How To Prepare For An Appointment About Alzheimer’s Disease

adults talking 300x200 How To Prepare For An Appointment About Alzheimer’s Disease PhotoAlzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia— a brain disorder that affects a person’s ability to carry out daily activities.  It usually begins after age 60 and in the beginning stages, it affects the parts of the brain that control thought, memory and language. Those with the disease may have trouble remembering recent events or people’s names. As symptoms gets worse, patients may not recognize family members, have communication difficulties, and forget how to do day-to-day tasks like brushing their teeth or getting dressed.

Chances are you know someone affected by Alzheimer’s or it impacts your family, as over over 5 million Americans are living with this disease; and, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 15.9 million Americans are helping to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

If you are concerned about a loved one or they have made an appointment to see a doctor about Alzheimer’s treatment, learn how to make the visit a smooth one:

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. When making an appointment, ask if fasting is necessary for blood work or if any other preparation is needed for tests.
  • Write down the symptoms you may be concerned about. The doctor will want to know details about possible memory loss or problems with mental function. Make notes about some of the most important examples of forgetfulness or other lapses you’ve experienced. Try to remember when you first started to suspect that something might be wrong. If you think your difficulties are getting worse, be ready to explain why.
  • Take along a family member or friend, if possible. They can help to explain problems you may not remember. Having someone along can also help you to remember all of the information the doctor gives you during your appointment.
  • Make a list of all other medical problems. The doctor will want to know about treatment for for diabetes, heart disease, past strokes or any other conditions.
  • Make a list of all medications. Include over-the-counter drugs and vitamins or supplements that are taken regularly. Note the dosage of each drug.

To find out more about Alzheimer’s diagnosis and treatment, including the questions to ask your doctor, visit our Alzheimer’s disease care guide.