According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 10 people have Alzheimer’s disease and another person is diagnosed every 65 seconds. Although memory loss is affecting nearly every family, it is a difficult conversation to start with loved ones. Talking about the disease can help bring it from the shadows and prepare for treatment. Here are a few questions that we often hear about preparing for a conversation about Alzheimer’s:
- Start the conversation early. By the time you start to notice that they’re not safe in their driving, it might be too late. Starting the conversation early and making a plan will make the transition easier for both your loved one and family members.
- When is an ideal time to start talking about Alzheimer’s? It’s never too early to start talking about Alzheimer’s, as it can start to affect families in their 40’s. The earlier you can start having the conversation, the easier it will be to accept the fact that Alzheimer’s is a normal part of life. Having the conversation early can be empowering, because you know that Alzheimer’s is a potential factor in your future and you and your loved ones can plan ahead.
- What should you do if you are worried that you or a loved one may be impacted by Alzheimer’s? It is important to visit your doctor and confirm whether or not your symptoms are Alzheimer’s or some other factor. At Comfort Keepers, we see clients experience memory loss due to medications and diet. Your doctor can help confirm when to be concerned about Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Another important facet of early discussion of Alzheimer's disease with loved ones is getting financial, legal, and long term care plans in place while everyone is at their cognitive peak. Remember to approach the conversation with great sensitivity and care. Patience and understanding are the key to successful communication about Alzheimer's disease.