A diagnosis of Young-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease can send you and your loved ones on an emotional roller coaster. But for those in their 40’s and 50’s who are still working full time, taking care of families and households, there is a practical element that also needs to be addressed. Day-to-day activities now present in the form of questions, which can be as broad as, ‘what will happen to my career?’, and ‘who will take care of my children?’, to narrow, detailed questions like, ‘who will do the grocery shopping?’. These questions can seem overwhelming, but knowing your resources and being aware of support systems can ease frustration.
a. The First Step – When you feel like you are at a loss, the first step is to arm yourself with knowledge. The subsequent links provide information ranging from how to handle your diagnosis around the workplace, to when it’s time to stop driving. Though the information presented is not comprehensive, it can help you make informed decisions when faced with tough obstacles.
b. Talking with your loved ones – Immediately following diagnosis, you may feel as though you should seek answers on your own. However, it is important to be open about your thoughts, questions, and fears, and we encourage honest communication between you and your loved ones. Including them in the discussion throughout can be helpful in two ways: not only will they be able to give insight and opinions, it will help both parties transition into seeing them as an integral part of your care moving forward. (awkward phrasing, but maybe someone else can say it better?)
c. Preparing for the future – Now that you have asked the hard questions, and sought out answers, it’s time to put your efforts into action. Look to professional caregivers, nutritionists, physical therapists, and legal representatives to guide you in your transition. The following links provide detailed information and resources you can lean on for help.