Long Term Care Claims help: Intermittent Memory Loss

Intermittent Cognitive Impairment

aka Memory Loss

Memory LossWe had a client who was receiving payments from her long term care claim bases on physical care needed – she needed help with dressing and bathing.  But she also had intermittent episodes of dementia.  She would be fine and then suddenly she didn’t know where she was or who the people were that were sitting there with her.

The family wanted to get this documented for several reasons like driving safety, physical safety, financial management.  Long term care comes with a number of family management issues that are not just about the person receiving long term care.

Here is the problem:  it is intermittent memory loss.

When family take their loved one to the Doctor to get a cognitive screen, it is possible for that person to pass the pencil-and-paper test and yet a half hour later have a memory-loss episode severe enough that they can’t be left unattended.

There are a couple of different ways to handle this.

  • If you know there is a predictable pattern to the memory-loss episodes, then make plans to get your family member to the doctor when you know it is most likely to happen. For instance, if you suspicion your Mom has Sundowner’s (memory loss that is more severe late in the day), then make sure the doctor’s appointment is at the end of a long day that has been filled with activities.  Our brains don’t work as well when they are on overload anyway and with a senior with Sundowners, this is only more pronounced.  So be aware of when the memory-loss tends to occur and plan a strategy to give you best chance of having it in evidence when you are at the doctor’s office for assessment.
  • The other way is to get a full neurological work-up. Often times brain scans will show evidence of white matter deterioration or other brain changes that can substantiate a diagnosis of dementia when it is highly intermittent.  In fair warning, the brain’s working is still a good deal unknown.  Even a full neurological workup may not show the full extent of memory loss when it is triggered by particular events like over-exertion, exposure to certain chemicals or other such triggers.  Nevertheless, if the intermittent impairment or memory loss isn’t showing on one of the normal pencil-and-paper standardized mental tests, a shift to a full neurological workup can sometimes provide the doc with the evidence needed to diagnose.

ome other long term care links to help you.

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