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Tips for Coping with the Diagnosis





Even if you suspected that someone close to you has Alzheimer's disease, getting a diagnosis isn't easy. But with the right treatment and support, as well as by focusing on what the person continues to be able to do, you both can still look forward to enjoying many happy times together.

And remember, the changes you’ll see in your loved one will probably be very gradual. These steps can help you cope with those changes, as well as help you plan for what the future may bring. This way, every day can be lived to its fullest.

  1. Try to remind yourself that you'll experience many different feelings and that they're normal reactions to having someone close to you diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
  2. Don’t keep it to yourself. Telling friends or family about the news can bring forth the support you need, and brings you one step closer to accepting the diagnosis.
  3. Learn as much as you can about the disease so that you know what to expect – and can plan for the future accordingly.
  4. Look at all the options for treating Alzheimer's disease and discuss them with a doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare professional.
  5. Be aware that the disease affects a person's abilities, so be ready to help out as needed and offer support.
  6. Plan for the future – but live each day. By enjoying every moment, you'll make the most of the time you have with your loved one, and that benefits you both.
  7. Learn to use available resources, such as the information and support offered by the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

Adapted from: "First Steps: For Those Recently Diagnosed with Alzheimer Disease" produced by the Alzheimer Society of Canada.