In Episode 11 of Alz In The Fam, Allan and Poli detail the final steps of receiving our Mom’s official diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. The steps we took at this stage, starting with an appointment with our Mom’s primary care physician, all culminated in finding great treatment and resources for our Mom.
When we first went to Mom’s primary care physician, Mom took the Mini Mental Status Exam – a standard exam with a series of questions that help health professionals evaluate the memory issues in their patients. Mom failed this exam, but the assistant who administered the test thought Mom was fine. Her physician decided to refer us to a neurologist.
Neurologists, however, are incredibly busy. Getting an appointment took a lot of time, but Poli was directed to the Georgetown University’s Memory Disorders Program and was able to get Mom in for an appointment sooner than most.
Getting involved at the GU Memory Disorders Program proved to be the best move we could have made. Here, we enrolled Mom in an Alzheimer’s study and started being seen by a neurologist every month. Joining a study was the best experience for our family; it provided us with tons of resources and incredible staff that we can still rely on.
Our start at GU Memory Disorders Program gave Mom her first official diagnosis of mild Alzheimer’s disease, too. This was a huge milestone in our journey. GU has provided us with crucial care and a strong community, both of which have made a huge impact in our Mom’s life and our entire families’ lives.
Finally, we just want to note that no experience with Alzheimer’s is linear. Some days are much harder than others, and some days your loved one may seem like her old self again. Being a caregiver is difficult and unpredictable; having a support system and community to rely on is crucial as caregivers. We hope that those in a similar position can find care that they feel confident about and a community that they can connect with.
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