Alzheimer's Foundation of America

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Education and Care

Tips on Medical Visits

  • Keep a record of the individual's physical complaints between visits. Examples: shortness of breath or headaches.

  • Bring all medications, including prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs, to every doctor's visit.

  • A family member or other individual should be present during the individual's entire examination.

  • Insist on providing history and symptoms directly to the practitioner, since he may not realize the individual has impaired memory and communication skills.

  • Insist on an explanation of medical conditions, medications and treatments to you as well as the individual with dementia.

  • Ask whether any new medications may increase confusion or result in other side effects.

  • Inquire about communication among healthcare professionals treating the individual.

  • Speak up if specific instructions are not realistic. Example: Expecting that an individual who has lost verbal skills will ask for chest pain pills (nitroglycerin).
  • For more information, connect with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s licensed social workers. Click here or call 866.232.8484. Real People. Real Care.