Should Mom's doctor have been so quick to put her on Aricept?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 10, 2016
Mariaperham asked...

My mother in law is 82 years old and thinks her memory is bad, although her family and friends feel she is normal. I live with her and I do not think she has a bad memory. She told her primary doctor, who is in family practice, that her memory is getting bad, and he immediately prescribed Aricept for her. I think this is a mistake. Shouldn't he have had her evaluated first before prescribing this medication to her?

Expert Answers

Ladislav Volicer, M.D., Ph.D., is recognized as an international expert on advanced dementia care. He is a courtesy full professor at the School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa, and visiting professor at the Third Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. Twenty-five years ago, he established one of the first dementia special care units.

You do not mention if your mother-in-law's doctor did any testing of her memory and cognitive function. Aricept may be indicated if the doctor found some cognitive impairment. However, you may also make your mother-in-law aware of non-pharmacological strategies for maintaining or improving memory. For instance, she may enjoy mental exercises presented at the