Social Worker Darby Morhardt discusses the steps a woman should take if she suspects she has Alzheimer's disease.
Well, I have always been one to say that, to get the very best healthcare team is the best thing you can do for yourself, and you can, there are a lot of doctors out there, primary care physicians, who are, they can be well versed in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The problem is, they are so rushed in their practice that they only have about 15 minutes, 15 to 20 minutes, to see a patient, and they are not going to have, unfortunately, in our society and the way healthcare is reimbursed these days, there is not going to be enough time for them to really get in-depth and do the kind of in-depth evaluation that’s really needed for a good dementia diagnosis.
So, my advice is always to seek out the specialty centers in your area, and this may mean traveling a bit for those who are living in rural areas or small towns. You don’t necessarily have to go back there on a regular basis, but to seek out a specialty center, get a good diagnostic evaluation, and then recommendations that can be given back to your primary care physician.
About Darby Morhardt, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.:
Darby Morhardt is a research associate professor, the Director of Education, and a clinical research social worker at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Her research interests include early stage and Younger Onset dementia programs and services, the dynamics and functioning of caregiving families, the subjective experience of Alzheimer's disease, and primary care physician education.