What to Do If You Are Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s
October 7, 2019
If you’ve been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you might be overwhelmed. These tips can help you figure out what to do next.
Hearing the news that the forgetfulness you’ve been struggling with is Alzheimer’s disease is tough to comprehend. It’s common to worry about your future, and how your new diagnosis will impact the people you love. If this is the situation you find yourself in, we have a few suggestions we hope will help you cope.
Preparing for Life with Alzheimer’s Disease
1. Give yourself time to process the news
If you’ve been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s easy to assume that living a quality life isn’t possible. Seniors who hear this news often think they’ll need to immediately move to a memory care community. Unless your physician has made that recommendation, give yourself and your loved ones time to come to terms with this diagnosis.
Talk to a counselor or join a support group for adults living with dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association in your area can connect you with both of these resources. It will likely benefit your family members if they join an in-person or online support group, too. ALZConnected has information and forums for both the senior who has the disease and the family members who love them.
2. Adopt a healthy lifestyle
While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, research shows lifestyle choices may slow the progression of the disease. A healthy diet, exercise, and sleep are vital.
The Mediterranean Diet is one that is often recommended. It is based on menus that are heavy in fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, and whole grains, and light on dairy and red meat. Researchers believe the heart-healthy benefits of this diet help to protect the brain.
It may also be beneficial to find fitness activities that lower stress. Swimming, biking, walking, and chair yoga are a few to try.
3. Talk with an attorney
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to meet with an attorney and discuss what legal documents you’ll need to have in place. A legal professional can help to determine what you need, such as a will, a power of attorney, or a trust. These documents will ensure that your voice is heard when it comes time for family members to make decisions on your behalf.
An elder law attorney might be especially helpful. You can find one by searching the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys database.
4. Get to know local dementia care options
It will probably give you and your family members peace of mind to know there are a wide range of Alzheimer’s care options. From home care agencies that provide assistance with grocery shopping, menu planning, personal care, and light housekeeping to dedicated memory care communities—the choices are abundant.
You might find it easier to have a trusted loved one explore these options with you or possibly on your behalf. It’s usually better to do this before you actually need to utilize any of these services.
Memory Care Services at Legacy Senior Living
At Legacy Senior Living, our nationally acclaimed memory care programs are known as The Harbor. We strive to make them a peaceful, secure refuge from the challenges associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. We encourage you or your loved ones to call the nearest community to learn more.