five Tips for Coping With Early-Onset Alzheimer'south Sickness

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 1:22 AM

Early-onset Alzheimer'south Sickness (EOAD) affects people younger than age sixty-five, occasionally much younger. According to the latest Alzheimer'south Organization Facts and Figures Report, of the 5.4 million Americans impacted by the disease, there are approximately 200.000 individuals with the early-onset form.

five Tips for Coping With Early-Onset Alzheimer'south Sickness

For most of us, Alzheimer'south is associated with the elderly, but the reality is that it'south not just a sickness of elderly age. Early-onset Alzheimer'south Sickness (EOAD) affects people younger than age sixty-five, occasionally much younger. According to the latest Alzheimer'south Organization Facts and Figures Report, of the 5.4 million Americans impacted by the disease, there are approximately 200.000 individuals with the early-onset form.

Obtaining an accurate diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer'south can be very challenging. Health care professionals may overlook Alzheimer'south or regulation it out due to age or medical history. Symptoms are frequently misdiagnosed, attributed instead to stress, depression, or in the case of women, menopause.

While the illness itself is the same, the early-onset form of the sickness brings a unique set of challenges to those individuals struggling to cope with their diagnosis. For example, a person could be at the altitude of their career when signs and symptoms of Alzheimer'south start to interfere. Additionally, a person'south peers in this age grouping are much less prepared to recognize, realize and handle the opportunity of this disease. In addition, there still may be children living at residence who don't realize the changes they're seeing in the parent. It'south very necessary to get the time to memorise about your diagnosis or that of a loved one, and to discover a healthcare professional with whom you can discuss your specific challenges of living with EOAD.

As the Director of Family and Community Services at the Banner Alzheimer'south Institute (BAI), I've seen firsthand how individuals and families struggle to deal with their new normal following an early-onset diagnosis. Here are some tips our team has developed for individuals and their families when learning to cope with their diagnosis:

1. Stay active. Stay physically active and engaged with people and hobbies. What's heart-healthy is also brain healthy, so remaining physically fit and healthy will contribute to your mental health as well. Also, consider using the arts, which draw upon your emotional memory versus short-term memory. You'll discover peace, creativity and fun there!

2. Consider getting involved in clinical-trial research. The feeling of helplessness is frequently associated with early-onset Alzheimer's; however, there is something you can do to get action. Ask your healthcare provider about enrolling in a clinical trial. There are many promising trials that are either actively enrolling or will be enrolling soon. The Alzheimer'south Prevention Registry is a grand resource for determining what study opportunities are available in your area.

3. Realize that your relationships will change. As your sickness progresses, your role as a spouse, parent, sibling and/or companion will likely modify as you necessity more assistance. Having open and honest dialogue with the necessary people in your life can be helpful as you discuss how each can support you. Authorize yourself to grieve the loss that you'll perceive and for people who care about you maintain you. This can lead to acceptance and can assistance alleviate some of the stress and anxiety you'll nearly inevitably experience.

4. Ensure your finances are in order. The expenses associated with Alzheimer'south can be devastating. And, with EOAD, the financial impact can be even greater. Whether it's loss of income resulting from a person number longer being able to work, or the necessity for a spouse or loved one to scale back to get on added responsibilities as a caregiver, it'south necessary to meet with an elder law attorney and financial planner in the early stages of the disease. They can assistance assess your family'south overall financial situation so you can better prepare for the extra assistance that'll be needed in the future.

5. Prepare for the future. Whether it'south ensuring your end-of-life preferences are clear, or getting the appropriate disability and health insurance in place, planning for your future is a required portion of facing early-onset Alzheimer'south head on.

Recollect to stay positive. Your life isn't over! Many people diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer'south go on to live meaningful and productive lives.

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