Family Members and Caregivers

Your Journey With Us

We understand that a memory evaluation sounds scary. Here’s what to expect before, during and after your memory evaluation appointment with us. Also see our Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to commonly asked questions.

Before Your First Appointment

1-2 weeks prior to your appointment, we will mail you (the patient’s contact person) a letter that confirms the appointment date and time. We will also include a map and several forms.

Please complete these forms and bring them to the appointment.

Did you lose the forms? Download them here.

What to Expect at Your First Appointment

First appointments will last from 90-120 minutes.

At your appointment, you will have:

  • a clinical evaluation by either Dr. Chui or Dr. Segal-Gidan
  • a meeting with a social worker to assess social support, finances, and to help with planning
  • blood tests and a head CT

If an MRI, PET scan, or a more in depth memory testing is required, they will be scheduled for another date.

Appointments with our Geriatric Psychiatrist are based on referral after the initial evaluation appointment and are scheduled separately.

Note: Because we are a USC Keck School of Medicine education facility, there may be medical students or residents observing your appointment. 

After Your First Appointment

At the end of your first appointment, we will decide if further testing is needed to obtain a complete diagnosis. Before you leave, our clinic staff will help you make the follow-up appointments. Or, if you run out of time, we will call you within a few days to arrange the follow-up appointments.

If further tests or examinations are necessary, we would like to schedule them as soon as possible after the first appointment.

Approximately 4-6 weeks after your first appointment, we call a family meeting to review the evaluation’s findings, diagnosis, and treatment plan. (We also share the test results with the patient’s primary care provider or referring physician.) This family meeting should include the patient, the family member or caregiver who was at the first appointment, and any other family members who want to attend.

This family meeting appointment will be approximately one hour long.

After Your Evaluation

After your evaluation is complete, we remain available to you and your family as your needs change. Because Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are degenerative diseases that worsen over time, we encourage you to come back once a year to check in with us. We also encourage you to call us back at any time if new behavioral difficulties arise such as mood disturbances, agitation, or sleep problems.

After your appointment, we may reach out to you if we hear about a new research opportunity that we think might interest you.

Stay connected with our News & Events to:

  • attend educational events
  • join a support group
  • check back for the latest research findings

Other Ways to Journey with Us

The Rancho Los Amigos/USC California Alzheimer’s Disease Center is also available for the following appointments:

  • obtaining a second opinion
  • providing diagnosis and care
  • managing ongoing behavioral difficulties

Rancho Los Amigos / USC
Rancho Los Amigos / USC