If you are concerned about memory problems being experienced by a relative, you should take them to visit your local GP. Your GP can help your relative in many different ways. The following article will tell you everything you need to know.
There are many possible reasons why your relative may have developed memory problems. Medication and the effects of ageing can all cause memory difficulties. That is why it is essential that a clinical assessment be carried out by a trained professional. The doctor will be able to carry out a memory assessment to gauge the extent of any memory problems. This test may involve having to recall simple information about their own life and about the world around them. Your relative may also be asked to perform simple sums, to spell words or to draw simple diagrams. Do not worry. You cannot 'fail' this test. If your relative isn't very good at spelling or mathematics, this won't cause them to receive an incorrect diagnosis. The GP will also carry out a review of any medication your relative is taking so they can assess if this is contributing to their memory problems. If the doctor believes your relative may have dementia, they will refer you to a specialist service such as a memory clinic. Here, your relative will undergo further testing which will be able to establish the diagnosis of dementia.
While there is no cure for dementia, there are a number of medications which can help to slow the progress of the disease and which can help to make your relative comfortable. The GP will explain the symptoms which each drug treats, when and how they should take the meds and details of any possible side effects. Once drugs have been prescribed, your GP will schedule follow-up appointments so they can monitor how your relative is progressing and determine if any adjustments need to made to their medication.
The doctor will also be able to help your relative to deal with their diagnosis. Receiving a diagnosis of dementia can be a scary experience. If they feel it would be helpful, the doctor may refer your relative for counselling so they can talk through their thoughts and feelings.
If you would like to find out more about how a primary care GP can help your relative with their memory problems, you should book an appointment with your local clinic.