Preparing for your appointment with a memory loss specialist

You’ve noticed the signs. Perhaps the oven was left on overnight or an important date slipped your mind. Or perhaps you simply don’t feel like yourself and are having troubles remembering day-to-day tasks.

In instances of forgetfulness, it’s always best to seek medical advice. This rings particularly true when memory loss is a concern for your or a loved one’s safety.

After scheduling an appointment with your physician, take the time to prepare yourself for the visit. First, ask the doctor’s office if they expect there to be any tests during the appointment. Often times this translates to fasting for blood work.

Second, write down your symptoms and your questions. Where have you noticed your forgetfulness? Do you forget where your car is parked at the grocery store or do you find that your groceries are never quite put away correctly? Providing examples can help your doctor notice patterns and help with a diagnosis. Having questions prepared will assist in case you feel overwhelmed during the appointment.

Create another list that details any other medical conditions and any medications you are currently taking. This will allow the doctor to see if your memory loss is due to medication reactions or if it points to other signs.

Finally, ask a trusted friend or family member to accompany you to the appointment. Often times, they have noticed details that will be helpful to the doctor. Later, they can help you recall what the doctor suggested and assist with decision-making.

Knowing you are prepared upon entering the doctor’s office is a good way to provide peace of mind and help ease yourself into asking difficult questions.

•••

If you would like reprints of this article or additional encouragement about how best to approach this for yourself, or for a loved one please call Susan Faltermeyer, Director of Community Relations at Creekside Inn Memory Care, North Idaho’s specialty Memory Care Community. We are located at E. 240 Kathleen in Coeur d’Alene and can be reached at (208) 665-2444 or online at www.creeksideinnidaho.net.

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