The conversation about your loved one potentially having Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other similar conditions that can affect their memory and quality of life is not a conversation that anyone wants to have. However, time marches forward whether we want it to or not.
As a result, it is better to discuss the possibility openly and honestly, rather than silo away sensitive topics in the hope that by doing so, chances of contracting the conditions will be lower. But, unfortunately, there is very little information available to people on how to conduct conversations about Alzheimer’s or other diseases.
Does my family member have Alzheimer’s?
Before discussing conditions that your family member or trusted friend may or may not have, it is usually better to observe their behavior and see if the topic is even necessary to discuss.
By observing their behavior and looking out for a few key behaviors, you can save yourself a whole lot of trouble. There is no point in talking about Alzheimer’s or dementia if a person’s health is in tip-top shape!
There are blood tests that can be taken to determine the existence of Alzheimer’s, and a few other physical symptoms can be observed to diagnose. However, most people are tipped off by behaviors or patterns that develop in the later years of a person’s life, including:
- Inability to normally complete tasks that are routine or usually second-nature
- Trouble with keeping track of time or remembering dates
- Regular, sustained changes in personality
- And, of course, continuous memory loss greater than the average memory loss that comes with aging
Look intently to your loved ones to see if they exhibit behaviors like these. If so, then politely and kindly discuss the possibility of seeing a doctor. Topics related to aging and disease are sensitive, and if too aggressive, the entire possibility of seeing a doctor can be disregarded.
As a result, it is in your family member’s best interest to approach the discussion with sensitivity and grace. Unless they pose a danger to themselves in the immediate term, the topic can be approached with a gentle touch, moving toward common ground.
The fact that this issue is scary to those who may be developing memory issues or Alzheimer’s, should always be remembered. The issue relates to logistics and security for outsiders, but for those developing the disease, issues of identity and soul are far more relevant. Let them grieve and adapt.
At the moment, there is no recognized cure for Alzheimer’s or other age-related memory conditions. Of course, there are ways to prevent or help stop the likelihood of developing the disease. As Silent Night Therapy discusses, one of the most promising Alzheimer’s prevention methods is excellent sleep hygiene, or getting the recommended amount of sleep on a routine basis.
If you struggle with sleeping, there are sleep experts that can help you not only feel more rested in the morning, but may also help you prevent conditions so commonly associated with aging. This, too, should help you sleep better at night!