Primary Care Doctor
This is the doctor that manages your overall health. He/She should be aware of the fact that your loved one has dementia, and should work closely with specialists to manage your plan of care.
Geriatric Care Doctor
This is a doctor that specializes in caring for the elderly (patients 50 and older). They are trained to understand Alzheimer’s and other dementia, as well as other diseases of the elderly. Since age is the #1 risk factor for Alzheimer’s, geriatricians may be more familiar with the disease than a general practitioner.
This is a doctor who can counsel your loved one about their feelings of confusion, fear, depression and any other emotions having to do with how they are feeling mentally.
This is a doctor much like a Psychologist, but is a medical doctor and can prescribe medicine including anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, and anti-psychotic drugs.
This is a doctor who will most likely diagnose your loved one’s condition. They are doctors that specialize in disorders of the brain. They are able to perform mental testing, memory testing, CAT scans and MRI to help confirm the diagnoses. They can also prescribe Alzheimer’s medicines such as Aricept, Exelon, Namenda or Razadyne.
This is a doctor who specializes in brain surgery. If dementia is caused by a condition that is reversible, (like Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus which can be treated with the implanting of a brain shunt), you will be referred to a neurosurgeon. Alzheimer’s is not treated with surgery.
This is a doctor who specializes in how the brain and emotions affect behavior of persons with dementia. They are able to perform tests that can help understand Alzheimer’s related behavior, and what is not.