Living with Your Disease
Life after Diagnosis:
If you or a loved one has received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, you may be feeling overwhelmed. You and your family will need time for the diagnosis to sink in and to prepare emotionally, financially, and practically for this progressive and terminal disease.
This is a difficult time, but it’s helpful to know about the condition once a formal diagnosis has been made. Many people with Alzheimer’s feel a sense of relief when the news or understanding of their condition is finally out in the open.
You and your family may be better able to prepare yourselves and live much more fully after accepting the diagnosis. There will be time ahead to continue enjoying life and pleasurable activities, even if it’s in a different way, and to make important plans and decisions with loved ones.
Gathering more information can help relieve your anxiety and stress. Learning, knowing what to expect, and sharing thoughts and information with loved ones, others who have the disease, and professionals can help you feel more in control and better able to take advantage of current treatments and assistance.
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s
In most cases, the primary caregiver of someone with Alzheimer’s disease will be a loved one, a spouse, adult child, or close companion. Even in the early stages of the disease, caregiving is an extremely demanding, 24-hour-a-day task. Caregivers need to be flexible and understanding in dealing with changes in their loved one’s behavior and personality. They must also be able to communicate with family, friends and professionals about his or her condition.
As following recent diagnosis , this is the time to begin to accept the future, build a support network, gather information to help alleviate fears and plan for the road ahead. Family members who do not live nearby should support the main caregiver and try to help with tasks that they can do where they are.