- Get a medical assessment and diagnosis. If there are noticeable cognitive issues, it is important for your loved one to get a comprehensive medical exam. There is a chance that the cause of the cognitive impairment is treatable. There are medical, emotional and social benefits to getting a diagnosis. It also provides the opportunity to plan for the future.
- Educate yourself on the disease process. A diagnosis of cognitive impairment can be overwhelming and different types of dementia can result in different symptoms. Most forms of cognitive impairment are progressive in nature and get worse with time. Be sure to learn about your loved one’s diagnosis so you can understand what to expect.
- Plan ahead as much as possible. Having conversations early in the diagnosis is important to ensure the individual can contribute his or her wishes in the decision-making process. Planning should involve researching options for care and support. Setting up health, financial and legal documents is also important.
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