There are important advantages to obtaining an early and accurate diagnosis when cognitive symptoms are first noticed.
Your symptoms might be reversible
The symptoms you are concerned about might be caused by a condition that is reversible or conditions that might be making an underlying dementia worse. Identifying these conditions can improve brain function and reduce symptoms.
Your condition may be treatable
Many causes of cognitive decline have specific treatments available.
Treating earlier gives better results
Starting treatment early takes advantage of naturally occurring brain resilience, addresses the disease before complications arise and allows individuals are better to participate in treatment decisions.
Knowledge is empowering
An early diagnosis allows one to get on with the business of living well despite their illness. It also enables people to participate in one's own medical, legal, financial, and long-term care planning and to make their wishes known to family members.
You can focus on what’s important to you
Diagnosis allows one to prioritize how one's time is spent, focusing on what matters most such as addressing life goals, e.g., travel, recording family history, completing projects or making memories with grandchildren.
You can make your best choices
Early diagnosis can prevent choices that might otherwise be avoided such as moving far away from family and friends, or making legal or financial commitments that will be hard to keep as the disease progresses.
You can use the resources available to you
Individuals diagnosed early in a disease process can take advantage of early-stage support groups and learn tips and strategies to better manage and cope with the symptoms of the disease.
Participate or advocate for research
Those diagnosed early can also take advantage of clinical trials or advocate for more research and improved care and opportunities.
You can further people’s understanding of the disease
Earlier diagnosis helps to reduce the stigma associated with the disease by highlighting people in early stages who are still active and independent in the community.
It will help your family
An earlier diagnosis gives families more opportunity to learn about the disease, access support, develop realistic expectations, and plan for their future together which results in reduced stress, burden, and regret later in the disease.
It will help you, too
Early diagnosis allows the person and family to attribute cognitive changes to the disease rather than to personal failings.
Taken altogether, the benefits of early diagnosis allow individuals the chance to make lifestyle changes earlier, have more time to treasure the present, and prepare for the best possible future.
To find out more, get in touch with Toronto Memory Program at 416-386-9606 or click Book Now.