Yesterday's Caregiverlist Blog post mentions the free memory loss testing at 2,000 locations nationwide provided by the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (a few drug companies are sponsoring this so it is free for seniors).
Why is early detection important? Because it can enable the senior and their family to understand the progression of various forms of memory loss to prepare for the progression and to implement systems for safety and proper care.
What are the types of dementia? Alzheimer's Disease is talked about the most but is not the only type. This is why it is important to be diagnosed for the type of memory loss in order to receive the best treatment.
Other types of dementia and other diseases and disorders which will also cause dementia are: Huntington's Disease, Pick's Disease, Frontal lobe dementia, Frontotemporal dementia, Lewy bodies, Normal pressure hydrocephalus, Vascular dementia, Parkinson's Disease, Subdural hematomas, brain tumors.
Also, some vitamin deficiencies and hypothyroidism can also cause some memory loss for seniors.
This is why it is vital to have proper diagnosis from a doctor trained in detecting the various forms of memory loss. A senior can be restored to health with some forms of memory loss when properly diagnosed or with medications and treatments can be able to slow the decline of memory loss.
As an owner of a senior home care agency, I saw many elderly clients who were visiting their same family doctor they had gone to for years and because this doctor did not include memory evaluation during the visits, it went undetected. Find out if your parent or grandparent or senior client you are providing care for is visiting a doctor who specializes in geriatric care - it does make a big difference.
Rush University's Geriatric Care Practice in Chicago is a wonderful example of an integrated approach to care for seniors. A social worker meets with each client along with the medical doctor and their team includes professionals in psychology and other areas. They also have an Alzheimer's Disease research department which offers support groups and participation in studies and their Anne Byron Waud resource center is free to seniors and offers everything you would want for a senior resource center. They make sure seniors are prepared for their emotional and physical needs as they age. Check it out and find something similar in your area - if Medicare is paying the bill for the doctor, you might as well go to one specializing in senior care needs.