Tag early stage Alzheimer’s
On my 63rd Birthday, I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. As a nurse, I was willing to face this disease. However, the support and love of my family really enabled me to get the proper medical and financial help as I moved ahead in my treatment. In fact, my family has continued to help me deal with my needs. The following letter from my son shows that support: Mom, I don’t want you to worry or be afraid. Let’s enjoy every single day and not think too much about whether you can remember as well as you could in the past. I will watch over you and won’t let anything bad happen to you. If the time comes when we need to do more for you, I will make sure you have everything you need to have a great quality of life, I wish I could change things. I wish I could take you illness for you but I can’t. All I can do is be there for you and love you. Continue reading “Dear Researchers: A message from Cynthia” »
I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in January of 2012. The diagnosis dramatically and unexpectedly changed my life and the lives of my wife and children. Before my diagnosis I had an active law practice. I enjoyed doing what I was doing and it had been good to me and my family. When I was diagnosed I was told “no more driving and no more practicing law.” We closed the law practice. I could not sell it because I could not stay another year or so to enable any transition to the new owner. We had to sell our “dream house” because we no longer had a steady source of income. As you can imagine, all of this was quite an adjustment. Continue reading “Dear Researchers: A message from Chuck” »
About a year ago, Cynthia got lost on the way to her favorite ice cream place – one she had been to time and time again. When she finally found it, ordered herself a treat and got on the road home, she was alarmed to realize she couldn’t figure out how to drive across the street, becoming disoriented with the number of bright headlights and speed and number of the cars. In the weeks that followed this incident, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Cynthia, 64, has become a passionate advocate for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their families, attending advocacy meetings, support groups and speaking at events. She recently moved to a retirement community in Napa, Calif., to be close to her son, who is her primary caregiver. She shared with us a letter her son wrote to her about the present and the future.
I don’t want you to worry or be afraid. Let’s enjoy every single day and not think too much about whether you can remember as well as you could in the past.
I will watch over you and won’t let anything bad happen to you. If the time comes when we need to do more for you, I will make sure you have everything you need to have a great quality of life.
I wish I could change things. I wish I could take your illness for you but I can’t. All I can do is be there for you and love you.
After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, how long can you remain independent? In the early stages of the disease many people are able to retain their independence fairly well and the mental health benefits of remaining self-reliant are huge. Attempt to keep active and engaged, and continue doing the things you enjoy.
At the same time, it’s best to educate those around you about the changes that will occur as the disease progresses. Educating people helps them help you remain more independent. Talk to your employer about ways to continue working, perhaps reducing your hours or responsibilities. Ensure your home is safe; check your home for ways to reduce the chances of a fall or a fire. Consider finding alternatives to driving; remember the disease impacts your judgment as well as physical abilities, so you will have to make unpleasant adjustments as the disease progresses. Use the Alzheimer’s Navigator tool to help with mapping out your long-term care strategy, and get your legal and financial matters in order; do it while you can be an active participant and decision-maker. Continue reading “Staying Independent – “Help me help myself”” »