Suggesting a Memory Screening to a Resistant Loved One

What happens when you notice changes in your loved one’s cognitive abilities and you want to suggest a memory screening, but are met with resistance? 
When a loved one’s faltering memory causes problems finding words, a detachment from people, irritability, confusion, forgotten appointments or difficulty with everyday affairs such as grocery shopping, cooking or paying bills, then it’s time to broach the subject of a memory screening. 
When you suggest to a loved one that they should have their memory evaluated, the loved one may respond with fear, denial or sometimes even hostility. In some cases, the loved one may fear that the screening will reveal memory problems and lead to a loss of independence. It’s a very difficult issue for older people and it’s important to choose the right way to talk about it.
The most effective way to suggest a screening is by involving a medical or mental health professional. The recommendation process can occur, as follows:

  • The family meets with the loved one along with their primary care doctor, neurologist or psychologist.
  • The medical professional makes the recommendation.
  • Since the statement comes from an objective expert—and not a family member—the loved one is more likely to accept it.
  • The entire family can listen to the recommendations together and ask their loved one to have a memory screening.

Do you have a loved one who is suffering from dementia? Persons with dementia and their families face special legal and financial needs. At The Fairfax and Fredericksburg Elder Law Firms of Evan H. Farr, P.C.,we are dedicated to easing the financial and emotional burden on those suffering from dementia and their loved ones.  If you have a loved one who is suffering from dementia, we can help you prepare for your future financial and long-term care needs.  We help protect the family’s hard-earned assets while maintaining your loved one’s comfort, dignity, and quality of life by ensuring eligibility for critical government benefits. Call 703-691-1888 to make an appointment for a consultation.
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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.