The Next Steps after an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis
Any health diagnosis with serious implications can be a daunting one, and Alzheimer’s is no exception. It is largely degenerative and can be very overwhelming to come to terms with. That is why, should a diagnosis be confirmed, it is vital to consider what comes next. This article explains some useful steps to take after receiving an Alzheimer’s confirmation.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is a disorder usually developed in the later stages of life in the over 65s. It affects thought processes, general cognitive ability, physical mobility, and memory function. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease; there are only management options.
The most relevant advice is to keep going on with daily life, though it may seem cliché and redundant. Stick to the familiar routines, walk the familiar places and continue as normal to keep the mind stimulated and engaged. Withdrawing from what you know can only lead to faster degeneration and an increased risk of severe mental health problems down the line.
Focus on Diet and Health
There are foods that are better for cognitive function, and these should be incorporated into any Alzheimer’s patient diet post diagnosis. Consider adding the following food types into the wider diet to stimulate the mind and ensure the body stays healthy too:
- Kale, spinach, and other leafy green types
- Green vegetables rich in iron
- Anything with higher levels of omega 3 (fish, nuts, etc.)
- Berries and citrus fruits
If a physical ability allows, gentle exercise is also encouraged. Patients in better physical health will adapt more easily and find strength in the face of the associated mobility struggles that can happen at any point along the Alzheimer’s journey.
Along the theme of continuing with daily activities, make sure socialization remains a priority. The top benefits of socialization include keeping the mind engaged, less chance of mental health deterioration, a general sense of well being, and a significant reduction in stress levels. Despite Alzheimer’s making this aspect of life a little more difficult, and especially as time goes on, it also makes it more important than ever to maintain friendships and family relationships.
Plan Care Options
Unfortunately, the end stages of this condition are harsh and grave. There needs to be a thought for what happens in the later phase of the Alzheimer’s process. This can be in the form of a live-in carer to assist with general and specific needs. It can also be through looking at a care facility with in-house staff to maintain care requirements. Care establishments such as Parc Provence provide round the clock assistance and support for patients with memory based issues in later life when self-care becomes too difficult.
The nature of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis means that patients will need to plan ahead for the future. There might be a decade before things get unmanageable, or it could be as little as six months. The prospects vary from person to person and it is impossible to predict. That is why being prepared is the best way forward.