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.

Alzheimer's Foundation of America  866.232.8484