Good communication can enable you to get the most out of your visit to a physician or other healthcare professional. Being open and asking questions help toward understanding, and proper diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.
When accompanying your loved one to a doctor, bring current medications, notes on symptoms and other issues—and a list of questions.
- What is the diagnosis?
- What other tests should be taken?
- Should we see a neurologist, geriatrician or other specialist?
- How does the disease progress (symptoms, time span)?
- What are all the available treatment options?
- What is the effectiveness of each medication, in terms of memory, behavior and other symptoms?
- What are the side effects, dosage, possible drug interactions, and pros and cons of each treatment?
- What changes in condition should we report to you?
- In addition to medication, what do you recommend in terms of diet, vitamins, physical exercise and other lifestyle changes?
- What mental exercises can we do to stimulate the brain?
- Are there any clinical drug trials that would be appropriate to participate in? What are the risks and benefits?
- What advice can you provide regarding care?
- Do you have information about community resources, such as support groups, educational workshops, adult day programs, in-home care and other support services for my family?
- Will you be speaking with my loved one's other doctors?
- How often should we make an appointment to see you?