As the body begins to age, many people experience a decline in their cognitive function. Whether from dementia or Alzheimer's, any type of cognitive decline can be devastating for the patient and his or her family members.
It is often the family or in-home caregiver that notices the symptoms of memory decline first. Talking with a loved one about cognitive impairment can be a daunting task, but it's an important one. Use these tips when broaching the topic of cognitive impairment to ensure you are able to address the needs of your aging loved one in the future.
1. Be prepared to talk about your loved one's symptoms.
It's not unusual for a person suffering from cognitive impairment to experience gaps in their memory. They may not remember doing certain tasks or engaging in certain behaviors that have triggered the alarm for friends and family members.
Create a list of symptoms that your loved one has exhibited in the recent past. You will be able to refer to this list when discussing cognitive impairment to help your loved one understand the extent of your concern.
2. Bring a medical professional into the conversation.
Your loved one might not be prepared to take your word when it comes to symptoms of cognitive impairment. It can be helpful to have a medical professional involved in the conversation as you bring up cognitive issues with your loved one.
A doctor or in-home nurse will be able to help your loved one learn about the medical risks of ignoring cognitive impairment. The medical professional will also be able to provide your loved one with an overview of the treatments available to help him or her manage their symptoms over time.
3. Have an action plan for future care in place.
Before you broach the topic of cognitive impairment with your loved one, you will want to examine your options when it comes to long-term care. Have an action plan in place that you can explain to your loved one. This action plan can include regular doctor visits, an in-home healthcare specialist, and even a live-in aide to assist in daily care.
When your loved one knows that he or she will not become a burden as a result of cognitive impairment, it might be easier to get your loved one to accept that there is a problem affecting his or her quality of life.
For more information, contact a company like Time At Home Care.