If you or someone you know has been experiencing memory loss, you are far from alone. 

An estimated 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. Memory loss at any age can cause feelings of anxiety, fear, and sadness. Whether someone has received a formal diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or early Alzheimer’s from a physician or has simply been noticing changes in their cognition, we are here to help.

First Steps:

Take a deep breath, and know you’re not alone.  

In Orange County, there are an estimated 84,000 individuals living with some form of memory impairment or at immediate risk for developing one.  Take time to absorb the news of your diagnosis, then consider sharing this news with significant others in your life in order to avoid feeling isolated.  

Who to tell?  

1) Those you love and trust, i.e., your close friends and family (they may already suspect something is wrong and they may be worried). 

2) Those to whom you have a responsibility.  Who we’re talking about here are people such as your employer, perhaps, particularly if you are in a position with a lot of responsibility.  Or, maybe you are a volunteer, or you babysit? These are some scenarios that might cause you to feel less confident, and it makes sense to inform others of your condition.

3) Those from whom you may require assistance from. You may be managing just fine on your own at this time, but if and when you start to need a little more help, it will be nice to know who you can count on.  Often, your support circle wants to help, but they are just waiting to hear from you to understand how best to do so.  

When to tell?
This is a deeply personal decision which you control. 

1)  When it feels right to you. 

2) When the opportunity presents itself. 

3) On a “need to know” basis.

Gather more information.  Educate yourself about memory loss and your diagnosis.  Call our Helpline to learn about resources such as neurologists and assessment centers should you desire a second opinion on your diagnosis or perhaps ask for a referral to an elder law attorney to discuss future planning.  Our Helpline consultants can give you the tools and referrals to prepare emotionally, financially and practically for the road ahead.  They are also caring, compassionate listeners.

Consider joining our 3-week series: Living Well with Early Memory Loss.

Living Well with Early Memory Loss (EML) is a facilitated three-week supportive/educational Zoom group for people with early memory loss due to Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), Alzheimer’s disease, or another form of dementia.  

You and your partner will meet on-line with others in similar situations and share how to deal with daily challenges, learn new coping techniques, and gain healthy strategies for living well with the diagnosis.   

This series opens the door to other helpful programs and services designed to assist you throughout your journey.  Best of all, you will be with others who are “walking in your shoes.” Along with them, you will learn that these memory illnesses generally last for a very long time and that people typically remain physically healthy for quite some time. What that means is that you still have a lot of living to do, and this series teaches you strategies to truly live well with your memory loss condition. Learning about how exercise, diet, cognitive stimulation, and social activities can help you remain healthy and happy is the basis for what you will take away from this course. 

Read what one of our participants had to say about the Living with Early Memory Loss series, and some of our other programs: 

We credit staff at AlzOC for encouraging us to enroll in the Living Well with Early Memory Loss Group, Connect 2 Culture and Our Gang programs. This class gave us the information we were looking for. We met other people in similar situations and we made long-lasting friendships. If not for AlzOC, we would still be stumbling in the dark.

Learning that you have a memory impairment is difficult to take in.  Let us help you process this vital information and give you practical tools to help you live your best life despite this unexpected news.  Call 844-373-4400 to learn more.

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