Diagnosis and Denial
It is absolutely traumatic for a senior to be told they have dementia and/or Alzheimer’s, as the doctor who breaks the news cannot offer any real hope in the way of a cure. It is far worse than having a terminal disease like cancer, because in essence people are being told that they are going to eventually lose their self-identities. It may feel like a double death sentence for many of them, that they will die twice; first they will die who they are and then they will die a physical death. Many go into denial, especially if they are in early dementia. In fact according to a recent study from the University of Oxford, over 69% of patients who are told they have Alzheimer’s do not go back to their doctors.
Search for a Cure
Of course massive funding is being poured into research to find a cure or prevention of dementia, so one should never lose hope. In fact, President Trump just signed into law a $414 million dollar increase for funding dementia and Alzheimer’s research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and also Kevin and Avonte’s Law, to protect dementia seniors who wander.
Beets and Extra Virgin Olive Oil may help treat Alzheimer’s
A compound from the common garden vegetable, beets may be able to treat Alzheimer’s patients. Another recent study showed that extra virgin olive oil improved Alzheimer’s characteristics in mice, while a different study showed that canola oil worsened Alzheimer’s in mice and caused mice to gain weight.
Live Well online Tools
In order to reach out and help dementia patients, the Alzheimer’s Association has created an online package of helpful tools called Live Well in order to show them that there is still life after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and that they can move on and live as good a life as possible, especially while they are in the early stages of the disease.
The Home Page is entitled “I Have Alzheimer’s.” Disease and it opens to the message” “You are not Alone.” There is a video of people living with Alzheimer’s. Towards the bottom of the page are the “online tools to help you live your best life” and a place to click: Get Started and you enter the Live Well tools. They are entitled as follows:
Life after Diagnosis
People share their responses to how they felt after they received the diagnosis that they had dementia.
You are more than your Diagnosis
You can make a WORD cloud account of your own unique personality, which you can download and share and interact with others.
Learn how you can live a balanced and healthy life even though you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Live in the Moment
You can see video clips by people who claimed that after they received the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, they changed their outlook on life.
Help for Caregivers, Helpline and Newsletter
Not only are there all kinds of resources to help the senior diagnosed with dementia, but there are also resources for caregivers. They also have a 24 hour Helpline: Call our 24/7 Helpline: 1.800.272.3900. You can also sign up for their newsletter and find support groups in your area.
Rather than running away in denial from a diagnosis of dementia, seniors should put their energy into making the most out of life and take advantage of all the wonderful help and support that is on the Live Well site. Also, a cure may not be far off, as there have been several recent encouraging scientific studies.