As people age, some decline in both physical and mental potential is to be expected. In fact, most elderly people experience some problems of such nature.
Your senior’s caregiver like those at https://abetterwayinhomecare.com/ may be able to notice the issue and tell you about it, but as they are not qualified to give medical opinions, a visit to a proper doctor will be required to confirm or discount that there is an actual medical problem.
A good rule of thumb when to be concerned is to monitor your senior’s everyday activities. If they are able to perform them with relative ease and no major problems, an occasional lapse of memory is probably nothing to be overly concerned about. Still, if you want to be sure, these doctors can help.
Signs of Dementia :
Even though things like forgetfulness and disorientation can be the result of aging, if they persist, they can be a strong indication that something is wrong. Professionals at A Better Way in Home Care are all familiar with the basic signs of dementia, as listed by the World Health Organization.
Getting lost in places which should be familiar and losing track of time is an early warning sign, but don’t necessarily raise an alarm with most people. However, if your senior gets lost in their own home and have difficulties communicating like repeating themselves and forgetting answers really quickly, this might be a good time to consult one of the following doctors.
Their Regular Physician :
Chances are that their primary care physician knows your senior and is familiar with their medical history and their lifestyle. That is important when determining whether there is a reason to be concerned over memory loss.
Primary physicians are qualified to perform a cognitive assessment which should determine whether there is a deeper problem or if the matter is just a minor issue. However, seeing that they are not a specialist, they might want to direct your senior to a professional for further analyses if they feel there is a need.
Geriatric Psychiatrist or a Geriatrician :
The next logical step is to visit a doctor who specializes in dealing with the elderly, preferably one who has a special interest in memory loss and dementia – a geriatric psychiatrist.
These professionals can perform a series of tests including memory, sleep, medication, and thinking evaluations to be sure that the problem your senior is facing is in fact memory loss due to dementia, and not just a natural consequence of aging.
However, geriatricians are not always available in all areas, and might not be covered by medical insurance. The alternative to a geriatrician is visiting a neurologist.
These medical professionals deal with brain and nervous system problems, one of which is dementia. Even though they are not specialized for working with seniors, their expertise makes them a good choice for diagnosing problems in the nervous system.
If you want to make sure that the neurologist your senior will be visiting is actually experienced in the field of dementia, you can ask them prior to the visit, in order to ensure that you won’t be wasting your time and the time of the doctor.
Just like a geriatrician would, a neurologist conducts a series of tests which are aimed at determining whether there is any sign of mental degradation which cannot be attributed to the natural process of aging.
Dementia can be a very serious condition, and a person suffering from it may need constant care, which is why it is important to catch the condition early on and ensure that it is treated properly and as quickly as possible.
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