Art of Aging: Alzheimer’s Awareness
The 2018 figures have come out from the Alzheimer’s Association, and what they are showing is that 1 in 10 people right now have has Alzheimer’s disease and there’s another person being diagnosed with the disease every 65 seconds in this country. So it’s pretty much affecting every single family. Memory loss is very hard to talk about, so this report and having these number available is great excuse to bring it out of the shadows and having conversations about it without it being so personal.
Sure, and why is it so important to talk about?
It’s important to talk about so people can get a grip around it and now with the new numbers out, it’s easier for you to start a conversation to talk about this or if you know anyone else that’s dealing with this, or maybe have example of how other families have dealt with this.
When would be a good time to bring this up, age why, when should people start talking about this?
You’re pretty much never too early to start. There is something called early on setters Alzheimer’s disease that can start affecting family’s in the 40’s and there’s a real need to try to normalize this and get the shame out of it. This is something that families have hidden for a very long time. So the earlier you can start having the conversation and start making the fact that Alzheimer’s is with us a normal part of life, the better. It’s also really empowering because if you know that Alzheimer’s is a potential factor in your future you can plan ahead, you can have important conversation now instead of trying to do it while you’re really under stress.
So, say you haven’t had this conversation and now you’re worried that you yourself or maybe a loved one is being impacted by Alzheimer’s. How do you handle that situation?
Start with a doctor, that’s really the best place to start because a lot of things can cause symptoms that look like Alzheimer’s that really are not. We see clients that are affected by their medications that start to cause memory loss, and even a diet can cause some memory loss. So, it’s really important to make sure you start with a doctor and to have those conversations. Remember you have to do that with patience and love.
It’s also important to get your financial, your legal, your care plans in place while everyone is at their peak cognitively instead of waiting until you’re starting to get worried about that.