Questions to ask when diagnosed with dementia

August 27, 2021 Dementia Care, Homecare Services

Questions to ask when diagnosed with dementia

Being told important medical news can cause a variety of emotions and leave you confused. While you may have some thoughts at that time, it is not uncommon for people with newly-diagnosed dementia to only develop questions about the condition after they have gone home and started processing the information.

Having the right medical information is important to help you or your loved one plan for the future, choose palliative care options, and pursue the right treatment.

We have listed below some questions you could ask your doctor when diagnosed with dementia:

How did you arrive at this diagnosis?

Sometimes, it can be helpful to know what tests were conducted and how you or your loved one scored on those tests. This can give you information about decision-making ability and judgment, functioning, communication ability, and memory ability.

Which type of dementia do you think this is and why?

Dementia is a general term for loss of memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking abilities. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases, but many other dementias can affect cognition. As hard as it may be to hear, it can be helpful to know what to expect and to learn as much as possible about the specific type of dementia the doctor believes is causing these symptoms.

How far has the dementia progressed?

What has led them to these findings? Is this type of dementia measured in stages? Which stage of progression does a loved one’s doctor believe the dementia has reached? 

It is difficult to predict the course of dementia. Some people remain relatively independent for years, while others quickly spiral into poor health. Knowing how severe the dementia is, however, can help you plan for the future and anticipate looming needs.

What else can I expect?

Your doctor can identify a number of issues that commonly crop up in dementia patients. For instance, in addition to confusion, you may notice frustration or agitation, particularly in the evening, as well as depression.

On the physical side, your loved one may lose the ability to control bodily functions, and can be vulnerable to urinary tract infections. Those with severe Alzheimer’s disease may have trouble chewing or swallowing, while changes in depth perception can make patients more vulnerable to falls.

What resources can help?

Many communities have local support groups and resources, nationally there are many charities and associations researching and raising money to help support people living with dementia and their families. Your physician may be able to suggest where to begin as you adjust and cope with this disease. Some examples of groups and charities that can support you and your family are:

Is it still safe to live at home?

If it is still safe to live at home you can ask how to make the home more senior friendly, or what home support services could help your parent or loved one age in place. Unfortunately, the progressive, degenerative nature of dementia means that nearly all dementia patients will eventually require full-time care.

How can Cavendish Homecare help

At Cavendish Homecare we can help support you and your loved ones with our expertise in delivering dementia care at home. We know that living with dementia can have a huge emotional, social, and psychological effect on both the person and their loved ones. We believe that allowing people to remain in their own homes is beneficial to keeping them in a familiar environment and reducing stressful situations which may arise in other settings.