The process of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease involves more than one single test. Medical professionals use several different strategies to narrow down the source of a senior’s challenges with memory and thinking abilities. Today, the majority of seniors can expect to go through the following steps as their physicians work to determine if they do in fact have Alzheimer’s.
Gather Information About Symptoms
As with most doctor visits, your senior loved one’s physician will start out by asking about your parent’s symptoms. This is the time to be honest about what’s going on, since each symptom can help the doctor make a diagnosis. In addition to memory loss, make sure to mention if your loved one seems confused during certain parts of the day or if he or she tends to experience strange mood changes that weren’t always a part of his or her personality. It’s a good idea to write down the symptoms you notice before you visit the doctor so you don’t forget any of them.
Perform Medical Tests to Rule Out Other Causes
Some symptoms of Alzheimer’s could be caused by other health conditions, so doctors frequently perform medical tests to rule out these health issues. For instance, a thyroid disorder or vitamin deficiency can affect the ability to think clearly. If an issue is found, your loved one will likely need to be treated for that condition to see if the symptoms resolve. In most cases, seniors need follow-up visits to make sure other health conditions are getting better and to find out if they’re still having Alzheimer’s symptoms.
No matter what’s causing your loved one’s symptoms, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for the whole family. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Barrie Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
Test Cognitive Abilities
There are several different types of cognitive tests your loved one’s doctor may perform to identify the exact cognitive changes that are occurring. These may include computerized tests of your loved one’s ability to comprehend what he or she reads and to remember lists of words. The tests may also include mental status checks. For instance, the doctor may simply talk to your loved one to evaluate your parent’s awareness of time and place. The doctor may also assess how your loved one’s cognitive changes affect his or her ability to conduct normal daily activities independently, and the physician may make suggestions for your parent’s safety as part of the Alzheimer’s diagnosis.
If your senior loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, help is just a phone call away. For reliable Alzheimer’s care, Barrie families can turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of professional memory care designed to help seniors maintain a higher quality of life. In addition to Alzheimer’s care, we also provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care. From revolutionary care programs to compassionate and dedicated caregivers, we can meet all of your Alzheimer’s care needs.
Conduct Brain Scans
The medical team may perform a CT, MRI, or PET scan of your loved one’s brain to see if there are any clear causes for his or her symptoms. In some cases, a doctor might be able to see evidence of amyloid protein plaques, which are indicative of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s also possible for damage from a stroke to be revealed. The physician will use the location and type of any damage found on the scan to decide if it’s likely to be from Alzheimer’s.
If you’re caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s, you don’t have to do it alone. There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading homecare services provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at 647-970-3803.