Our site is undergoing some routine maintenance.

If you find a feature you need is not functioning, please contact us.

Receiving a Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease - DementiaGuide.com - DementiaGuide.com
HomeSymptomGuideProfileJournalSymptom LibraryCommunitySupportAccount Login

Community

Receiving a Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease


Posted on October 1, 2009 by DementiaGuide

Receiving a Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease

When a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is received.

People who receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease often get two pieces of advice, each helpful, but each limited. One is to try your best to plan for the future and the other is to live day by day.


PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

Planning for the future is always wise. As soon as the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is made there are a number of questions that often come up. At the same time though, it is important to realize that this is not an emergency and that things will not dramatically change overnight. It is sensible to start planning for things such as putting in place a power of attorney, a living will or other types of future health care directives. It is also worthwhile to make decisions about how finances are to be handled. Driving is a question that will inevitably arise and it is best to plan for it.

A person who receives a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is going to want to know how the future is likely to change - what is the chance of a good response to treatment? What is the chance things will get worse? In truth, a lot of this is just not known for a particular person and the best we have to offer is statistical advice. It often takes 3-6 months before any decision can be made about how responsive treatment will be, so again there is the question of uncertainty.


LIVE DAY BY DAY

This is where the second piece of advice, "live a day at a time" comes in. People who receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease are no different from anyone else and certainly not different from how they were before the diagnosis. They want very much the same things. At the same time a worry for the future can impair their ability to appreciate each day. That is why it is important to savor the good health of each day and be aware of each day's blessings.

One thing that happens sometimes is that the person who receives a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease loses the ability to think of themselves in the future. They have difficulty imagining a future where they are not competent. For some time, to the extent that the physicians were aware of this, they thought of it as a psychological reaction. In other words, the person with Alzheimer's disease was overwhelmed by the diagnosis. Treatments with drugs that increase the amount of acetyl choline have shown the ability to think of the future often returns with treatment. it seems that the ability to think of one's self in the future as a competent agent is one of the important, and up to now, largely unrecognized functions of acetyl choline.

In most communities, the Alzheimer's Society or Association has information and support programs for individuals with Alzheimer's disease as well as their family members and caregivers (www.alzheimers.ca, www.alz.org, www.alz.co.uk).

Learn Track Join About Us Contact Information Dementia Community Site Map
Last updated September 13, 2017
©2006 DementiaGuide Inc.
Terms of Use Your Privacy