For many people living with Alzheimer’s and their care partners, facing stigma is often a primary concern. Those with Alzheimer’s often report being misunderstood due to the myths and misconceptions others have about the disease. Here are some tips to help you overcome Alzheimer’s stigma:
• Be Open and Direct: Engage others in discussions about Alzheimer’s disease, the need for prevention, better treatment and an eventual cure. Being open and direct will allow others to have a better understanding of what you or a loved one is going through.
• Seek Support and Stay Connected: It is very important to make sure to stay engaged in meaningful relationships and activities. Whether it is family, friends or support group, having a network is critical and will give you the support you need.
• Communicate the Facts: Sharing accurate and correct information is key to dispelling misconceptions about Alzheimer’s disease. Whether it is a pamphlet or a link to an online site, offer information to help people better understand Alzheimer’s disease.
• Don’t Be Discouraged: If someone thinks that Alzheimer’s disease is normal aging, see it as an education opportunity and not a reflection of you.
• Be Part of the Solution: As a person who is living with the disease, your voice is the most powerful in order to help to raise awareness, end stigma and advocate for more Alzheimer’s support and research.