(WOMENSENEWS)–How do you start the conversation? How do you tell someone close to you that you’ve noticed some changes in his or her behavior that concern you — forgetfulness, difficulty with activities of daily living, etc.? And, then, how do you convince that person to get a memory check-up?
It’s daunting to bring up concerns about memory, as people’s minds typically jump right to , which disproportionately affects women. Of the more than 5 million Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease, nearly two-thirds are women. Women are also much more likely to shoulder the responsibility for caregiving, which could mean looking after someone who has Alzheimer’s. But addressing memory concerns early on can help determine the cause and put your loved one on the path to proper treatment.
When you start discussing memory issues, the person you love may balk at your impressions of her. She may become anxious, fearful or even combative. But she may also have noticed a change in her abilities and been too embarrassed to ask for help. Engaging in an honest, productive discussion is challenging, but necessary.