Be aware of how seniors manage their health issues. It is important to understand: many elders do NOT want to go to the hospital…they are 1)afraid of being admitted; and 2)afraid of sitting in the emergency room for hours until they are seen by the attending physician.

Sometimes, it is dementia which clouds judgement, and effects your family members. If you notice any of the warning signs highlighted below, we recommend you immediately contact your physician and send (insist) your parents/family to the hospital for evaluation.

Better to be safe. Go with your gut feeling – it is usually correct.

• Schedule a doctor visit. Ask the physician what physical and mental function tests can be done to diagnose the possible dementia as well as the underlying causes.

• Follow the doctor’s recommendations and schedule your family member for the appropriate diagnostic tests. When a diagnosis has been made, consult with the doctor to determine the best course of treatment.

• Check blood sugar level daily and if needed manage diabetes carefully. Poorly controlled diabetes is a serious risk factor for vascular dementia, so it is critical that your loved one receives proper diabetes care. Also, check for vitamin deficiency.

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– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

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