After receiving the news of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, your world might be spinning and you may not know how to land. You may not want to move, let alone keep positive, but beginning to make future plans can take the pressure off both you and your loved ones. In the long run, most people find it beneficial to keep as proactive as possible and keep a sense of humor.
“You’re going to have good days and bad days,” says Richard Powers, MD, associate professor of neurology and pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. “If you’re having a bad day, just hold on, because a good day will come along soon.”
Pointers for the Newly Diagnosed:
“There is a misunderstanding that most people with dementia don’t know they have dementia, or don’t know that anything’s wrong with them,” Dr. Powers says. “Some people don’t. They’ve lost insight. But if you grasp that something is wrong with you, then you have a lot of say in your own future and your current life.” Most people who are newly diagnosed have not been severely affected by the disease yet. Here are tips on how to deal with a new Alzheimer’s diagnosis:
• You’re still you: It is important to remember the disease has not changed you and you are still the same person before Alzheimer’s entered your life.
• Do not feel embarrassed: There is no need to be embarrassed by an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, as memory problems are common as you get older. Remember, you are not alone.
• You aren’t going crazy: Do not look at the disease as one that makes you go crazy, look at it as one that is going to affect your memory and thought. Just as other people with illnesses do, you’ll do things to protect yourself against its complications.
• Don’t predict the future: The disease affects everyone differently. Instead of trying to figure out everything that is going to happen in the progression of the disease, it is best to prepare in the best way that you know how and accept that the help you need will come as it’s needed.
• Be a fighter: You will receive love and support from loved ones, but remember you need to actively fight too. Taking the time to stay positive and keeping an eye on the bright side, even when the days are tough can make living with Alzheimer’s more manageable for you.