Should We See a Doctor?

How do you know if it's time to see a doctor? If you've noticed rapid memory or other cognitive changes, or if the person you're concerned about is showing several other warning signs of Alzheimer's disease, it may be time to make a doctor's appointment.

You may, however, feel anxious and uncertain – and that's only normal. Before someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, the people close to him or her are often hesitant about what they should do. They may not feel they know enough about the disease to come to any conclusions, and they may deny or doubt what they're seeing, and question themselves. They might try to rationalise the odd behaviour (e.g. “Mum was tired. No wonder she left her coat in the driveway”) or simply feel at a loss to describe the symptoms. Or, they may just be afraid that it really is Alzheimer's disease as well as overwhelmed with grief at the thought that their relationship with their family member might change in ways they never expected.

Try using the Dementia Symptoms Checklists if you're unsure as to whether the signs you're seeing or experiencing warrant further evaluation by a doctor.

If you're still uncertain, the best thing you can do is schedule some time with the doctor. Because if it isn't Alzheimer's disease, you'll be one step closer to finding out what it is. And if it is Alzheimer's disease, the individual will be that much closer to getting the right treatment.

Responses to the Dementia Symptoms Checklists do not determine a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer's disease – they may simply suggest the need for further assessment.

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