How to Start the Conversation

Starting the conversation about memory loss is a very difficult task. We are grieving the changes our loved one is going through and are scared that they will continue to get worse. We are not sure if they are aware of the changes, are they scared, and are they worried? We want to support their independence but need to reconcile that independence with their safety.

There are two types of awareness — safety and curiosity. As dementia progresses, those afflicted lose their safety awareness. It is subtle but we notice they may not wear the proper clothing for the season, food may be spoiled in their fridge or freezer, and they are not cleaning the home as they once did, or they are missing appointments or making multiple phone calls about the same issue.

It is important to let your loved one dealing with dementia know that we love them and do not wish to take over their lives. We want to make sure they are safe and that is the reason behind our wanting them to see their healthcare provider. There are many reasons for memory loss, some are reversible and some are not. The healthcare provider can run tests and address any issues due to lack of vitamins, depression, lack of sleep, etc. If it is determined that your loved one is diagnosed with dementia that together you make a plan for the future.