A dementia diagnosis for a family member can be very unsettling and worrisome. As grandparents and boomers continue to age, the diagnoses of dementias are unfortunately expected to increase. Here are some questions you might keep in mind when speaking to a physician or provider here at NRS|LS:
- What type of dementia is it? This is important since some forms of dementia can be temporary, such as those caused by strokes or medications. The three most common types of dementia are: Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular dementia, and Lewy Body dementia. Dementia is used as a catch-all term that includes all of these different conditions.
- What is the current stage of dementia? The answer will be approximate, but a neuropsychological examination will provide objective data to properly determine level of severity.
- What should we watch for? Knowing what to expect can avoid serious accidents or problems. Some symptoms to watch for include: questionable judgement, confusion while driving, financial blunders, repeating themselves, and forgetfulness.
- What other health issues may come up? Consider: whether the person is living alone, his/her health conditions, medication dispensing, etc., should all be taken into consideration. For example, patients suffering from dementia may not drink enough water or take their medication properly.
- How long does the person have to live? This question depends on the patient’s age, stage of dementia, and other medical conditions.
- Is there a medication that can help? Dementia specific drugs are prescribed and new drugs are expected in the future. Therefore, continue to ask your medical provider what new medications are being offered.
- What resources are available on dementia? Here at NRS|Lifespan, we specialize in treating the cognitive and behavioral symptoms along with providing the family with guidance, resources and information.
Please feel free to call our office at (732) 988-3441 to schedule a consultation for more information.
Robert B. Sica, PhD, ABN
Board Certified, Neuropsychology
Principal and Director of NRS|LS