Education and Care - Tips on Medical Visits

Alzheimer's Foundation of America

  • Keep a record of the individual's physical complaints between visits. Examples: shortness of breath or headaches.
  • Bring all medications, including prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs, to every doctor's visit.
  • A family member or other individual should be present during the individual's entire examination.
  • Insist on providing history and symptoms directly to the practitioner, since he may not realize the individual has impaired memory and communication skills.
  • Insist on an explanation of medical conditions, medications and treatments to you as well as the individual with dementia.
  • Ask whether any new medications may increase confusion or result in other side effects.
  • Inquire about communication among healthcare professionals treating the individual.
  • Speak up if specific instructions are not realistic. Example: Expecting that an individual who has lost verbal skills will ask for chest pain pills (nitroglycerin).

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