Watching a loved one progress through the stages of Alzheimer’s disease can be frightening and overwhelming. Communicating with their physician on a regular basis is very important. Asking questions and getting the response in a timely manner will give you the comfort and support you need.

Being able to know or ask questions about what will happen next is important. Taking another loved one to the doctor’s appointment with you is recommended, not only for moral support but for someone to be able to listen and interpret the physician’s explanation.

If you’re concerned that you may not remember your questions, jot them down ahead of time. Put your top three concerns at the top of the list so that you’re sure to cover what’s most important to you.

Below is a list of questions you can ask their physician. Asking these question may help you to understand what your loved one is experiencing.

  • I often hear that Alzheimer’s disease is hereditary. Is this true?
  • Does the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease vary from day by day?
  • My mother-in-law has Alzheimer’s and repeats the same questions over and over. What is the best way to respond?
  • Does stress have anything to do with controlling Alzheimer’s?
  • My family is planning on taking a vacation out of the country. Is there anything special I should do?
  • Is it beneficial for my loved one to answer questions that are not yes and no answers?
  • Will CBD or cannabis help with symptoms?
  • My mother has Alzheimer’s disease, and I’ve noticed she is getting more confused. How can I help her?
  • Should I start an exercise program with my loved one?
  • Sometimes I notice that my parent is depressed or grieving. How should I know the difference?
  • How should I respond to my loved ones need to wandering?
  • Is there anything I can do to help my mother preserve what memory she has left?
  • I often have problems getting my loved one to eat any vegetables. Should this be a concern?
  • My child has noticed changes in their grandmother’s reactions. How do I respond to them?
  • Is Alzheimer’s contagious?
  • Does the desire for sex diminish or totally disappear in people with Alzheimer’s disease?
  • Should I correct my loved one when I know what they are saying is incorrect?
  • Is there a certain diet that will prolong the end stage of Alzheimer’s?
  • My mother has other medications she’s taking. Will they interfere with her memory?
  • Are seizures a normal part of Alzheimer’s disease?
  • Should I purchase a small pet as a companion for my loved one?
  • What activities are recommended to enhance my loved ones interest?
  • I have noticed that my mother is experiencing bouts of urinary incontinence. Is this normal?
  • My loved one takes her clothes off during the day. How do I reassure her that it is not appropriate to undress until bedtime?

Ask the doctor to discuss what to expect in the next year or two. Knowing what to expect can help you prepare for the inevitable.

Asking for help

If you’re concerned that the stress of Alzheimer’s will tear your family apart, seek help. Consider joining a support group for Alzheimer’s caregivers or seeking family counseling. You might use respite services to care for your loved one when you need a break. Various adult daycare centers, community organizations or residential facilities may offer respite care services. Respite care may be available through informal resources as well. For example, family, friends or neighbors may be available to help.