Return to First QuestionsI think my wife has dementia. How do I convince her to see our doctor?
Remember that many conditions have symptoms similar to dementia, so it is important not to assume that someone has dementia just because some of the symptoms are present. Strokes, depression, alcoholism, infections, hormone disorders, nutritional deficiencies and brain tumours can all cause dementia-like symptoms. Many of these conditions can be treated.
If your wife is reluctant to see her doctor, this can be a tricky situation. She may not be aware of the changes in her abilities that you see. You might try one the following:
- Make sure the doctor knows of your concerns before the appointment takes place. Be as specific as possible. This checklist can help you prepare for your doctor’s visit.
- Suggest she go for an annual check-up. She may be more comfortable getting an overall check-up than seeing the doctor for memory problems. Many symptoms that look like Alzheimer's disease can be caused by other treatable conditions, so it's important to get a thorough assessment if you have concerns.
- Contact the doctor's office directly. Explain your concerns and ask if she or he will invite your wife in for a check-up. She might be more willing if the doctor suggests the appointment.
Be sure to provide a lot of reassurance. A calm, caring attitude at this time can help overcome the person’s very real worries and fears.