Since there is no cure for Alzeimer’s disease, you may wonder why doctors recommend receiving an early diagnosis for this type of dementia. However, a large number of people avoid visiting a neurologist to receive a diagnosis due to anxiety and depression. Although a majority of individuals have reservations visiting a licensed neurologist, there are various benefits of detecting Alzheimer’s disease early. Receiving an early diagnosis can help modify your loved one’s behavior to prevent exposure to common risk factors. We have compiled a list of the benefits of receiving an early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
Why Is Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Important?
1. Archive Past Memories
An advantage of early Alzheimer’s detection includes receiving time to record memories of your family member’s life. Have a discussion with your mother or father about their childhood, siblings, previous career, and hobbies. Your family member will start to lose their long-term memories as they reach the middle and late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. To ensure the memories are not lost, use a notebook to transcribe your family member’s memories.
Consider recording your mother or father on video talking about their friends and previous memories. The video recordings can be utilized in the future to remind your family member about their memories and accomplishments in life. In addition, look through your loved one’s possessions to find photos. If you find photos on an old camera, drive to your local store to get them printed. An easy way to help your family member maintain memories is to place photos in areas of the household such as the bedroom, family room, kitchen, and office.
2. Allows You to Create a Financial Strategy
Receiving an early diagnosis for Alzheimer’s disease will give your mother or father time to participate in financial decisions. It’s important to take the time to write a living will to ensure medical decisions are recorded for the future. A living will is a legal document that states preferred medical treatments to combat future physical and mental problems. If you have a family member with Alzheimer’s disease, collaborate with him or her to create a financial strategy for home health care or long term care placement.
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3. Medication Planning
The latest medications that are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for Alzheimer’s disease are designed to maintain an individual’s mental health. Unfortunately, there are no medications available to prevent the formation of the disease or cure it. However, early Alzheimer’s detection will give you time to research and test various types of treatment methods that are available. Some people will respond positively to specific types of medications while other individuals will require a different type of treatment.
4. Raise Awareness of the Disease
Join other people in the Alzheimer’s community to spread awareness about the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Encourage your friends and family to make donations toward studies that are dedicated to treating this type of dementia.
5. Rule Out Other Types of Medical Issues
Ordinary early signs of Alzheimer’s disease include poor retention skills, memory loss, challenges in solving problems, difficulty with speaking, and disorientation with time or location. Although poor short-term memory is a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease, issues with retention may be caused by a different type of medical condition. Types of medical conditions that can negatively impact memory include normal pressure hydrocephalus and urinary tract infections. In addition, poor short-term memory is a symptom of various types of medications that are utilized to treat anxiety disorders. Detecting the signs of Alzheimer’s disease early will allow you to confirm whether or not you have this type of dementia or other types of medical conditions, such as normal pressure hydrocephalus.
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6. Sign Up For Clinical Trials
Visiting a neurologist to detect Alzheimer’s disease early allows for the time necessary to sign up for clinical trials. There are a large number of clinical trials conducted each year that are designed to test new medications for Alzheimer’s and dementia. Various types of clinical studies only accept candidates that have received an early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. To ensure eligibility for the latest trials, it’s important to receive a diagnosis.
7. Lifestyle Changes
Although there are a variety of medications available to individuals with Alzheimer’s, there are various lifestyle changes one can make that may help to slow down the progression of the disease. Lifestyle changes that can help enhance mental and physical health include adopting a healthy diet, exercising, solving puzzles, learning a new language, and reading books. Participating in stimulating activities is an excellent way to strengthen the connections between nerve cells in the brain.
Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care
If you believe your family member is displaying signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, give our staff a call by phone at (630) 534-0886. The licensed nurses and medical professionals at our dementia care facility are happy to talk with you about the ordinary signs of Alzheimer’s disease and ways to respond. We are an Alzheimer’s care community in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois that specializes in caring for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.