Question: My slightly older sister lives alone on the other side of the country. She has two daughters and a son, but they are not involved with their mother. My sister demonstrates various inabilities in daily functioning. She is at times very confused, forgetful, and abusive verbally. My younger sister and I live in the west, and our plan is to move our sister to this part of the country. My younger sister is flying east to prepare for the move. My wife will then fly east to continue with move prep and then they will drive across the country with my sister. We have ongoing concerns: physically, emotionally, and financially. Frankly, we don't know what to do in many circumstances. I'm not sure what question I am asking but know we need some directions in what to do. Thank you.
Dr. Amy: It sounds like your older sister may have dementia, so the first step for you to take is to arrange for her to have a thorough evaluation at a geriatric assessment clinic. It's important that you have her assessed at a geriatric assessment clinic or by a doctor that specializes in the assessment and treatment of dementia so that she gets a thorough and accurate assessment. Geriatric assessment clinics are often associated with universities and hospitals. Your local Alzheimer's Association can give you the contact information for the clinic nearest you. The assessment is important. Without it, you can't really know how to proceed or how best to help your sister and promote a positive experience for your family. With the assessment, you will be given advice on how best to support your sister and what resources exist in the community to help you out. Good luck with the move.
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