How to Respond if You’re Noticing Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s
Our natural instinct when we are picking up on the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s or another type of cognitive decline in ourselves or someone we love is to look the other way, denying that there is a problem. However, the Alzheimer’s Association advises that it’s vitally important to face the issue head-on as quickly as possible, since early diagnosis and intervention allow for the most effective treatment plan to be put into place.
Yet, more than three out of four survey respondents shared that they would be afraid of offending a loved one by approaching him or her regarding cognitive concerns they have been noticing. Close to 40% of them would put off talking with a loved one until the symptoms grew worse. And as many as one in three of them would never address the subject at all.
Part of the problem is in being unsure about how to sensitively and effectively convey these kinds of concerns to a senior loved one. The Alzheimer’s Association provides several tips that can help, including:
- Figure out who the most appropriate person would be to initiate the conversation.
- Try opening the discussion by saying something like the following:
- “Would you want me to tell you if I ever picked up on changes in your behavior that concerned me?”
- “I’ve been noticing a few changes in your behavior recently, and I wanted to see if you’ve been aware of these changes as well.”
- “Lately I’ve been thinking about my own long-term care plans, and I wanted to see if you’ve done any advance planning for yourself that you could share with me.”
- Realize that it may take multiple conversations before the senior is willing to accept the need to see the doctor about the problems you’ve been noticing. If the older adult continues to refuse help, however, contact the doctor yourself to share your concerns.
For more Alzheimer’s communication tips and to learn more about our professional in-home care, contact the dementia care team at Hired Hands Homecare. As the leader in home care assistance in Walnut Creek and nearby areas, we’re always here to provide you with a free in-home consultation to help you determine the best options for your specific situation. Contact us online or call us any time at (866) 940-4343 to learn more.