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Early Signs

 

 

Receiving a diagnosis of dementia, or having a loved one diagnosed, can cause a range of emotions, from shock to relief. But what happens next? We’ve put together a checklist of things for you, your family, and support team to consider over the next few months (or more!) as you navigate your journey.

Do you ever wonder if a lapse in memory is something more? It’s easy to misplace your keys, forget the name of someone you just met, or make a mistake balancing your checkbook. When is it time to seek a doctor’s advice? Learn more about the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s.

Katelyn Sloan, our Director of Marketing, sat down with Debbie, who's mother has been a part of Insight's early stage Reconnections program for a little over two years to chat about the shift to virtual programs, ways it works for both her and her mom, and how the program has become "our people!"

As a 28-year-old, I’d recently graduated from grad school, and snagged my ideal job in downtown DC as the manager of a health nonprofit. While everything looked bright for my career, my love life was turning out to be more difficult. I was almost 30, still single, and still looking for my soulmate. Because my parents were older, I wanted to start a family sooner than later. That’s when my dad was diagnosed with cognitive impairment.

In the earlier stages you may have to face the “when-is-it-time-to-stop-driving?” issue. Some people with Alzheimer’s disease have good insight about what is happening to them and give up the keys when they feel unsafe or unsure. Others may not have any insight and insist that they can and should continue driving. You may be faced with the task of deciding when driving skills, judgment, and/or visual spatial perceptions have deteriorated. You will have to decide when driving puts the person with dementia and/or others at risk. Here are some tips to help with giving up the keys.

With over 5 million Americans living with dementia, chances are you know someone living with memory impairment – whether you’re aware of it or not! The stigma of dementia is still prevalent in our society, leading many to hide their diagnosis, or avoid asking the doctor in the first place. But that doesn’t mean that your neighbor may not need your help. If you’re concerned about a forgetful neighbor, here are some signs to look for.

Insight Memory Care Center offers free, confidential memory screenings and educational materials to people with concerns about their memory or who want to check their memory now for future comparison. The best part – memory screenings are now being held virtually, so you can perform this simple evaluation from the comfort of home! So who would benefit from a memory screening?

For those that have experienced the doctor’s visit that changed their lives forever – the news came with a gamut of emotions. Thoughts of uncertainty, denial, shock and/or sorrow may be recalled as well as ambiguous feelings for the future. Once the initial shock subsides and facing the realities of life with dementia become more prominent, there is often so much to learn and so much to prepare. If that weren’t enough, not only are you trying to make sense of your own thoughts and emotions from day to day; but you are also trying to be attuned with what your loved one is also experiencing. Considering all these aspects for the journey ahead, there is hope in the early stages of dementia!

Receiving any diagnosis will more than likely create some level of anxiety. However, if that diagnosis is one relating to dementia, then a unique batch of worries arises. Important questions begin to race through the mind, such as, “What’s going to happen to me?” or “Is my independence going to be taken away from me?” Insight Memory Care Center (IMCC) has a variety of programs aimed specifically at helping those with the diagnosis, and/or their loved ones, gain the knowledge and tools they need to navigate the labyrinth of dementia care.

It is this commonplace driving situation that can become the most dangerous as dementia progresses. Delayed reaction times, poor judgment, inability to stay attentive behind the wheel, and frustration can be highly problematic in the stop-and-go traffic of Northern Virginia. So when is it time to stop driving?

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"I like that IMCC focuses on dementia-related problems and provides a focal point for families to network and socially interact in coping with dementia. It provides a community that helps us in our struggle."