My mom has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, what should my next steps be?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
Daughter140404 asked...

Hi, My Mom has been diagnosed with early Alzheimer's for about a year now. What is the first step I should be doing, Her primary doctor has gave us some aricept to take and the excelon patch. Should I switch my Mother to a generic primary doctor, someone who specializing in Alzheimer. My mother has finally comes to terms that she has this. I guess I don't know where to begin now. Thank you. My mother is 71 years old. Thanks

Expert Answers

Joanne Koenig Coste is a nationally recognized expert on Alzheimer's care and an outspoken advocate for patient and family care. She is the author of Learning to Speak Alzheimer's. Also, she currently is in private practice as an Alzheimer's family therapist. Ms. Koenig Coste also serves as President of Alzheimer Consulting Associates, implementing state-of-the-art Alzheimer care throughout the United States.

I strongly suggest that you get a Neurologist who specializes in Alzheimer's (AD) and the related diseases. Many communities are near a major hospital with a Memory Impairment Unit (or similar title) where it is a good idea to establish a relationship with a physician. Often they are involved in research projects including new AD-specific medications. If this is not convenient, I would urge you to be in touch with your local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association for referral to the doctors who are near where Mom resides and whose specialty is treating AD folks. When this is done, get yourself into an AD support group. This is a forum which will offer coping ideas and suggestions for dealing with the changes associated with AD as well as the support of being with others walking the same AD path. Data shows that family members who belong to a support group develop better coping strategies and caring techniques than those who choose not to join. This means that not only do you, the carepartner, have a happier journey but so too does your Mom who will benefit from a more positive interaction. Be sure to take care of YOU!