A diagnosis of younger-onset Alzheimer’s may not be what you had planned at this point in your life, but with a little planning and preparation, you have the power to choose how to live your life with the disease. Alzheimer’s disease is considered younger-onset if it affects someone younger than 65 and can be in either early, middle or late stage of the disease.
The Impact on Family
Each family will experience the impact of younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease differently, but these are some common issues:
Your role as a parent: This may leave you wondering how your spouse and children will react as the disease progresses. Try talking to your children about Alzheimer’s, but only you and your spouse know how much your child can understand. The best way to help your child to work through the challenges is to take good care of your own physical and emotional needs.
Stigma: Since you are so young, people may not believe or understand your diagnosis. Stigma can have a significant impact on your well-being and quality of life, so do not fear it, fight it.
Plan for the future: You still have the ability to put critical financial and legal plans in place, such as savings for your child’s college education or your retirement. Afterwards, feel confident that your family can make decisions for you when it becomes too demanding or unsafe for you to make your own decisions.
Loss of income: If you are the main source of income for your family, a diagnosis of younger-onset Alzheimer’s can bring up a lot of questions and have a significant impact on your family’s financial situation. Begin discussing with your family what changes may need to occur, such as reassessing your family’s budget and making changes on how you live.