Facing an Alzheimer’s (or other form of dementia) diagnosis can be a scary, confusing time. Whether it’s you facing the diagnosis or someone you’re going to be caring for, now is the best time to ask the doctor as many pointed questions as possible so you can learn the most about the diagnosis, treatment plans, and what lies ahead for the future.
Essex Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing wants you to be as informed as possible when facing such a life-changing event. We would like to share four key areas to ask questions to your doctors about, straight from the Alzheimer’s Association’s National Early-Stage Advisory Group. These are real people facing Alzheimer’s who wished they asked their doctors these questions when they were diagnosed.
- The Diagnosis
Ask your doctor what tests were administered to determine the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, and what was measured in those tests.
- The Disease
Ask how the disease will progress and what you can expect in the future. A rough timeline may help you prepare and cope.
- Treatment Options
Find out what treatments are available, and which symptoms they treat. Also since Alzheimer’s medicine is an emerging science, ask about any clinical trials that may be available and where you can find more information about clinical treatment studies.
- Care Team and Support
Ask your doctor how familiar he is with treating Alzheimer’s patients and if he will be managing your care moving forward. Find out what other resources in the community will be at your disposal for both you and family members/caregivers.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s at the moment, but early detection and proper treatment can slow the progression of the disease, giving patients an extended time of having a good quality of life.