Is someone you
love experiencing memory loss or other cognitive
problems? Many people are reluctant to
acknowledge that they are having serious
difficulty with their memory or activities of
daily living. This is natural. They might be
afraid to find out that they have Alzheimerís
disease or other illness. They might be afraid
that they could lose their independence if they
acknowledge the troubles they are having. Maybe
they think it is simply a normal part of aging.
Regardless of the
reason, pretending that everything is normal
delays appropriate treatment and can be very
risky. This is especially the case when the
person in question lives alone or refuses to
make necessary lifestyle changes. Even if they
are not doing things that are inherently
dangerous, they might no longer be able to
respond appropriately in an emergency. They
might also accidentally harm others or put them
strongly consider encouraging your loved one to
have an evaluation if you have noticed any of
the following changes in their behavior.
They constantly repeat
themselves or quickly forget what you told
They forget appointments or
dates with friends and family members.
They have lost interest in
hobbies or other activities they used to
They are having a hard time
doing things that used to be easy for them.
They are easily confused.
They are having a hard time
taking their medication as directed.
They donít seem to be taking
very good care of themselves anymore.
Their hygiene has
They donít clean or take care
of their home as well as they used to.
They are having increasing
difficulty using remote controls or
They have increasing
difficulty following directions.
They donít drive as well as
they used to.
They are having troubles with
their finances, such as forgetting to pay
bills or paying bills twice.
They seem more gullible when
strangers ask for money or try to sell them
disorder assessment of a loved one will help
Understand what is causing
their problems with memory and other
aspects of their cognitive functioning.
Experience peace of mind.
Many causes of memory loss are treatable.
Often there is no neurological disease. If
they have a disease, an assessment will help
ensure they receive the most appropriate
Understand their cognitive
strengths and weaknesses.
Know where to go for
other types of testing or specific
treatments that might be helpful.
Learn about community
resources and where to go for more help.
Know what restrictions on
your loved oneís independence, if any, are
Do what needs to be done.
People are more likely to accept
restrictions on their independence when
recommended by an impartial outside expert.
Know what to expect in the
future, including how their memory loss
and/or other problems are likely to progress
and what their future needs will probably
be. This will help you to plan for the
Have a baseline
measurement of your loved oneís memory and
thinking to more accurately assess any