Testing for Dementia and Other Degenerative Diseases

Dementia is a degenerative disease that often affects the older population in drastic ways. They may have issues with remembering important things or short-term memory loss that impacts their ability to live independently. However, it can be difficult to assess the progression of this disorder without a full psychological assessment. This is the best way to gain a glimpse into a person’s memory and attention, language abilities, and cognitive functioning. Without this insight, identifying the proper treatment can be extremely difficult. If you or your loved one might be struggling with dementia, it is important to have the psychological testing performed early. You might have better outcomes and access to more treatment options when the diagnosis is made early on. Let’s take a closer look at what dementia is and how this psychological testing could benefit you.

What is Dementia?

Everyone forgets things from time to time, but what happens when it becomes a chronic issue on a daily basis? Rather than being labeled as a specific disease, dementia refers to a group of symptoms that dramatically impair a person’s ability to function on a daily basis. In many cases, they are unable to perform the daily tasks that would be required to take care of themselves without the assistance of a caregiver or an aide. The symptoms for dementia can vary widely, but it is generally thought to affect at least two of the major mental functions. These areas can include memory, communication, focus and attention, reasoning, and visual perception. While some patients with dementia may experience difficulties within all categories, many only have trouble with one or two in the very beginning. Most commonly, family and friends tend to report that the early signs of dementia included an issue with short-term memory loss. Unfortunately, dementia tends to be a progressive disease that worsens over time. Memory may become even faultier, communication might become more difficult, and your loved one’s ability to reason may be completely gone. It is extremely important to make sure that you have accurate testing done if you suspect that a loved one may be suffering from dementia. Psychological testing is a great way to diagnose the symptoms that make up dementia and give you an idea of the extent of its progression.

Why Do You Need Dementia Psychological Testing?

Dementia psychological testing is an essential item to have for your loved one who may be suffering from these symptoms. First and foremost, this exam gives you the most accurate idea of how advanced the disease currently is. You can see which areas of the brain have been most affected by dementia because it tests every aspect from intelligence to executive functioning to language and attention span. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your loved one is the first step toward receiving excellent treatment for them. Once you know the accuracy of the diagnosis and the extent of the issue, you can begin to pursue more treatment. Some conditions and stages of dementia may be able to receive help through different therapies, medications, and treatments in order to lessen the impact on daily life. Gaining access to these treatments is imperative for treating the disease and slowing down its progression. Of course, the test may also reveal that you are not actually dealing with dementia despite what the symptoms might suggest. A good psychologist can use this evaluation to determine if your loved one might be suffering from a similar condition that is far more treatable than a more progressive dementia. If this is the case, you may actually be able to reverse the symptoms and memory loss that many can mistake for dementia. However, you will need the accurate diagnosis granted by the psychological assessment in order to tell the difference between dementia and other look-alike conditions.

Why Do You Need Dementia Testing Early?

Many friends and family members prefer to put off dementia psychological testing for their loved one until the diagnosis seems to be undeniable any longer. It can be painful to face the reality that your loved one is suffering from a degenerative condition that will have a major impact on their life and livelihood. They may not be able to live on their own any longer or sustain any type of independent living situation. It is a heartbreaking reality that loved ones must come to grips with before they can come in for a psychological evaluation. However, it is imperative that this test is done as early as possible in order to have the best outcome for your loved one. There are many treatments and resources available for dementia patients that can help to lessen the impact on their daily functioning. Gaining access to these resources often comes from having an accurate diagnosis in the very beginning. You can help your loved one to live a safer life and possibly even prevent some of the progression of the disease with early psychological testing. The sooner that you gain access to these treatments, the better the potential outcome for your loved one who has dementia. Alternatively, you may find out that your loved one does not suffer from dementia at all. If they are struggling with a treatable condition, you might be able to reverse some of the symptoms that they are experiencing. These can include short-term memory loss, difficulties with their visual perception, and even struggles with their focus and attention. You might be able to make your loved one’s life significantly easier if you could just have the answers that much sooner for them. Getting help and dementia psychological testing for your loved one can be a painful experience for everyone involved. However, you must recognize that you are doing the very best thing that you can in order to give them the help that they need. Understanding where they are at currently can give you the next steps you need to come up with a treatment plan that is effective and beneficial for their future. The sooner that you can come in for dementia psychological testing, the better things could be.

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