Is experiencing increasing
levels of memory loss?
Call the Alzheimer's Association (800-272-3900) and ask
for a referral to a geriatric dementia specialist and ask
where the closest dementia diagnostic center is. They will
have the most up-to-date elder care, memory loss, dementia
and Alzheimer's disease information. Your loved one's
doctor may not be trained to uncover the earliest signs
of dementia, so don't waste time - it is of great importance
to get an early diagnosis, as there are four medications
which, in most people, can slow the progression of the disease,
which slows the need for full time care.
Inquire about the medications: Aricept, Exelon, Razadyne
and Namenda. Once your loved one has progressed further,
these medications will still help, but they will not take
the person back to when they were relatively independent
in the early stage.
Make sure the doctor
rules out reversible dementias such as a B-12, folate and
thyroid deficiency. Understand that depression alone can
cause dementia-like symptoms. The right doctor is really
the first big key and… More tips on page 282
of Elder Rage.
Wants all my time and attention?
For the loved ones who don't have
dementia (or very mild dementia), and are very challenging
to deal with, set reasonable but strict limits of when you
can and can't be available. If you eventually give in,
they will continue to push harder and harder, knowing that
you will eventually cave in.
Always use an answering machine to screen your calls and
never pick up and respond if your parent is being nasty.
When they ask for your help in a more reasonable way, respond
positively to reinforce the good behavior-telling them
how proud of them you are and how much you appreciate the
way they have approached you this time. Assure them of your
Getting your loved one involved in daily activities will
be the best thing for both of you. Call your local Area
Agency on Aging, Department of Aging, or the Eldercare Locator
(800-677-1116) to find the Senior Centers and Adult Day
Care Centers nearby.
More on page 278 of Elder Rage.