Hearing the words “dementia” and “memory loss” can be scary and even more intimidating to talk about them. This is especially true when it comes to your own health and wellness. However, talking about dementia and memory loss becomes more and more important as we age.
Our team at Franklin Park® Senior Living has experience helping individuals and families navigate their memory care journey, so we understand this can be a challenging topic to talk about. However, we are sharing four reasons why you shouldn’t wait to talk to your doctor about dementia and memory loss.
Calm Your Fears & Worries
Fear of the unknown can often be worse than an actual diagnosis. Many stigmas and misconceptions surround the topics of dementia and memory loss, so talking with your doctor could help you learn the facts and put your mind at ease.
So, what is dementia? The National Institute on Aging defines dementia as “the loss of cognitive functioning – thinking, remembering, and reasoning – to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities.”
As opposed to being a singular disease, dementia is a term used to describe a variety of conditions that affect a person’s cognitive functioning. A few of the most common types of dementia include:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Vascular Dementia
- Frontotemporal Dementia
- Dementia with Lewy Bodies
- And Mixed Dementia
If you are diagnosed with a type of dementia, your doctor can help you understand what to expect, what signs and symptoms to look for, and share treatment and care options to potentially delay its progression.
Early Detection is Crucial
Dementia is a progressive condition with symptoms worsening over time. If you notice symptoms but avoid talking to your doctor about them, they may not be able to detect or diagnose your condition in the early stages when it is easier to treat and delay further progression.
Talking openly about dementia and memory loss enables you and your doctor to work together to detect early signs of dementia, get a proper diagnosis, and create a treatment or care plan.
It May Not be Dementia
If you are experiencing dementia-like symptoms but avoid talking to your doctor about them because you’re afraid of the outcome, you may want to rethink your decision.
As odd as it may seem, they are other treatable conditions that can cause symptoms similar to those seen in dementia. Just because you are experiencing dementia-like symptoms does not automatically mean you have a type of dementia, making it even more important for you to talk to your doctor so you can get a proper diagnosis.
For example, some conditions that can mimic dementia include:
- Medication side effects or drug interactions
- Urinary tract infection
- Thyroid disease
- Vitamin deficiencies
Manage Your Risk Factors
Age is one of the most significant risk factors for dementia and memory loss, but discussing your other personal risk factors with your doctor can help you learn what you can do to keep your brain healthy and reduce your risk or delay the onset of dementia.
Certain risk factors are out of our control, such as family history. However, maintaining a healthy diet, staying active, and making other healthy lifestyle choices can go a long way in promoting brain health.
Your doctor understands your personal health history and has a general idea of your family medical history. They will be able to help you understand your risk and how to prevent or delay the onset of dementia. By talking openly about dementia and memory loss with your doctor, you will be able to learn the facts about your specific condition and put your mind at ease.
Our Franklin Park® Senior Living team is here to help you through every step of your memory care journey. To learn more about our senior living and memory care communities throughout Texas, we invite you to visit our website or contact a member of our team.