Senior Watch August 12, 2013
Susan Habeeb, RN Director of Transitional Care at Dirigo Pines to talk about. What the doctor�s appointment generally “looks” like when trying to diagnose Alzheimer’s.What the doctor’s appointment generally “looks” like when trying to diagnose Alzheimer’s. Because the time with the doctor is often brief, there are some things the patient can do in preparation for the appointment. The patient should write a list of concerns or topics he or she wants to discuss. They need to bring along a family member or friend if possible. They play a key role in confirming concerns about memory loss or function and also help with recall about the appointment. Medications will be reviewed so it’s important to bring a list of current meds. The doctor also will review current diagnoses/conditions for any change in status. The doctor will likely have questions to ask so it’s important to be ready to respond so that later you can focus on anything you want to discuss in depth. The prepared list helps to maximize the what time you do have with the doctor. The doctor will likely ask what kinds of memory difficulties they are having. Are they no longer able to participate in managing finances or shoppingAre they concerned about their driving or has anyone expressed concern about their driving? The doctor may ask the family member/caregiver how things are going and if they need help caring for their loved one and go over options for help. (private pay caregivers, secure memory loss care, long term care.)A mini mental state exam is often conducted which takes about 10 minutes. It’s helpful to repeat this every year to compare results to baseline testing. This is a good measure of progression of disease.It is not unusual for people with dementia to lose 2-4 points a year.