Steps in Diagnosing Alzheimer’s

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Alzheimer’s disease is a highly complex disorder, and doctors still have quite a bit to learn about how this form of dementia develops and what can be done to prevent it. While many aspects of Alzheimer’s are still a mystery, medical professionals have come up with some fairly accurate tests for diagnosing this disease. When Alzheimer’s is diagnosed in its earliest stages and treatment begins immediately, seniors can enjoy a much higher quality of life.

The Stages of Alzheimer’s

Many people are surprised to hear that diagnosing Alzheimer’s early on is relatively difficult. During the initial stages of this disease, seniors and their loved ones might not notice anything more than some subtle cognitive or behavioral issues. Seniors may begin to forget people’s names or have difficulty managing their finances. As the disease progresses, these symptoms become much more prominent. At that time, it should be easier for a medical team to accurately diagnose the disease.

Initial Testing

Most medical professionals separate the testing into two distinct stages. During the first stage, the primary goal is to rule out any other health complications. Older adults naturally face challenges with at least a few cognitive health issues as they grow older, and those issues could resemble the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Insomnia, nutritional deficiencies, thyroid disease, and cardiovascular problems can impact brain health as well, and all of those issues must be ruled out. 

If your senior loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, help is just a phone call away. For reliable Alzheimer’s care, Vancouver families can turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of professional memory care designed to help seniors maintain a higher quality of life. In addition to Alzheimer’s care, we also provide comprehensive dementia, Parkinson’s, and stroke care. From revolutionary care programs to compassionate and dedicated caregivers, we can meet all of your Alzheimer’s care needs.

Definitive Testing

If no other health complications are found, the senior will usually be sent to a neurologist for further testing. During the second stage of testing, the medical team looks for abnormalities in the brain and clear cognitive issues. Doctors usually begin with different exercises that test memory and critical thinking skills. The medical team must then conduct brain imaging tests to see if there are any pockets of plaque that could be damaging the healthy cells and synapses. Seniors usually undergo CT scans, MRIs, and PET scans. In some cases, medical teams will interview seniors’ family and friends as well. 

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Vancouver Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Treating Alzheimer’s

After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, a senior is usually assigned a neurologist or another doctor who specializes in dementia-related disorders. During the first few stages of this disease, the primary goal of treatment is to strengthen the brain while minimizing the symptoms. The average treatment plan includes prescription medications, various types of therapy, and comprehensive lifestyle changes. With long-term treatment plans and professional support, some seniors are able to delay or minimize the symptoms of this disease for many years.

There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading home care service provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life. Schedule a free in-home consultation by giving us a call today at (778) 279-3634.

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