Living With Alzheimer's
According to a recent study released by the Alzheimer’s Association, five million people in the US have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Approximately one-half are at the early stages of the disease, struggling to pass for normal. Researchers continue to investigate new ways of understanding and diagnosing Alzheimer’s, yet behind the promise of new understanding and better diagnostic processes is the nagging reality that to date, there is no treatment proven to stop or even slow the process of Alzheimer’s.
How can patients and family members approach this journey to maximize quality of life, independence and control, staying focused on capacities rather than deficits? For family members, how much hovering is too much hovering? A growing number of early stage Alzheimer patients are speaking out about their needs, telling their own stories, and becoming effective lobbyists with state and federal lawmakers. Their personal stories are creating a grass-roots movement to improve services and change public perceptions—and not just for those in the earliest stages of the disease.
Key Point 1
It is important to note that not all dementia is Alzheimer’s, and not all forgetfulness is dementia. Getting an accurate diagnosis often requires consulting with specialists who utilize a toolbox of both new and established diagnostic tests. While receiving the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can be confusing and frightening, it can also help families be proactive in developing the best possible plan.
Key Point 2
While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, the disease can progress over many years and through various stages. Particularly in the early stages of the disease, patients can, with support and understanding of those around them, continue to enjoy meaningful activities.
Conduct an off-site search for Alzheimer's Disease from MedlinePlus. These up-to-date search results are based on search terms specific to Second Opinion Key Points.
There are a very large number of organizations and websites dedicated to Alzheimer's Disease. This is only a partial list.
Alzheimer's Association: The Alzheimer's Association is the leading, global voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care and support, and the largest private, nonprofit funder of Alzheimer's research.
Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA): AFA unites more than 1,600 member organizations from coast-to-coast that are dedicated to meeting the educational, social, emotional and practical needs of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, and their caregivers and families.
American Health Assistance Foundation: The American Health Assistance Foundation (AHAF) is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to finding cures for age-related degenerative diseases.