Coping with the Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

Evan Farr Alzheimer's Law FirmEvery 68 seconds there is another person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in the United States.  Since there is no single definitive medical test for identifying Alzheimer’s disease, arriving at the correct diagnosis can take time and patience.  To diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, a doctor will look for symptoms, such as memory problems, difficulty identifying familiar items and faces, getting lost in familiar places, and decline severe enough to interfere with relationships and/or work performance.  Find out more about the Alzheimer’s diagnosis on the Alzheimer’s Association website.

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is life-changing for both diagnosed individuals and those close to them.  Below are some tips for coping if you have a loved one who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s:

  • Learn as much as you can. Understanding what to expect will help you plan for care and transitions.
  • Reach out for support. The more you reach out to others, including family members, professional counselors and support groups, the more you will be able to accept what is happening, know what to expect, have others to talk to, and be able to cope with your loved one’s Alzheimer’s symptoms.
  • Don’t take on the caregiving journey alone. Having support in caregiving is key, whether it be from other family, in-home help, respite care, or making the decision to move your loved one to an assisted living or nursing home.

While it’s not easy to think about, if your loved one has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it is imperative to make an appointment with a Certified Elder Law Attorney such as Evan H. Farr to determine who to name to make legal, financial, and medical decisions when your loved one is no longer able to do so. In addition, if your loved one hasn’t done so already, it is also of utmost importance to determine how he or she will pay for long-term care without depleting the family’s hard-earned assets.

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