People Living with Alzheimer’s Encourage Earlier Conversations About Disease Warning Signs after Learning from Personal Experience
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, June 1, 2018 – June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, and the Alzheimer’s Association is encouraging families to talk about memory and cognition concerns sooner. We know first-hand that an early diagnosis offers many benefits, including access to more effective medical and lifestyle interventions and the ability to take an active role in planning with family members for the future.
To help people understand early symptoms of Alzheimer’s or behaviors that merit discussion, the Alzheimer’s Association offers 10 Warning Signs. Should these signs appear, it is important to talk about them with the person experiencing symptoms and encourage them to speak with a medical professional.
New findings from an Alzheimer’s Association survey found a majority of Americans would be: concerned about offending a family member (76 percent), or ruining their relationship (69 percent), if they were to approach that person about observed signs of Alzheimer’s. More alarming, 38 percent said they would wait until a family member’s Alzheimer’s symptoms worsened before approaching them with concerns. Additionally, nearly 1 in 3 Americans (29 percent) would not say anything to a family member despite their concerns.
To help families overcome common communication obstacles, the Alzheimer’s Association is offering 6 Tips for Approaching Alzheimer’s, a list of best practices for talking about the disease with someone who may be experiencing symptoms. These include:
- Have the conversation as early as possible
- Think about who’s best suited to have the conversation
- Practice conversation starters
- Offer support and companionship
- Anticipate gaps in self-awareness
- Recognize the conversation may not go as planned
For more on these tips, go to alz.org/6Tips.
Understanding the Value of an Early Alzheimer’s Diagnosis
There are many medical, financial, emotional and social benefits to receiving an early Alzheimer’s diagnosis – both for those living with the disease and their families. These include:
- Accurate diagnosis– Can help determine if someone’s cognitive changes are truly due to Alzheimer’s or some other, perhaps even treatable, condition.
- Medical benefits– Allows individuals to explore medications for memory loss, sleep changes and behavior changes resulting from the disease, as well as to adopt lifestyle changes that may help preserve their existing cognitive function for as long as possible, such as controlling one’s blood pressure, smoking cessation and exercise.
- Participation in clinical trials– Enables individuals to enroll in clinical trials that advance research and may provide medical benefits.
- Planning for the future– Allows individuals more time to plan for the future while they are cognitively able to make legal, financial and end-of-life decisions.
- Emotional and social benefits– Provides individuals with the best opportunity to spend time doing meaningful activities and interacting with the most important people in their lives. It can also open doors to many educational and support programs.
Living with Alzheimer’s
Throughout Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, the Alzheimer’s Association is highlighting resources that can help individuals in the wake of a diagnosis. The Association’s Livewell resources offer insights from people living in the early stages of the disease and address important topics, including life after diagnosis, living healthy with Alzheimer’s and finding strength to move forward. The Alzheimer’s Association is also offering 10 Steps to Take Following an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis.
In addition, the Alzheimer’s Association helps families and friends navigate challenges and considerations at each stage of the disease, through face-to-face conversations with experts in local communities, our free 24/7 Helpline (800.272.3900) and comprehensive support and resources on alz.org.
About the Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month 2018 Survey
The Alzheimer’s Association commissioned a two-question online survey among a sample of n=1,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. The survey was fielded between May 10 and May 11, 2018. For more information, please call the Alzheimer’s Association media line at 312.335.4078 or reach out via email at email@example.com.
About Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month
June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, a time dedicated to increasing public awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, available resources and how you can get involved to support the cause. Visit alz.org to learn more about Alzheimer’s, its warning signs, the importance of early detection and diagnosis as well as information on care and support.
About the Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s ®. Visit alz.org or call 800.272.3900.