Understanding is the first step to helping. Here are a few things that people living with early-stage Alzheimer’s would like you to know:
- I’m still the same person I was before my diagnosis.
- My independence is important to me. Ask me what I’m still comfortable doing and what I may need help with.
- It’s important that I stay engaged. Invite me to do activities we both enjoy.
- Don’t make assumptions because of my diagnosis. Alzheimer’s affects each person differently.
- Ask me how I’m doing. I’m living with a disease, just like cancer or heart disease.
- I can still engage in meaningful conversation. Talk directly to me if you want to know how I am.
- Don’t pull away. It’s OK if you don’t know what to do or say. Your friendship and support are important to me.
Families often struggle to cope with a loved one’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Family members would like you to know:
- We need time to adjust to the diagnosis.
- We want to remain connected with others.
- We need time for ourselves.
- We appreciate small gestures.
Visit alz.org for more information about joining the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.