Is it time? I wonder how  many people are asking themselves if their loved one needs to be tested for memory cognition? It’s not an easy decision.

If you’re married to the person who has memory problems it might be like walking on eggshells. After all, you don’t want to assume anything and you certainly don’t want that person to take offense at the suggestion. So what do you do?

One way might be to seek out professional counsel. This is actually a smart choice since it not only helps broach the subject with your loved one, it also helps you to understand some of the ins and outs regarding memory loss. This isn’t a skill we learned in school (unless of course, you went to school specifically for this field) so finding someone who is an expert in memory care seems like the common sense route to take.

In the case of the person being a parent, that too, can be a little tricky. While you mean well, your parent might take offense to the fact that you would even entertain they have memory problems. It’s just a part of aging, right? Well, maybe. But if the short term memory has gotten them lost while driving, leaving the house with the stove on, or forgetting to take medications, it just might be time for that testing.

Again, its all about how to approach the subject, your tone of voice and showing your concern in a loving way. No one wants to be “told” they have a memory problem. No one will like you being bossy and taking the dictator approach.

Patience. Empathy. Tact. Love. These are important attributes when talking to someone who might have memory impairment.

Take time to think about how you might feel if someone was talking to you about having memory problems. How would you react? Would you be offended?  Would you be hurt? Would you be defensive? Maybe you would be grateful because someone else cares enough to want to help you find out what’s causing the problem.

Just because someone has memory problems doesn’t mean they have Alzheimer’s disease. There’s so much more to this. That’s why cognitive testing is so important.

If the person you’re concerned about has a history of head injuries this can be associated with memory loss. We’ve seen in the news about athletes who have had repetitive concussions and how it has affected them later on in life.

When you or your loved one notices memory problems beginning, it’s better to check it out sooner than later. Be their partner in this quest, not their enemy.

Dementia is the umbrella for these memory diseases:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Vascular
  • Lewy Bodies
  • Frontal Temporal
  • Huntington Disease
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
  • Parkinson’s

Take a moment and go to the Alzheimer’s Association and read about all the different kinds of dementia and educate yourself.

The more you know the less difficult it will be to talk to your loved one about memory problems.

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