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Alzheimer’s Care | October 18, 2016 | By Jonita Dixon

Start the Conversation About Dementia

dementiaDementia is both an uncomfortable and emotional topic to discuss. If you believe that someone close to you is suffering from memory loss or a cognitive disorder, we understand that it is a challenge to approach the topic. These are a few ways that you can make it easier or help yourself in the future.

Tip #1 – Share The Burden

Oftentimes our elderly loved ones do not want to bother us with their problem. It is difficult to envision a parent-child role reversal. This is why it is vitally important that you speak up and make sure that you get the conversation started. Rather than making it about them “you have a problem and I think that you need help”, you can make the situation about you “I would feel better if we saw the doctor and got the most recent information about this issue”.

Tip #2 – Do Not Delay Contacting The Doctor

Some loved ones decide to wait for a scheduled appointment or a routine checkup before informing their doctor about possible issues with dementia. Despite the fact that we cannot actually stop the disease, we are able to slow down its progression tremendously. Even if you have an appointment planned, you still want to request a memory screening and provide some basic information about the behavior that you have experienced.

Tip #3 – Do Not Be Afraid To Ask Others

Chances are that your loved one might not listen to you right away, and this is exactly when you should ask someone to step in and help with the conversation. It does not matter if you ask another family member, a friend, member of the clergy, or an attorney. You just have to make sure that you get the conversation started.

Tip #4 – Focus On The Positive

Rather than focusing on what is going wrong and what current deficits your loved one faces, you want to make sure that you focus on the importance of maintaining your loved one’s overall quality of life, memory, and skills. Let them know that you are on their side and ready to fight for them.

Tip #5 – Make Sure To Be Persistent

You should persist gently if your family member resists the conversation. There is a good chance that they are going to try and make you forget about the conversation by steering away from it. If you find that one approach does not work, you should try another approach. Never just give in or give up.