14 Key Questions to Ask Your Doctor If You Have Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia, affects about 5.3 million Americans and every 70 seconds someone develops Alzheimer’s disease. It is more common as one gets older. Although dementia is more common with Importance Of Supplements age, it is not synonymous with aging as many individuals over the age of 90 are not afflicted with dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is a costly disease. To care for all demented patients it costs 148 billion dollars each year.
Dementia is a syndrome associated with many separate disease processes. It is characterized by memory loss along with language, judgment, problem solving, and comprehension deficits. Dementia is an incurable progressive disease that leads to dependence and death.
Becoming knowledgeable about disease is an important part of having a successful health care experience. Individuals must have a basic understanding of his or her disease. The better you understand your diseases the better you can partner in your medical care.
No one has a greater interest vested in your well being than you. Physicians manage very busy office practices and may overlook some important aspects of your care. It is imperative that you help your health care providers give you the care that is needed to prevent death and disability.
As part of health care responsibility you need to understand your disease. Below are a list of questions you should ask your health care provider if you have dementia.
1. What type of dementia do I have? Although the current state of medical science is often unable to accurately diagnosis the specific type of dementia, it is helpful to know what type of dementia your doctor feels you have.
2. How did you make the diagnosis? A doctor bases diagnosis on an examination, but laboratory evaluation may have been done to rule out other diseases. Sometimes scans of the head are carried out to help make the diagnosis and rule out other disease states.
3. Could I have a reversible cause of dementia? Has it been looked for it? Some conditions – such as infections – can lead to a state of temporary confusion that, if treated, can result in a reversal of the confusion.
4. How severe is my dementia? Dementia is often broken down into mild, moderate and severe. Your doctor can give you a breakdown as to how severe your disease is.
5. How fast will it progress? This is impossible to know for sure but your doctor may be able to give you some guidance as to how fast your disease will progress to allow you to plan for your disease.
6. How often should I follow up with my doctor? Dementia leads to many complications and requires frequent follow-ups with the health care system. Talk to you doctor about how frequently you need to follow up with your doctor or other health care professionals.
7. Are there any medicines that may prolong my cognitive function? Certain types of dementias respond to medicines that may help slow down the disease process.
8. Do I need medicines to control my behavior? Patients with dementia often have sleep disturbances, problems with hallucinations, delusions and aggressive behaviors. There are medicines to control these types of behaviors.
9. What non-drug treatments may aid me in this disease process? Examples of non-drug options include: exercise, physical/occupational therapy, and getting a home evaluation.
10. Am I safe to life independently? As the disease progresses and memory fails demented patients lose the ability to function independently. At some point during the disease it becomes necessary for the What Is Prescribed Medication patient to have some assistance. The assistance may start in the form of home health aids and lead to 24-hour care. Many patients with dementia progress to a point where they need nursing home placement.
11. What community services would be helpful? Are there any support groups in the area that may help? Dementia is a very stressful disease and it is often more stressful on the family as the disease progresses. Support groups can provide a lot of help for family members including, not only medical resources, but also psychological help.
12. Should I see a psychiatrist and/or neurologist? Psychiatrists are doctors that help patients with mental disorders and often treat patients with dementia. Neurologists are doctors who specialize in the nervous system and the brain. These doctors are not necessary for every patient with dementia, but in cases where the diagnosis is unclear or treatments are not effective, specialty help is warranted.
13. Do I have depression? Depression is a condition that very commonly is associated with dementia. There are many treatments that can help patients with dementia and co-existing depression.
14. Is my disease likely to be passed down to my relatives? Certain types of dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease, have a strong genetic predisposition. It is important for your kin to know that you have dementia so relatives can do all they can to prevent disease.

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