The Ask the Expert column is published every Tuesday! Today’s question is from Monique who wants to know when should you tell people that you or someone you love has Alzheimer’s Disease?
I would tell you that before sharing, be sure that you or the person you love, has indeed been given a probable diagnosis by a neurologist. It’s also important that before telling people about the Alzheimer’s diagnosis, that you are comfortable talking about it. It’s likely that your family and friends with whom you share, will have questions for you.
Sadly, in our society there are some that still attach a stigma to Alzheimer’s disease, just as they do with cancer, AIDS and many other diseases. Some people just don’t want to acknowledge that they have the disease, and their families agree that no one will talk about it. This can cause the person with Alzheimer’s disease and her family to feel ashamed and alone.
No one is at fault for getting Alzheimer’s disease, and no person with Alzheimer’s disease or her family should feel ashamed or face this disease alone and without the support of their family, friends and community.
Admitting to the diagnosis allows a person with Alzheimer’s and her family to participate in planning for the future. Everyone wants to have as much control over their lives as possible. By telling others about the disease, one can often find comfort, support and help from local organizations as well as other individuals who have experience with the disease.
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