Dementia affects people of all cultures, intellectual abilities and lifestyles. That’s why it could even happen to Santa. Dementia is a progressive condition which means the symptoms will gradually get worse. If you have noticed changes in someone you care about over the holidays here is what to do to help them.
Gently broach the subject and express your concerns.
Give the person time to get used to the idea of having a review by a GP.
Book a double appointment with the GP. Let the GP know the reason for the visit prior to the appointment.
Attend the appointment together.
The GP may refer you onto a specialist – Geriatrician, Psychiatrist of Old Age, Mental Health for Older Peoples Team, a Memory Clinic or a Neurologist for a more in-depth assessment.
Go with them to see the specialist, support them through the assessment, cognitive testing, CT scans etc.
Allow the person time to adjust to the diagnosis.
Begin to plan for the future – most importantly discuss and sort Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA).
Closely monitor their safety (for example with driving) and if you’re concerned, seek professional advice about what to do about it.
Assist the person living with a diagnosis of dementia to live well, helping them to maintain dignity, respect, independence and engagement for as long as possible.
Confusion or forgetfulness may not mean someone has dementia but if you’re concerned about changes in someone it’s helpful to seek advice. You can make an appointment with your GP, or for more information and a range of support options, complete the simple form below and we will get in touch to help.
We’re by your side to help you, your family and whānau to live your best life.