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5 Reasons Why a Dementia Diagnosis is Important

You’ve noticed your loved one struggling with tasks that should be second nature and are wondering if it could be dementia. Perhaps you’ve hesitated to discuss your concerns with their physician, fearing the lack of a cure and the potential emotional impact of an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis. However the benefits of obtaining an early diagnosis far outweigh these fears.

When Should You Consider Getting a Diagnosis?

Forgetfulness is a common experience, but when it starts to interfere with daily life, it may indicate a more serious issue.

Below are some common signs of dementia, and if you notice these changes in your loved one, it's a good indicator that it's time to consult a doctor:

  • Difficulty completing familiar or routine tasks

  • New challenges in planning or problem-solving

  • Confusion with time and place

  • New problems with words in speaking or writing (using the wrong word to describe something)

  • Decreased or poor judgment

  • Changes in mood or personality

Benefits of Getting a Diagnosis

Dementia is not a normal part of aging. Obtaining a diagnosis empowers you to take control by learning about resources, accessing treatment options, getting support and guidance, and planning for future care and decisions.

1. It Could Be a Treatable Condition

Urinary tract infections, vitamin deficiencies, and depression are just a few of the medical conditions that have symptoms similar to dementia. Since these conditions can be treated, it is crucial to have a thorough medical examination to rule them out as a cause of the change in your loved one.

2. Allows Access to Treatment

An early diagnosis provides a better chance of benefiting from treatment. Several medications can lessen or delay cognitive decline and are most effective when started early.

3. Provides an Incentive to Make Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes such as controlling blood pressure, quitting smoking, engaging in exercise, adjusting diet, and staying mentally and socially active can help preserve cognitive function.

4. Offers the Opportunity to Take Control of Personal Decisions

Early diagnosis enables informed decisions about legal, financial, and end-of-life matters. It provides time to discuss these wishes with family, friends, and medical providers and to put a plan in place for the future.

5. Creates Time to Focus on What’s Important

Set priorities based on what matters most - whether it's spending time with family, traveling, or deciding when to stop working. An early diagnosis also provides time to access resources and support.

Getting a Diagnosis

There is no single test to diagnose dementia. A dementia diagnosis involves a comprehensive review by a physician or neurologist, including medical history and diagnostic tools like neurological exams, cognitive assessments, brain imaging, and fluid or blood tests to rule out other medical problems.

How Mellie Can Help

Mellie is here to support you and your loved one through this emotional process. We can provide information, resources and guidance to help you plan and take control - no matter where you are in the disease process. Contact us to learn more.



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