Bill

HERE ARE MY TIPS TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND:

  • After the shock of the diagnosis wears off, get involved in whatever interests you. Don’t sit in a chair and wait to die.
  • Contact your local Alzheimer Society and learn more about the disease. Get involved in their programs and support groups.
  • The impact of dementia is not the same for all people.
  • Stay physically and socially active for as long as possible.
  • I personally have not seen a great deal of change in people’s attitudes toward dementia over the years. I don’t feel the general public is aware that some of us are still able to function competently. The more publicity we can get out there, the better. We need to all get involved and be seen!

I was diagnosed in January 2000 when I was 59 years old.

I have often said that my initial reaction to my diagnosis was like receiving a kick in the teeth. All of my future plans seemed to go out the window. I was told that with an early diagnosis and being put on medication that I may expect up to five good years before I would need full-time care. Basically, I was told to go home and get my affairs in order.

Now at 77, my doctors are telling me to do whatever it is I’m doing because they don’t know why I have continued to do this well for this length of time.

When I was diagnosed, my family was very supportive. They reacted with love and care. Some of my friends were surprised to hear the news, perhaps because I was relatively young, but I never felt like I was abandoned by anyone.

I wouldn’t say I have experienced stigma and I try to get involved in whatever is going on provided I’m interested.

HERE ARE MY TIPS TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND:

  • After the shock of the diagnosis wears off, get involved in whatever interests you. Don’t sit in a chair and wait to die.
  • Contact your local Alzheimer Society and learn more about the disease. Get involved in their programs and support groups.
  • The impact of dementia is not the same for all people.
  • Stay physically and socially active for as long as possible.
  • I personally have not seen a great deal of change in people’s attitudes toward dementia over the years. I don’t feel the general public is aware that some of us are still able to function competently. The more publicity we can get out there, the better. We need to all get involved and be seen!
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