You’re concerned about your father. At 73, he is exhibiting some odd behaviors. Most of the time he seems fine, lucid, and cogent, but there are moments when he doesn’t seem to recall conversations he had with you, when he uses the wrong word and doesn’t even realize it, and you’ve heard from your mother that he has completely missed some very important appointments because he simply forgot about them.
He may very well be exhibiting the earliest signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and while you and your mother are concerned, he has refused to visit his doctor to be formally diagnosed.
Only a trained medical professional can diagnose Alzheimer’s.
The testing for Alzheimer’s is long and detailed. Just because somebody may have memory related issues doesn’t necessarily mean it’s associated with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia, but when somebody may be having struggles mentally, it’s important to be diagnosed.
There are several reasons why your father should reconsider.
First, he might not get the right support.
If your father doesn’t get adequate support now, it could make things much more complicated for him, your mother, and the rest of the family in the years ahead. Earlier support for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia often leads to a higher quality of life and less confusion and anxiety in the future.
Second, there could be a number of missed opportunities.
There are some research studies that indicate mental stimulation and routine early on can actually help provide comfort and potentially delay the onset of more serious aspects of memory loss in the years ahead (Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation). If he doesn’t understand exactly what’s going on, he might not take advantage of the opportunities that are available to provide comfort in the future.
Third, he could end up wandering off.
Some people who are grappling with Alzheimer’s disease may go for a walk and seem completely lucid and cogent, but suddenly forget where they are, think they’re in a house or town they lived in 40 years ago, take a wrong turn, and get completely lost. This can become a life-threatening situation when the weather outside is dangerous, such as during the heart of winter.
Finally, his forgetfulness could become dangerous.
If he is cooking himself some soup one afternoon, for example, and wanders off and forgets what he was doing, it could lead to a fire. This not only puts himself, but his wife or anyone else in the house in danger.
If you can respectfully explain the risk factors, he might open up to the idea of being formally diagnosed. It could be a simple side effect of a new prescription medication he’s been taking, but it can also be something more serious like Alzheimer’s.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Alzheimer’s care in Perry, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida.
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