Dear Dr. Archer,
I've noticed that the last few times I've visited my elderly grandmother, she seems to not know exactly what day it is. She also seems to be messy, like she is not taking care of herself. She says she is fine. Could this mean she has Alzheimer's? What other signs should I look for and how can I get it checked out? I'm her only family in the area.
Yes, I am concerned that your grandmother could be developing Alzheimer's or another type of dementia. The basic symptoms to look for include memory loss, getting lost or confused and forgetting the names of others or simple objects. An evaluation is definitely indicated.
So Serena, the easiest way would be to start with a visit to her family doctor, but make sure you give the Doc a "heads-up" on what's going on. Then the appropriate referral could be made, if needed, to a specialist for a full dementia work-up. Take care.