Knowledge is Power: HarborChase Highlights the Importance of Dementia Education

Posted By on March 15, 2022

Talking with your doctor about dementia can seem like a challenging process. For many adults, the mere act of considering dementia and cognitive decline is something that might invoke stress, anxiety, and fear.

At HarborChase Senior Living, we want to encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider if you notice changes in memory, cognition, and brain function. Because when it comes to approaching dementia, we do not want you to be afraid. We want you to be informed.

The good news: By speaking with your healthcare provider sooner rather than later, you can ensure that you receive appropriate dementia education, resources for improving and maintaining brain health, and the care and support that is right for you.

Today, we look at three of the main reasons why you should never avoid talking with your doctor about dementia.

Early Detection is Essential

If you were experiencing unexpected physical changes such as loss of appetite, sudden weight loss, insomnia, or high blood pressure, the most common step would be to schedule a visit with your doctor. They would provide you with programs, exercises, and recommendations to boost your health and wellness. In some cases, they might prescribe medication to help you.

The same is true with brain function. With advice from your healthcare provider, you can implement many healthy changes to improve your memory and overall brain health. Harvard Health recommends several ways to improve your mind:

  • Mental stimulation
  • Physical exercise
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Changes to diet
  • Social engagement

While these preventative measures can help you maintain a healthy mind, your doctor will be able to tailor them to your unique needs. However, this requires an honest and open conversation with your healthcare provider.

Brain Function Changes Over Time

The National Institute on Aging has many helpful resources about dementia and cognitive decline, including the differences between mild forgetfulness and more serious concerns, such as Alzheimer’s. 

As they point out, “not all people with memory problems have Alzheimer’s.” There are many reasons for memory loss, including aging, different medical conditions, and emotional distress. If you are worried that you are becoming more forgetful, it is essential that you speak with your doctor to better determine if you are experiencing mild forgetfulness or a more serious condition.

Some signs of mild forgetfulness, according to the National Institute on Aging, include:

  • Taking longer to learn new things
  • Not retaining information as well as usual
  • Misplacing items such as glasses or keys

In some cases, these may be normal signs of forgetfulness. Doctors and specialists are highly trained to recognize and respond to cognition changes. By sharing your concerns with them, you give yourself the best opportunity of receiving the correct care.

Knowledge is Power

Although it might be uncomfortable to discuss dementia, becoming more knowledgeable is the best way to ensure you receive the highest level of care. Whether your healthcare provider recommends lifestyle changes or recognizes cognitive decline, it is essential to know as soon as possible.

Knowing empowers you to make important decisions with the help of your doctor and family. Knowing provides you with clarity and direction. Knowing gives you control, allowing you to dictate what happens next.

With the right dementia education, you and your family can evaluate the best options for mild memory care and memory care. At HarborChase Senior Living, we provide the care and support our residents need due to cognitive impairments and memory loss. Our memory care programs include The Sound, which offers mild and transitional memory care, and The Cove, for more extensive memory care and support.

A recent AARP survey revealed that “nearly 20 percent of adults 40 and older say they would feel ashamed or embarrassed if they had dementia,” which leads many adults to avoid speaking to their doctors when they experience changes in brain function. At HarborChase Senior Living, we recognize the importance of becoming educated about dementia. By speaking with healthcare professionals, you can remove the stigma of dementia, alleviate the fear of the unknown, and make the right decisions for yourself and the people you love most.

To learn more about the memory care programs at HarborChase Senior Living, we encourage you to visit our website

 

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