The thought of talking to your parent’s doctor about your suspicions regarding your senior’s cognitive health can be intimidating. You might be uncomfortable talking about these issues, or may feel that you are overreacting to normal reactions to aging. Going to the doctor as soon as you start noticing worrisome symptoms and changes, however, is critical to getting an early diagnosis, and therefore, early intervention for your parent.
Use these tips to help you prepare for your doctor’s visit when you suspect Alzheimer’s disease in your loved one:
- Write down the concerns you have for your aging parent. It can be easy when you get in to talk to a doctor for you to forget some of the things you wanted to talk about, or become so caught up in discussing other things, you miss out on mentioning important details. Writing down the things you’ve noticed that have concerned you will ensure you share all of the pertinent information with the doctor during the appointment.
- Be as thorough as you can about your concerns. Don’t just write down the changes you’ve noticed. Also write down how your parent has changed, the degree to which they have changed, when you first noticed the change, and if you’ve noticed anything else, such as the severity of it fluctuating and depending on environmental impact.
- Encourage your parent to be honest with the doctor. Your parent might feel the compulsion to downplay their changes when they are with the doctor, or try not to “complain”. This can make it difficult for the doctor to make an accurate evaluation and diagnosis. Encourage your parent to answer questions honestly and thoroughly, and not to try to cover anything, or impress the doctor.
- Include your parent. It is important to include your senior in the conversation with the doctor. This should not be a situation of you talking about or over your parent while they are in the room. The doctor should speak to your parent as much as possible, and you should include you senior when talking about your concerns.
Sometimes being the best family caregiver for your aging parent means knowing when to ask for help, and when your senior would benefit from additional care. Even if you are able to be with your aging parent, or are planning an activity out, or an event where your senior will be with you and other members of the family, home care can be a beneficial addition to your care routine. An in-home senior care services provider can ensure your parent has access to consistent, ongoing care and support in the home, as well as during events and activities. This gives them greater confidence that they can participate in these activities as much as is right for them, and that you are still able to focus your energy and attention on enjoying the event, taking care of your children, and interacting with others, and still know your parent is secure.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional caregiver services in Alabaster, AL, call and talk to the staff at Lipford Home Care (205) 623-5700.