When you first receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, it might feel as if the world is slipping away from you. It can be hard to move at all, much less stay positive and start making future plans that will make the later stages of the disease easier for you and your family. Most people have found that the best thing to do with a diagnosis is to stay as proactive as possible, and try to keep a sense of humor, especially when they are having a bad day. If you are newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, here are some things to keep in mind to help you deal with the news:
• You are still you: It might be difficult to wrap your head around this diagnosis, but reminding yourself that you are the same person you were before Alzheimer’s appeared in your life is a good way to help put things into perspective. The disease has not changed who you are.
• There’s no need to feel embarrassed: Do not be embarrassed or ashamed by your diagnosis. You are not alone. Not only are memory problems common as people get older, but Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most widely diagnosed forms of dementia in the U.S.
• You aren’t going crazy: Instead of looking at it as a disease that makes you crazy, try looking at it as a disease that affects memory and thought. You will do things to protect yourself against its complications in the same way that people with other diseases, such as heart disease, do.
• Don’t predict the future: Alzheimer’s affects each person differently. There is no reason to try and figure out every event that might occur as a result of your disease. Try to prepare in the best way that you know how and accept the help that you will need.
• Be a fighter: You will receive love and support from your friends and family, but you also need to be an active participant in this fight. Taking measures to stay positive and keep an eye on the bright side, even during the dark days, can make living with Alzheimer’s and its diagnosis more manageable.
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