How to Approach the Topic of Memory Loss
There is a lot of information out there on how to care for your loved one if they are diagnosed with a degenerative neurological disorder. However, what is less commonly discusses is how to approach them about visiting a doctor if they are showing symptoms associated with these kinds of disorders. In this blog, we will go over one common symptom of degenerative neurological disorders, and then consider communication techniques that may help you broach such a sensitive topic.
One of the main things you may notice about your aging loved ones is a decline in memory. That is to say, you may notice that your loved one has been more forgetful lately. Not all memory loss is attributable to disorders like Alzheimer’s. Memory loss can be due to a host of factors like poor sleeping habits, depression, and reactions to medications. While memory problems do not necessarily indicate something as serious as Alzheimer’s, it is always good to get evaluated. Thus, if you notice that your loved one has been more forgetful, it can be a good idea to visit the doctor with them. After all, you may find out that there is actually nothing wrong.
When it comes to medical issues, it can be difficult to bring up a sensitive topic like visiting the doctor. So below, we will offer some techniques to approach such a subject:
Know your relationship: Every family dynamic is different and different family members relate in various ways to one another. For example, you may not get along with your aging father, but maybe your brother has a better relationship. If you are in a similar situation, then seek out that family member and talk to them about your concern. They may be more than willing to step in to help.
Do not take away your loved one’s control: People often become defensive when they feel that the control over their own situation is changing or challenged. Try to keep in mind that ultimately you cannot force someone to go to the doctor. But, you can bring up the subject matter in a genuine, honest and concerned way.
Be honest: One undervalued trait is to be direct and honest. Of course, it is always a good idea to phrase your words carefully and gently, but this should not hinder your focus on the main problem. Express yourself to your loved one, say that you are concerned, and give reasons why you are concerned.
Listen: Your loved one will undoubtedly have some things they want to say. Let them have that time and make sure to listen to their words carefully. Discussing medical issues is a sensitive topic and it can lead some to feel upset. Make sure to take their thoughts and feelings into consideration.
Offer to offset any inconveniences: Offer to go with them to the doctor and to take care of paperwork and/or making the appointment. You want to eliminate as many barriers as possible so you can give your loved one the help and care that is appropriate for them.
If you have any other questions, please call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website.