It’s Sunday morning, and Margaret has just walked into her kitchen for the third time. Again, she wonders, “For what?” She looks around the room, perplexed. She has no clue.
She takes a chair at the small table closest to her. For a while, she sits staring.
Margaret is worried.
She seems to be having more of these “senior moments” lately. How often has she misplaced her keys and cell phone in the last month or so? She has such difficulty remembering names of people to whom she’s had a proper introduction. These are recent changes in her behaviour that are happening more frequently. She worries that these could be signs of something more serious than simply “getting older.” In fact, sitting there, in her kitchen she feels almost paralysed by fear that she could be exhibiting symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
Perhaps you have noticed more lapses in your memory. There are many reasons for changes in memory and thinking. Not all of them are serious. However, significant changes in your ability to remember or process thoughts, at any age, is a reason for concern. You should plan a visit to your doctor right away if you are experiencing these types of concerns.
The Alzheimer’s Association has published and informative guide that lists these Ten signs of Alzheimer’s.
There is no single test that can diagnose dementia or Alzheimer’s, so seeing your doctor early in the process, can help monitor changes over time and if indicated seek an early diagnosis. At your visit, your doctor will give you a physical and neurological exam and will consider all other underlying conditions or potential causes for changes to your memory. Here are a few tips to prepare for your visit to the doctor:
Only a General Practitioner or specialist such as a Geriatrician or Neurologist can accurately diagnose dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. If you are experiencing the symptoms discussed above, it is time to see your doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment is the best way to ensure that you will be able to decide and implement the best treatment options for your future.