Overcoming the stigma of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis

Overcoming the stigma of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis

Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of people and their loved ones every year. There are some genetic factors that may increase a person’s likelihood but for the most part, it can strike anyone and there is no cure, yet.

With such a uncertain outcome, it makes sense why so many people misunderstand the disease and the people it affects. The stigma surrounding Alzheimer’s prevents people experiencing symptoms from seeking medical treatment, developing a support system, benefitting from early diagnosis and treatment, and living the best quality of life possible.

Here’s some tips from the Alzheimer’s Association for overcoming the stigma you and your loved ones may face after diagnosis.

  1. Be open and direct.
    Engage others in discussions about Alzheimer’s disease and the need for prevention, better treatment and an eventual cure. Engage with others like you on message boards.
  2. Communicate the facts.
    Sharing accurate information is key to dispelling misconceptions about the disease. Whether a pamphlet or link to online content, offer information to help people better understand Alzheimer’s disease. Learn the facts about Alzheimer’s and find an education program near you.
  3. Seek support and stay connected.
    It is important to stay engaged in meaningful relationships and activities. Whether family, friends or a support group, a network is critical.
    Contact your local Alzheimer’s Association chapter about an early-stage support group near you.
  4. Don’t be discouraged.
    Denial of the disease by others is not a reflection of you. If people think that Alzheimer’s disease is normal aging, see it as an education opportunity.
    Tips for helping family and friends.
  5. Be a part of the solution.
    As an individual living with the disease, yours is the most powerful voice to help raise awareness, end stigma and advocate for more Alzheimer’s support and research. Learn how you can take action in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

Meth-Wick understands the difficult situation families are in when a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. That’s why we have Arbor Place, assisted living on our campus dedicated solely to residents with memory needs.

The safe and secure facility practices a standard of care that recent research indicates will afford the greatest benefit to people with cognitive losses: provide small groups of people with a quiet, family-style home where they feel safe and are encouraged to take part in wellness and recreation programs that promote quality of life. Arbor Place’s high caregiver-to-resident ratio ensures each resident receives the individualized attention they need.