23 Sep What to do When Your Loved One Has Been Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease
Learning that your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease can be a very difficult experience. Learning about the stages and treatments of the disease, and helping to plan for the future are all daunting tasks. While the primary focus tends to be on the patient, it is equally important for the family and caregivers to take care of themselves. You are going to have many conflicting feelings and emotions as a result of the diagnosis. Plus, knowing what you can do to maintain your physical and emotional health is the first step in preventing overly negative impacts.
Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease Progression
One of the seemingly easiest, but often most difficult ways to address some of the feelings you may experience is to plan for the future and progression of the disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disease that currently has no cure and will likely require a great deal of care and financial resources in the later stages. Taking the time to plan for the financial requirements of necessary care is key to lessening the financial strain down the road.
Alzheimer’s patients need a strong support system and caregiving team, but so do their family members and caregivers! Make it a point to remain involved in the social activities that you were involved with before and maintain relationships with friends.
Alzheimer’s support groups are available for not only patients, but also for the family and caregivers of the patients. These support groups exist locally, some part of larger national/international organizations, as well as online. Your loved ones’ neurologist is likely to be able to provide some information on how to seek these groups out. Professional counseling services is another thing that can help you to work through some of the emotions that you experience through the journey of dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. Counseling is never a sign of weakness and can provide a great strength to you and the rest of the family and caregiving team. Group counseling may also be an excellent option to involve more members of the team.
For more information, to learn more about the Alzheimer’s studies being conducted at Palm Beach Neurological Center, or to schedule a consultation, call (888) 369-1010, or complete the contact us form on the website.
Cole, J. C., Ito, D., Chen, Y. J., Cheng, R., Bolognese, J., & Li-McLeod, J. (2014). Impact of Alzheimer’s Disease on Caregiver Questionnaire: internal consistency, convergent validity, and test-retest reliability of a new measure for assessing caregiver burden. Health & Quality Of Life Outcomes, 12(1), 1-20. doi:10.1186/s12955-014-0114-3