You live in Topeka, Kansas, and you or a loved one has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia. Where do you go for medical care? Moral support? Information? Other resources? Here are some places to start:
Get a definitive diagnosis. If you believe you or a loved one has symptoms of Alzheimer’s, start with a visit to your Topeka Family Physician. He or she may refer you to a local neurologist or to the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center for a definitive diagnosis.
Choose a doctor for continuing treatment. If you’re happy with whomever did your initial diagnosis, and he or she is willing to provide care on an ongoing basis, then you’re already set. If not, ask your family physician to refer you to a Topeka doctor who specializes in treating dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Educate yourself. The Alzheimer’s Association – Heart of America Chapter is the one that serves Topeka. It has an extensive library of Alzheimer’s resources for people with Alzheimer’s, caregivers, family members, and friends.
Get emotional support. Dealing with Alzheimer’s can be emotionally exhausting, and some people find it helps to talk to other people who understand what they’re going through. So the Alzheimer’s Association has put together a list of Alzheimer’s support groups in and around Topeka.
Ask questions 24/7. The Alzheimer’s Association’s association has a 24/7 hotline you can call if you have a question after hours and would like a quick response. The number is 800-272-3900. If you have an emergency that could be potentially life threatening, call 911 instead.
Enlist outside help. A Topeka home care agency with caregivers who are trained in dementia care can help with things like bathing and grooming, meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders, and respite care.