Why the family doctor shouldn’t assess parent’s memory lapses – I

Most of us can identify with ordinary moments when our memory fails us. We lose keys, and sometimes even the car. We forget to shut off the coffee maker or lock the front door. However, when it comes to memory loss associated with dementia, the person doesn’t even remember she had keys or a car in the first place. In other words, the person doesn’t know that she doesn’t know!And that’s one of the many challenges caregivers face when providing support to seniors with early signs of dementia — the denial that there is a memory issue. “My memory lapses are reasonable, given that I am over 70”, the senior may argue.So how do you overcome denial, and should you? Or should you accept that the senior may never come to terms with his cognitive changes? And, in the worst-case scenario, do you walk away after all efforts fail to confront the memory issues?The best solution may be to bring the senior to a health care provider who can do an assessment. However, I suggest that stopping at his regular family doctor may not be your best approach. Find out more in my next blog post, or you can check out our resources page.