You may have noticed some troubling behavior from your parent recently. Bouts of confusion, difficulty remembering simple details, or maybe car keys being put in a strange place, such as the refrigerator. Unfortunately, these are all early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease. If you suspect your parent has Alzheimer’s, it’s imperative that you get them to a doctor as soon as possible to confirm the diagnosis and start treatment right away. While there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are several treatments available that can slow down the disease.
However, before you can begin, you’ll have to approach your parent with your concerns. This is not always easy, but it’s critical if they’re going to receive the care they need. The following are some steps you can take to approach your parent about the possibility of them having Alzheimer’s:
Decide Who Needs to Be Involved
When you’re planning to have a difficult conversation like this with your parent, you may not want to have it alone. Siblings or a spouse can offer support during this time, but there are some pitfalls you should be aware of. For instance, a sibling may be in denial about your parent’s condition and disagree with you, which could cause problems. You also do not want to overwhelm your parent by having too many loved ones confront them all at once about their condition. Use your best judgment when deciding who should broach this topic.
Speak with a Professional for Advice
This conversation may be one of the most difficult you’ll ever have to have, so it’s best that you don’t go in unprepared. There are a number of professionals you can speak with for advice and help. Physicians, social workers, and experienced elder law attorneys are all excellent resources to contact if you suspect your parent has Alzheimer’s disease. If you give them some context about your parent’s situation, they should be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.
Speak with Your Parent as Early as Possible
The earlier you can speak with your parent and start getting them the care they need, the better it will be for everyone involved. This is especially true before their cognitive functions start to decline as it may be much harder to convince them to seek treatment once the disease has fully set in.
If your parent has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and you have questions about your next steps, please contact our Elder Law office at 877-653-3450 to schedule an initial consultation.