Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A case for early dementia diagnosis

Not all dementia is Alzheimer's Disease. Not all symptoms are dementia. In my father's case, the hospital emergency missed a diagnosis of delirium as they confused it with his dementia symptoms from his brain tumour.

Be aware of the warning signs. If you’re concerned about dementia for yourself or someone you care about, talk to your family doctor or contact your Alzheimer Society.
We asked, what would you have done differently?
Last year, the Alzheimer Society asked Canadians how long they waited before seeing a doctor when their family member had signs of dementia. Nearly half said they waited a year or more! Why? They believed the symptoms:
  • Would go away
  • Were the signs of “old age”
  • Were episodic or not to be taken seriously
  • Needed to get worse before seeing a doctor.
Three quarters wished they’d known earlier. An early diagnosis means:
  • Medications to treat symptoms
  • Time to put legal and financial affairs in order
  • Keeping the person with dementia at home longer
  • Involving the person with dementia in planning future care
  • Understanding how to respond to the disease symptoms.

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