Issues for Durham Residents: How to Start the Conversation About Dementia

August 10, 2016 | By Lorenzo Mejia

Starting a conversation about dementia with a loved one can be difficult. You may be noticing that your family member is forgetting things, misplacing items or acting out of character. They may even be suspicious themselves that something is wrong. There are several things you can do to get them to a doctor for treatment.

First, make it your issue rather than their issue. Suggest how much better you would feel if they would see a doctor. Explain that you would rest easier if you had the most up to date information about how to retain memory, function and quality of life. Call or write the doctor in advance of an appointment to express concerns or share changes in behavior or to request a memory screening. If you have HIPPA clearance, you can be included in the conversation and, if not, you can still share important information with the doctor. If a family member is stubborn and refuses to listen to you, ask an influential person like clergy, a friend, attorney or another family member that they trust and look up to to speak with them.

Be sure to keep the conversation positive and focus on their strengths and retained skills instead of any deficits. Express that early treatment can help them and keep them living independently longer. Avoid using the terms dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. If the person is truly worried and fearful, acknowledge the fear. It is not pleasant to think about, but if you can find out what the problem is, you can treat it. Lastly, if the family member keeps resisting, drop it. Come back to it at a later time with a new tactic.
Acorn provides screened and vetted in home care givers.
Our clients have dementia, Alzheimer’s, ALS and other similar conditions.
Call us if you have any questions.
We serve Chapel Hill, Carrboro and other nearby locations.

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