While many general practitioners are able to treat Alzheimer’s patients, finding a doctor who has extensive experience in this area of medicine is most desirable. A specialist in geriatric medicine and neurology is often very knowledgeable about the diagnosis, treatment, and care of Alzheimer’s patients and the challenges they face. Ideally, you should request recommendations from trusted individuals. If you have health insurance, be sure to follow the company’s requirements for doctor selection because some require prior approval. Finally, choose an Alzheimer’s doctor with a good bedside manner who listens to your concerns and responds appropriately to them.
Prior to your first appointment, you should inquire about the type of insurance accepted by the practitioner. If you are not sure about the patient’s coverage, consider contacting the insurance company directly. There may be deductibles or out-of-pocket expenses that will be incurred, which can be dependent on the type of doctor you choose and the policy guidelines. Sometimes, a prior referral is required by an insurance company, so it is best to take care of those prerequisites before your first appointment.
When choosing an Alzheimer's doctor, you should select someone you feel comfortable talking to about sensitive issues. During scheduled visits, if you get the impression that you are being rushed, or if the doctor seems distracted, you may want to consider interviewing other physicians. The personality of an Alzheimer’s doctor may be just as important as his credentials. Seek a compassionate medical professional who is easy to talk to, which can give you peace of mind. Establishing a good rapport with your physician is the key to ensuring an open line of communication.
During your initial consultation with a potential Alzheimer’s doctor, you may wish to inquire about his or her level of experience in dealing with the condition. His philosophy about the disease and treatment plan options should be well explained. He should be willing to answer your questions and address your concerns.
During your visit, an Alzheimer’s doctor will usually obtain a complete history from the patient or his family. Knowledge of previous and existing health issues, along with a complete family background, will help the physician diagnose and treat the condition. A medical questionnaire for self-assessment is often completed by the patient, so that the doctor can analyze the best way to proceed with treatment based on the individual’s symptoms and current stage of the disease.