Lots of people are not sure how to start a conversation telling a loved one they think they may be showing signs of dementia. It can be a difficult conversation to have, but it’s worth it. These are the Alzheimer’s Society’s tips to help people approach the subject in a sensitive way.
Take steps to get help when you’re worried about someone’s memory
- Plan a conversation in a familiar, non-threatening environment.
- Explain why talking is important – you’re worried because you care.
- Use examples to make things clearer.
- Have an open conversation – ask how they’re feeling about their memory.
- Make a positive plan of action together.
- Be positive – a diagnosis can give people access to the help and support they need, or the GP can help you rule out dementia and treat other symptoms. Raising concerns with your doctor can be a really positive step forward.
- Make notes of situations that have worried you. Giving examples will help you express yourself in a clear and real way.
- Don’t be upset if the person refuses to accept what you’re saying. Put yourself in their shoes – they may be frightened or confused.
- Use non-judgemental language and make them feel at ease. Reassure them it’s not their fault.
- Be ready to take action together. Once you’ve broached the subject, don’t hesitate. Book a doctor’s appointment so you’re working towards getting help.
Here are some leading questions that you can ask to start the conversation and explore how a person is feeling about their memory:
- Have you been worrying about anything recently?
- Have you been feeling different?
- Are you finding anything more difficult at the moment?
- Is there anything you would like to talk to me about?
- Have you noticed any changes within yourself?
- Are you ok? You seem to be concerned about something?
Find out more about the Alzheimer’s Society.