It is difficult to bring memory loss concerns to the attention of a friend or loved one. You may be worried about his or her reaction to your concerns. It is important not to let these worries deter you. Remember, treatments are available, and these treatments work best when prescribed early. Your friend or loved one can only benefit from these treatments if he or she is diagnosed. Below we provide some tips about how to discuss memory loss with a friend or loved one.
When one is confronted with possible memory loss, they can react defensively. Therefore, it is important to bring your concerns to the attention of your friend or loved one in private and to do so with a strong expression of compassion for the individual.
Education is also a powerful tool. Many people ignore signs of memory loss because they dismiss it as signs of normal aging and do not understand the treatments available. Tell your friend that memory-loss is not a normal part of aging. Explain that there are treatments available and these treatments are most effective when the disease is caught early.
Emphasize memory-health rather than memory-loss. One of the advantages of a MARS Memory Check-Up is that doing the evaluation does not mean that you have a problem, just like going to the doctor for a regular physical does not mean you have a problem. For this reason, we encourage friends and family members to begin the process by setting the example that a memory check-up is simply a smart way to routinely monitor your brain’s health. Such testing is not an admission that you have a problem. Many of our clients have set appointments for themselves and their spouse to demonstrate proactive health, rather than reactive fear.
Although it can be a challenge sometimes to get someone the help they need, rest assured that the MARS staff understands the challenges involved for older individuals with memory loss. We help our clients feel comfortable, relaxed, and at ease while they are with us. We are happy to talk to your friend or loved one at any time about memory-loss and memory-health.