What People With Alzheimer's Wish Everyone Knew About Living With The Disease

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and cognition. Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer's, but treatments can temporarily improve symptoms (via Alzheimer's Association). Alzheimer's is a degenerative disease, which means it gets worse over time. In the early stages of Alzheimer's, people may experience mild memory loss or difficulty with complex tasks. As the disease progresses, they may have trouble remembering recent events, recognizing familiar faces, and may eventually lose the ability to communicate and care for themselves.

People with Alzheimer's often say they wish others knew how the disease affects them both physically and mentally. For example, many people with Alzheimer's become easily agitated or confused, which can be frustrating for both them and their caregivers. It's important to be patient and understand that these behaviors are a result of the disease, not a personal choice (via Healthline). Many people with Alzheimer's also wish that others didn't define them by their diagnosis. They are still the same person. They also wish people weren't afraid or hesitant to ask them how they're doing just because they have Alzheimer's. People with Alzheimer's wish and deserve to be respected regardless of their diagnosis.

How to support someone with Alzheimer's

Whether you are a caregiver, family member, or friend, there are many ways you can support a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The first is to learn about the disease. Alzheimer's disease is a complicated illness that can cause many changes in your loved one (via Alzheimer's Disease). Facing the disease for the first time when a loved one is diagnosed can feel intimidating and overwhelming, but the more you know about Alzheimer's, the better you will be able to empathize with or take care of the person who has it. 

In addition to learning about Alzheimer's, it is also important to be patient and understanding with your loved one (via WebMD). As the disease progresses, they may have difficulty communicating or may behave in ways that are confusing or frustrating. There are also many practical ways you can support a loved one with Alzheimer's. For example, you can help them with day-to-day tasks such as bathing, dressing, and eating. You can also help them stay active and engaged by participating in activities together such as walks, puzzles, or listening to music. And finally, you can provide emotional support by simply being there.