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Alzheimer's: 7 tips for medical visits
Regular medical care is an important part of Alzheimer's treatment. Use these seven tips to make the most of the time you have with your loved one's doctor.By Mayo Clinic staff
People who have Alzheimer's disease need regular medical care to address a range of health and behavioral issues, some related to Alzheimer's and some not. Either way, if a member of your family has Alzheimer's, you're sure to have lots of questions — and limited time with the doctor. To ensure the most productive medical appointments, consider these seven tips.
1. Schedule wisely
Plan appointments for your loved one's best time of day and, if possible, when the doctor's office is least crowded. Bring snacks and water, and an activity your loved one enjoys.
2. Be prepared
Make a list of issues you'd like to address with the doctor, such as concerns about medication side effects or aggressive behavior. Put your primary three concerns at the top of the list so that you're sure to cover what's most important to you. Also take note of your loved one's medications, even over-the-counter medications and supplements. You can either make a list of everything your loved one takes or bring the labeled containers in a bag.
3. Be specific
Be ready to answer questions about your loved one's symptoms and behavior. Have you noticed any changes in your loved one's mood? Is your loved one able to eat regular meals? Does your loved one seem to be uncomfortable in any way? Has your loved one shown any aggressive behavior? As the disease progresses, your insight may be the critical factor in determining what's best for your loved one.Next page
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- Caregiver guide. National Institute on Aging. http://www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers/Publications/caregiverguide.htm. Accessed April 21, 2010.
- Partnering with your doctor: A guide for persons with memory problems and their care partners. Alzheimer's Association. http://www.alz.org/national/documents/brochure_partneringwithyourdoctor.pdf. Accessed April 21, 2010.
- A guide for older people: Talking with your doctor. National Institute on Aging. http://www.nia.nih.gov/NR/rdonlyres/90DF996C-DF5F-4245-B7CA-B2E1B993D8C7/0/TWYD_Final.pdf. Accessed April 21, 2010.
- Tangalos EG (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 18, 2010.