If you think you might be suffering from the symptoms of dementia, it is always best to explore this with your doctor. Though the initial appointment may be nerve racking, there are some things you can do to prepare and help to calm your nerves before the event. Dementia is a hard thing to come to terms with, but it is better to know what you’re facing and go in empowered by knowledge than sitting in the dark. Here are five ways to help prepare for your dementia appointment.
Do an Online Test
Before you make the appointment, you have probably done some online research about the symptoms and consequences of dementia. This is a good place to start and the internet is actually filled with helpful tools to get you ready to talk to the doctor like this early signs of dementia test from Belmont Village Senior Living. An online test is not a medical diagnosis but it can give you some confidence when it comes to discussing what you’re going through and gauging the severity of what it is you’re suffering from.
Take a Trusted Companion
It might be a tough appointment that leaves you feeling emotionally drained or confused. Given the nature of the condition, taking a loved one with you as a chaperone that you trust implicitly means there is someone else there to take in the details so you don’t have to. This can then be discussed at an easier pace with someone you know and feel safe with later on when the time is right. It helps to have a person to lean on during the appointment too for emotional support, as it can be distressing at times.
Keep a Diary
Dementia primarily affects memory. You may be more forgetful and become confused in certain contexts. A diary is an effective channel to document episodes and keep a track of your daily activities. It will be useful to present this information in a written format during the appointment so the doctor can assess the history and take note of any patterns of symptoms.
Remain Open Minded
If possible, try to keep an open mind about the information you will receive. This process is overwhelming at times, and anxiety or stress is well-known to exacerbate dementia symptoms. This is the time to practice mindfulness and learn to manage anxiety so that it does not dictate episodes or add to the confusion as you progress.
It may be hard, but honesty is the best policy in this situation. Be upfront about what you’re going through and you are more likely to receive the right course of treatment and support. While there is no cure for dementia currently, there are ways to manage lifestyle factors that are useful in the future. The medical experts will be able to help with the full picture.
That first appointment is a big step for anyone who thinks they may be in the throes of dementia. Regardless of the outcome, it is a brave thing to do and you don’t have to do it alone. Be open, take notes, and try to stay positive for the future.