I was reading an article on “What is normal aging and what is not…” the other day and found myself in the Alzheimer’s Association website eventually! (A great source of information.) Approaching memory loss concerns can be difficult if you have noticed changes in yourself or a family member and friend. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it’s natural to feel uncertain about voicing your worries because that can make them seem more “real”.
Here are a few things to consider:
View the 10 early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s to check if the changes are on the list.
- What changes in memory, thinking or behavior do you notice?
- What else is going on? With regard to health or lifestyle issues…
- Has anyone else noticed changes?
- Are any of these changes a sign of or symptom of Alzheimer’s or another dementia?
Start a conversation! These are significant health concerns and it’s important to take action to figure out what is going on!
- Who should participate in the conversation? A trusted family member or friend.
- What is the best time and place to have the conversation? As soon as possible. Choose a time and location that is comfortable for everyone involved.
- How will you approach the conversation? “How have you been feeling lately? You haven’t seemed like yourself?” or “I’ve notice [blank] in you, and I’m concerned. Have you noticed it? Are you worried?” or “I’ve notice [blank} in myself, and I’m concerned. Have you noticed anything about me that worries you?”
- Discuss seeing a doctor together. Many conditions can cause memory loss or affect thinking or behavior, so it’s important to get a full medical evaluation. If the cause isn’t Alzheimer’s or another dementia, it could be an easily treatable condition. If it is dementia, there are many benefits to receiving an early and accurate diagnosis, including the opportunity to plan for the future, access support services and explore medication that may address some symptoms for a time.
- If needed, have multiple conversations. The first conversation may not be successful. Some people attribute problems with memory, thinking or behavior to stress or normal aging and may not take your concerns seriously. Plan for the next conversation! What worked well, what didn’t! Consider what could be done differently…
Approach “difficult conversations” with the love of Christ, asking for his help to guide you!
Feel free to talk to me about this, as well!
Together in his unchanging, all knowing, love for us,
Sue Bolha RN, David’s Star Parish Nurse