4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Avoid Talking to Your Doctor About Dementia

Sep 1, 2021

Patients and health care providers aren’t always on the same page when it comes to dementia. And stigma surrounding the disease factors into the disconnect, new AARP research shows. 

Nearly 20 percent of adults 40 and older say they would feel ashamed or embarrassed if they had dementia, according to an AARP survey presented at the Milken Institute’s Future of Health Summit. Health care providers, however, assume a much greater share of patients (about 70 percent) would feel this way if handed a diagnosis. 

Loss of independence fuels the fear of a dementia diagnosis, the survey found — so does the thought of becoming a burden to others. The research also reveals that far too many adults age 40 and older assume dementia is inevitable, when it’s not. Nearly half (48 percent) think it’s likely they’ll get dementia as they age; in reality about 11 percent of U.S. adults 65 and older have Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. 

This straightforward information and a greater understanding of dementia can help break the stigma that surrounds the disease. To learn about four reasons why you should be discussing dementia with your doctor — plus, tips for bringing it up, from AARP, CLICK HERE.