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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Truth or Consequences May 4, 2013

I guess you have to belong to my generation to remember the television show I refer to in the title of this blog. In real life, I am responding to a question often asked of me.
 "How do I get my (spouse, parent, other relative or friend) evaluated for possible Alzheimer's disease when I recognize there may be a problem and the person is not cooperative?"
This is a serious question indeed, as there are now medications available that slow the progress of memory loss and permit the affected person several more years of active functioning as a spouse, companion, worker and relative. There is also as aspect of delaying no longer since it takes a while for the loved ones' friends or relatives to acknowledge they see a problem. We are all initially in denial. No one wants to know that our loved one has any form of dementia, as you remember from my book Put That Knife Away.
Your loved ones, also like my husband know something is the matter with themselves earlier than anyone else.My husband knew, by the flooding in our basement, that he had forgotten to drain the pan under the boiler because when the flood happened and I asked him to call the servicman, he knew that was not necessary. That's not what he said however. "We'll just wait for the next scheduled maintenance," was his response.
When my husband had difficulty finding ordinary things like a pair of scissors or a spatula, he blamed me for putting these things in a different place other than where they belonged, causing him not to find them, rather than admitting to me that he could not remember where they did belong.
Of course he did not want to ask a doctor's opinion about himself; he wanted me to visit with a psychiatrist!
The answer my friend is deception. Tell your loved one to get ready, we're going for a ride to visit a physician for yourself, for someone else the loved one loves and simply go.Let your loved one speak with the physician alone or with you and let the memory care clinic ask you to join in and answer the questionaire. They are professionals and they know how to respond to your loved ones' fears.


 

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