To encourage someone to talk when you’re worried about how their memory loss has affected them, you can:
1. Have the conversation in a familiar and relaxing place.
2. Cite examples of their behaviour to initiate awareness.
3. Have a frank conversation to discuss their needs and issues.
You do not need to get the person to agree to visit a doctor for a diagnosis in just one session. This is a difficult development to process, so it may take some time for the person to accept it.
Here are some questions that you may use to start the conversation:
• You seem worried; how can I help?
• You don’t seem yourself today, how are you feeling?
• Are you ok? You seem to be concerned about something.
Being diagnosed with dementia may come as a surprise to someone at first. However, with a clear diagnosis, persons living with dementia can get the information, treatment, management, and support needed to manage the symptoms.
Depending on the person’s comfort level, sharing concerns with family members early in the conversation can:
• Coax the person to obtain a diagnosis and seek support.
• Prepare family members early for the caregiving role.
• Help both the person and caregiver(s) to plan for the future.