What is neurological care and how can a neurologist help an aging parent? First off, a neurologist is a medical physician whose specialty is the care, diagnosis, and treatment of patients with conditions related to the nervous system like brain injuries, behavioral disorders, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, dementia, and a whole other degenerative diseases. After a certain again (60,70+), your parent may need this type of neurological care, and it’s really important to learn how to distinguish the symptoms.
At first, the signs will be subtle. The disease will start destroying the brain and it will creep up unannounced. You may even assume that your parent is just getting old, and that he doesn’t have a mild form of dementia. If mom or dad start having memory issues, and they feel uncomfortable talking about what they did yesterday, you should take them to a neurologist and have some tests done.
Aging parents don’t want to depend on their kids. They may not want to admit that they need home care, and they’ll do anything to hide the fact that they have memory loss issues. Look for signs of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia by assessing their behavior. The symptoms are unmistakable: confusion, memory loss, inability to perform daily tasks, erratic behavior, and problems with speaking, anxiety, misplacing things, and poor judgement, and mood & personality changes.
Unwillingness to go see a doctor
Most seniors don’t want to go see a doctor because they’re afraid of the diagnosis. Some don’t want to spend that kind of money on a consult, while others fear that their loved ones will eventually want to place them in a nursing home. While that could happen, this is not a very good reason for an aging parent to not want to see a doctor. A physician won’t diagnose a patient with dementia unless there’s enough proof from exams and tests. If your mom or dad refuses to get tested, then it’s obvious something is wrong.
Inability to drive anymore
If your mom or dad gets lost on the road, and can’t remember to get home, it’s worth taking them to the doctor. Their driving days are over, and you should help them cope with that decision. It will be difficult; your job as their child is to make them understand how dangerous it can be to drive a car and all of a sudden, become confused at the wheel. Accidents can happen, and if your senior relative can’t drive anymore, it could be because they’re developing early dementia.
If your senior parents are having difficulties finding appropriate words to speak, then it could be an early sign of dementia. Our ability to talk and express our thoughts with words is directly linked to the brain; when the brain is malfunctioning, dementia care may be required. Seniors who can’t explain things clearly should consult a specialist, as it’s not normal to want to talk and not be able to do it properly.
Apathy is a common sign of dementia in seniors. If you notice that mom and dad are not interested in daily activities and hobbies anymore, it could be an indication that they’re developing dementia. Apathy brings a lot other notable symptoms like ignorance, confusion, boredom, indifference, and more. If your loved one is not even interested in spending time with the family, you should take measures. Specialists highlight that apathy is a common psychiatric syndrome in seniors. It is a dysfunction of one’s frontal-subcortical circuit that it linked to several neuropsychiatric disorders, Alzheimer’s disease included.
Apathy comes with a wealth of adverse outcomes, such as apparent cognitive impairment, poor insight, decrease daily function, and more. As a devote caregiver and loving child, it’s important to understand your parent. Take them to see a specialist, talk to them gently, and find a way to solve this issue.
Aging parents may need neurological care at some point in their lives. Illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s are incurable; while there are treatments that can postpone the aggravation of the condition, sooner or later your parent will eventually lose their cognitive functions. Rather then put their lives in danger and allow them to keep living alone, you should consider placing them in an assisted living facility.