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How to Cope with Alzheimer’s in a Loved One

By brian barrick
April 01, 2013

Alzheimer’s disease generally affects people over the age of 65, becoming worse the older they get.  As the disease progresses, it causes major changes in patients’ personalities and behavior. Many individuals with the disorder experience problems with their memory, reasoning abilities, speaking and writing capabilities, ability to perform everyday functions and interpret their surroundings and regulation of moods. When an individual develops Alzheimer’s disease, their condition often not only affects them but has a major impact on the lives of their loved ones. Many family members and friends don’t know how to cope with Alzheimer’s in a loved one, especially right after diagnosis. Coming to accept and support a person in your life with Alzheimer’s takes time. Getting assistance from others and learning more about the disease can help you to be more prepared to face your loved one’s condition and be there for your family member or friend.

Finding out that someone you loved has Alzheimer’s disease can be beyond devastating. Upon hearing the diagnosis, you likely will not know how to cope with Alzheimer’s in a loved one. Reaching out to others to find out more about the disease and get support may help you to be more emotionally ready to process the diagnosis. Your loved one’s doctor can help to provide information about the condition, but you may want to find out more about it on your own. Other people who have family members with Alzheimer’s can often give you more personalized information about how the condition affects loved ones and how to come to terms with the diagnosis. They may also be able to give you much-needed emotional support. You can often find family members or friends with loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease through support groups or online communities.

You shouldn’t try to figure out how to cope with Alzheimer’s in a loved one on your own. Seek emotional support and assistance from people around you, including your siblings, partner, children and friends. If you need help taking care of a family member or friend with Alzheimer’s disease, get them involved. Taking it all on yourself can create additional stress. Getting others to support you and the person in your life with Alzheimer’s can guarantee that all of you will be better prepared to provide the emotional, physical and financial support that the person will likely need.

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