12 Nov Introduction to Dealing With a Diagnosis
There’s no question that Alzheimer’s disease is life changing, both for the individual with the disease and for his or her friends and family. On top of coping with the disease itself, individuals and families who are dealing with a diagnosis must also face the stigma and lack of public understanding around Alzheimer’s.
This stigma can prevent people from seeking medical treatment when symptoms are present, which can prevent them from receiving an early diagnosis or any diagnosis at all. It can prevent them from planning for the future and benefiting from available treatments. And, it can prevent people from developing a support system and living their best possible life while they are still able to do so.
We want to change this.
Let’s engage others in discussions about the disease. Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, and we need to work on preventing, treating, and eventually curing the disease. Both as a caregiver and a patient, it’s important to focus on capabilities, rather than limitations, through the stages of the disease.
The person who has been diagnosed is experiencing a range of emotions, and support during this phase is critical. Friends and family need to stay engaged with a person with Alzheimer’s disease – both for emotional support and for potential cognitive benefits.
Let’s be part of the solution. If you are dealing with a diagnosis, or you know someone who is dealing with a diagnosis, you can be an advocate, and you can help shape the discussion around Alzheimer’s disease.
You aren’t alone.
There are resources available to help individuals and families dealing with a diagnosis. You can get more information about Alzheimer’s disease and find support through the organizations we’ve listed below.
- Alzheimer Society of Toronto: http://www.alzheimertoronto.org/
- Counselling: http://www.alzheimertoronto.org/couns_Family.htm
- Support: http://www.alzheimertoronto.org/sg_Family.htm
- Education: http://www.alzheimertoronto.org/edu_FamilyFriends.htm
- Alzheimer’s Society of Canada: http://www.alzheimer.ca/en
- Support and Education: http://www.alzheimer.ca/en/We-can-help
- Alzheimer’s Association: http://www.alzheimertoronto.org/edu_FamilyFriends.htm
- Helpline, Support Groups, and Education: http://www.alz.org/we_can_help_we_can_help.asp