Discussing a Diagnosis of Alzheimers
Discussing an Alzheimers Diagnosis
Learning that a family member or loved one has dementia or Alzheimers disease can be one of the most difficult things that a person can deal with. For many, their initial reaction is to keep this information private. However, many find there comes a time where they need to discuss the diagnosis with their family and friends, or even the person who has the disease. This can be very difficult as there is a great deal of stigma surrounding Alzheimers disease. However, with a few different tips, you may find that discussing a diagnosis can be a little more manageable than you ever thought.
Informing the Diagnosed Individual
There are many situations where a caregiver or family member will find out about an Alzheimers diagnosis before the individual with the condition does. This is not uncommon. However, when this happens it can be difficult to discuss the diagnosis with this person. Keep in mind, that the person diagnosed likely already knows something is going on and that informing them right away can be important to their overall care and it can help them participate in important medical, legal and financial decisions. When discussing their diagnosis remember their feelings and keep their emotional state in mind. There are some people who prefer to bring in a professional for help so that the individual diagnosed can get additional confirmation and many find it best to surround the individual with a few families and loved ones.
Speaking with Family and Friends
It may be uncomfortable to talk to even your family and friends about the Alzheimers diagnosis of your loved one; but when you are ready there are a few things to keep in mind. First, always be honest and try to be as open as possible, this may actually be therapeutic for you. Use this time as an opportunity to educate others on the disease; and make sure to inform individuals, who may be interacting with the diagnosed person, what to expect. Always feel free to ask for and embrace the support you receive from friends and family, this can help you during this difficult time.
Discussing a Diagnosis with Children
One of the most difficult tasks for many people when it comes to discussing a diagnosis is talking to kids and teens about Alzheimers. While it can be hard to explain, it is important to be as open as possible and honest with about what they should expect. Keep in mind that this can be a difficult thing for a young person to deal with and whether they react with anger, sadness or frustration you need to be there to support them during this time.