Alzheimer’s disease is the form of dementia that affects seniors most often. Dementia can also be associated with Parkinson’s disease, blood flow issues in the brain, or neurodegeneration affecting the brain’s frontal lobes. Because of the serious effects dementia can have on quality of life, it’s only natural to consider encouraging a senior loved one to get tested if you have concerns. Below, we go over what to consider with regard to dementia testing for your loved one.
Consider Testing if You’re Noticing Mild Cognitive Impairment
Noticing signs of forgetfulness is a red flag that often leads to concerns about dementia. However, mild memory loss that includes occasional lapses now and then is perfectly normal for aging adults.
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), on the other hand, isn’t a normal part of aging. According to Cleveland Clinic, researchers today largely believe MCI is an indicator of other changes in the brain that are often associated with dementia. Testing for dementia is something to consider if your loved one is exhibiting any of the following signs or behaviors:
• Forgetting recent events
• Increasingly forgetting names of familiar people
• Having difficulty understanding what’s being said or finding the right words
• Finding it difficult to complete common tasks like paying bills or taking medication
• Facing challenges with daily routines
No matter what’s causing your loved one’s symptoms, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for the whole family. Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
A Family History of Dementia Is a Valid Reason to Consider Testing
Not every senior will develop dementia. In fact, there are many older adults who remain cognitively sharp well into their 80s and 90s and beyond. That said, testing is something to consider if your loved one is more susceptible to developing dementia. One of the key risk factors for dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, is having a family history of dementia-related conditions.
Dementia Testing Isn’t Always Conclusive
There’s no single test for dementia, and results aren’t always conclusive. For this reason, it’s important to know what the testing process involves before you move forward with plans to have your loved one tested. Typically, dementia testing involves:
• A review of medical history and medications being taken
• A physical exam
• Laboratory tests to rule out treatable issues
• A discussion of symptoms and how daily life is being affected
Additional diagnostic or neurological tests may be ordered to complete the evaluation. A diagnosis of dementia is often made by eliminating other potential issues and taking patient-specific information and factors into consideration.
If you’re caring for a loved one with dementia, you don’t have to face the challenges alone. Families looking for top-rated Philadelphia at-home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
Early Treatment Helps
If dementia is suspected, having a treatment plan in place as soon as possible can be helpful. This is one of the top benefits of going through with the dementia testing process if you have reasons to be concerned. In fact, according to Mayo Clinic, some cognitive issues may be minimized by:
• Losing excess weight
• Eating a healthier diet
• Managing diabetes and high blood pressure
• Correcting vitamin deficiencies
• Enhancing sleep habits
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Philadelphia seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance. Call one of our friendly Care Managers at (215) 645-4663 to learn about ways our experienced caregivers can help your elderly loved one.