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A Guide To Medical Alert Systems For Seniors

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Alzheimer’s Testing and Diagnoses

Many mental health experts think every older person must be tested for Alzheimer’s. Would you be in a better situation if Alzheimer’s could be identified early, and if you and your loved ones were tested?

Numerous groups now offer tests for memory problems, and look for signs of early Alzheimer’s or various kinds of dementia. Some doctors already typically test people over 65, usually with questionnaires(“name as many countries that you can think of in 30 seconds,” and so on). There are also exams to help you with your own diagnosis of yourself.

So when do you look for health care providers  to conduct the necessary exams and tests?  Perhaps this information can help.

Universal testing for Alzheimer’s is still controversial, and for many very good reasons:

It would include many people with no memory problems at all. Apart from the waste of time and money, testing can lead to fear, depression, and disruption of the family unit.

There is no sure way to differentiate between mild age-related cognitive disability, which may never get worse, and early Alzheimer’s. If the test tells you that you’re okay now but may develop dementia down the road, what can you do with that info?

Diagnostic tests for early dementia are unreliable, specifically in people under the age of the age of 70. Misdiagnoses could be devastating. People could lose their jobs, driver’s license or even their potential caregivers, and be unable to get medical or life insurance.

If early diagnosis leads into more treatment with medicine, well, essentially, that’s a mixed bag. Alzheimer’s medications are high priced, and the drugs’ benefits are limited and of short duration. They are prescribed mainly for those who have been already showing obvious signs of dementia.

Early diagnosis would benefit the drug companies more so than the public, according to some critics.

Where are we now?

Alzheimer’s might be the diagnosis people truly fear more than any other. The risk rises as one ages, and the numbers are increasing. We urgently require a clear understanding of this condition and better diagnostic tools. We need preventive means, as well as effective treatments. Further research into Alzheimer’s testing is essential before burdening patients and their already overtaxed primary-care physicians with screening tests of dubious reliability and unmeasurable benefits.

If you are afraid that you or a loved one is showing symptoms of obvious loss of memory or Alzheimer’s Disease, go over the problem with your doctor. If testing shows no problem, you’ll be happy. If you do receive a diagnosis of dementia, you can get ready for what’s to come to the best of your ability by starting to look for a superior dementia care facility and, if recommended, try the medications that exist. We caution against tests conducted at community centers and similar facilities, or tests performed by yourself. 

It is, of course, nice to realize that there are many wonderful Dementia Care Facilities to provide the most appropriate living environment and attention that Alzheimer’s sufferers can turn to.  It’s not a simple road, but there is quality information and assistance available if you prepared to do your homework.

 

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