AlzU Blog

Helping Your Loved One Accept the Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease

There may be various responses to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  Many individual respond with loss and grief while others don’t really show outward signs of caring one way or another-indicating severe denial, when learning of their own diagnosis of AD.

Many experts encourage family members in denial to focus on the fact that they may have memory loss problems when they simply cannot accept the full scope of having a disease such as AD.  Trying to convince an individual in denial that he/she does in fact have AD is not helpful, according to most experts.  Using the term “memory problems” instead of naming the disease may be more helpful to the individual struggling with acceptance of AD.

Many times a person with a new diagnosis of AD becomes depressed.  If you suspect depression in a loved one with Ad, be sure to bring it to the attention of the physician to ensure that any depression can be diagnosed and treated with medication and supportive services such as counseling.
Learning that the memory loss symptoms experienced has a name and diagnosis may actually come as a relief to some individuals.  These people may be anxious to reach out and seek support from others with the disease, such as the many support groups for those with Alzheimer’s disease and their family members. Getting involved in support groups is highly recommended for all individuals with AD-particularly those who are newly diagnosed.

Family members attempting to support their loved ones with AD should consider remaining as positive as possible and focusing on the strengths of the individual with AD.  Staying in the present moment instead of worrying about the future is another way to more positively cope with the diagnosis of AD in a close family member or friend.

Maintaining open communication and listening to those in the early stages of AD express their future wants and desires when it comes to treatment, living arrangements, financial matters and more is vital to offering supportive care to those with AD.

Learning about how best to respond to symptoms of AD from other family members and caregivers is one of the most positive steps a caregiver can take.  Be sure to seek out support groups for caregivers on websites such as the Alzheimer’s Association and tune in to caregiver’s corner on –CLICK HERE to sign up for our 25 lesson course for caregivers to learn more about management of symptoms of the disease.

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