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Evaluating care

Preparation tips prior to diagnosis appointment

It helps to be prepared for the neurologist appointment and have realistic expectations. Some things you can do to be prepared include:

Keep a journal of changes you and others have noted. Be prepared to give the doctor some examples of worrisome, challenging, or problematic behaviors that have been observed. As your loved one is likely to be present for this meeting, be sensitive in your communication so it won’t appear that you are giving a listing of all their faults. You may want to leave some notes if the list is extensive.

Bring in a list of medication s/he is on, and information on the method of delivery, (i.e. independent, pill box, reminders from a caregiver, etc). It will help to check up on the compliance and accuracy of medication usage, if possible.

Bring a list of questions you and your loved one may have. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and forget important questions you wanted to ask.

Beverly Patnaik, Abe’s Garden Director of Staff Training and Community Education
“Communication is all about continuing relationships. It doesn’t change if you have a memory impairment. We still have to communicate. If they are sitting, get down to their eye level. Hold their hand. Give maximum information and expect minimum responses.”
Will Hudson, Physical Therapist Assistant
“Exercise is important for people with dementia because they are at a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and exercise lowers those risks. If they can no longer walk, the exercises we recommend are sitting exercises of marching, kicking straight out or side to side, ankle pumps, and reaching at different angles.”
Kim Campbell, wife of the late legendary musician and Abe’s Garden resident, Glen Campbell
“The doctors say music activates all the regions of your brain at once, so with everything firing, it’s very stimulating for people who have dementia and helps them maintain their function.”