An early diagnosis lets you plan care, get appropriate treatment, and make informed decisions about legal, financial, and care matters. The Everett Clinic and Polyclinic have implemented a unique program that includes specialized training for primary care physicians and new team members to work with families struggling with dementia. There’s no need to wait for a specialist appointment to get an accurate diagnosis, care plan, and the help of the specialized care team.
When you request an appointment, ask for a cognitive assessment, and that this assessment be the focus of the visit. This allows the physician enough time to do a thorough evaluation. If the patient is on Medicare, the Annual Wellness Visit includes a cognitive assessment. If the doctor provides a diagnosis using the term “dementia,” ask what type because if your loved one has Alzheimer's, it is important to know this.
Important tip: Keep this appointment focused on the cognitive assessment. If you have a longer list of concerns, it is wise to schedule a separate appointment.