Coping with the Changes of Alzheimer’s

If you are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, there will be some significant changes in your daily life. Things that you have once done easily will start to become increasingly difficult. The following suggestions may help you to cope with these changes and plan for them.


Doing Difficult Tasks: You might find familiar activities such as balancing your check book, preparing a meal or doing chores more difficult. Try the following tips:
•    Perform difficult tasks during the times of the day when you normally feel best
•    Give yourself time to accomplish a task, and don’t let others rush you
•    Take a break if something is too difficult
•    Arrange for others to help you with tasks
Communicating with Others: You may begin to experience difficulty understanding what people are saying or you may have a hard time finding the right words to express your thoughts. Here are some important tips in communicating:
•    Take your time
•    Ask the person to repeat a statement, speak slowly or write down words if you do not understand
•    Find a quiet place if there is too much distracting noise
•    Understand that at some point it may no longer be safe for you to drive. Talk with your family and physician about this
•    Make plans for other transportation options, such as coordinating rides with family, friends or community services
Dealing with Memory Changes:
•    Post a schedule of the things you do every day
•    Have someone remind you about meal times or appointments
•    Have someone help you label and store medications in a pill organizer
•    Label photos with the names of those you see most often
•    Post important phone numbers in large print next to the phone
Living Alone: Many individuals can manage on their own during the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease with support and assistance from others. Here are some suggestions that may help if you live by yourself:
•    Arrange for someone to help you with housekeeping, meals and transportation
•    Make arrangements for direct deposit of checks and for help in paying bills
•    Leave a set of house keys with a neighbor you trust
•    Have family, friends or a community service program call you or visit you daily


As your Alzheimer’s disease progresses and changes occur in your everyday life, hopefully these tips will help you prepare for the transitions.



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