some of the ways you can talk with your loved ones
about memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia often affect older adults
and can cause problems with memory and other cognitive functions. The illness is progressive, meaning that symptoms generally worsen over time. People with dementia often require assistance and support with regular tasks.
How to Discuss the Signs and Symptoms:
- Bring up your concerns. Sometimes those around us notice when something seems off before we do ourselves. If you notice any behavior in a loved one that seems out of the ordinary, take note. Consider whether these changes in behavior could be the result of an already diagnosed health condition or other lifestyle factors such as stress or depression.
- Learn about Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The better you know the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Dementia, the better you will be able to recognize them in those you love.
- Talk with another close friend or family member. Ask if they have noticed any changes in your loved one’s behavior. If they, too, have noticed concerning changes, this is good confirmation that there may be a problem that needs to be addressed.
- Share your concerns. For your loved one’s safety and well-being, it is a good idea to discuss the changes in behavior you have noticed. Do so gently and compassionately. And be ready to hear from them about their own experiences. They may have noticed changes in how they are feeling or behaving as well.
- Make a plan. Once you and your loved one have discussed the symptoms or changes they are experiencing, offer to go with them to discuss these changes with a doctor. It may be helpful for your loved one to have someone they trust to help them figure out what may be causing the symptoms they are experiencing. It can also be helpful for the doctor to hear what changes you have noticed in your loved one.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia can be intimidating topics to talk about, especially when they affect someone we care about. But bringing concerns to the attention of a medical professional can ensure that your loved one receives the best care possible. Your support of a loved one with dementia can be so reassuring during an uncertain time.