Answers to Common Alzheimer’s Disease Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about Alzheimer’s disease and how to live with and manage the condition.

Why is it important to diagnose Alzheimer's early?

Dr. Larry Lawhorne discusses the importance of an early Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

   

An early diagnosis leaves time for planning. When a person’s judgment and insight is still good, we can ask them lots of questions about what they want or do not want as the disease progresses. This is extremely important to families.

The patient and the person they choose to make decisions for them when they no longer can, should sit down with their doctor and discuss what they want as it relates to the use of a feeding tube, being on a ventilator, breaking a hip, being in the hospital or being in hospice. It takes such a burden off the family to know what people want at the end of life.

Lots of other good things can also be addressed, too. Here is a script for how to do it: Dad says, “Son, when you think I can’t drive anymore, just tell me and take my keys away. When you think I can’t manage my finances anymore, just tell me and I’ll sign a paper that says you can do it. If a doctor or somebody else says that I can’t handle it anymore, then you take over.” 

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Source: Larry Lawhorne, MD, Wright State Physicians; National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer’s Association