You are probably feeling a flood of varied emotions, that’s to be expected. As you sort out your feelings and get your bearings, here are a few suggestions as to what to do and how to LIVE with Alzheimer’s Disease.
(1) Learn as much as you can about Alzheimer’s. Facts diminish fear. The more you learn, the more you will understand the disease and what is to come.
(2) Play brain games. Keep your mind sharp. Word puzzles, crossword puzzles, math games, scrabble and jigsaw puzzles are just a few activities to keep your mind working.
(3) Exercise. Walk, swim, get in a class. Do whatever you can to get and stay physically active.
(4) Set up a memory system (use post its, alarms, reminder calls). You might need a little help with this one, but it will ultimately help you to keep your independence longer.
(5) Consider the future (different living arrangements, power of attorney). It’s tough, but think about where you want to live when it isn’t best for you to live alone. There are lots of options, so think about it now before it becomes an emergency and someone has to make the decision for you.
(6) Share the diagnosis with family and friends. Your first inclination might be to keep it a secret, but don’t. Talk with your family members and close friends so that they can support you.
(7) Get an ID card and bracelet. It can’t hurt and it may help. Just in case you get separated from familiar people or in case you have a medical emergency, the card/bracelet will enable emergency personnel to help you more effectively.
(8) Relax/meditate. Of course, you are stressed and concerned, but take the time to relax. Listen to your favorite music. Read your favorite book, watch some movies, enjoy your family. Studies show that people who pray and meditate do better than those who don’t.
(9) Have fun! A wise man once said, “Laughter is the best medicine…” Take time to enjoy your family and friends. Watch a funny video or DVD. Remember, you still have life to LIVE.
(10) Consider conventional and alternative treatment options. There are so many more treatment options available today. Be sure to consider them all with the help of someone you trust.
(11) Print this list and share it with those who will be supporting you
Take a deep breath and don’t try to do everything at once. If you have additional health concerns, speak to your health care professional.
Are you willing to talk about it? Do you have Alzheimer’s Disease? It’s so important to put a personality on these issues. I’d like to know what its been like for you. How have others helped? How have they gotten in the way?