I’ve Been Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s…

Alzheimer’s is incurable, but it is treatable.

A 10 step guide to dealing with an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis:

  1. Is it Alzheimer’s?
    Others symptoms may look and feel like Alzheimer’s but in reality it could be something else. Determine with your physician (or get a second opinion) to make sure your diagnosis is precise. Bring all of your questions, and make sure they are answered.
  2. You are not alone.
    5.3 million Americans currently have Alzheimer’s and 35 million worldwide.  There are many social networking sites online, such as Facebook, and ALZTalk.org. Staying as socially active as you are able to will help you cope and it will give you a different type of support – which family members and loved ones cannot.
  3. What to expect.
    Understanding which changes in behavior can be vital in determining next steps.  To see the clinical stage of Alzheimer’s, visit this link: Clinical Stages of Alzheimer’s
  4. Getting the family and finances together. Assign close relatives and friend certain jobs that you know you will need help with.  Finances, is often the biggest issue in long term planning.  Many times families and couples don’t act until it’s too late.  Do not wait. Contact and Elder Law attorney in your area now, they can help you and your family cope with the financial burden of Alzheimer’s disease. How to find and select an Elder Law Attorney, or use this quick link to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys website: www.NAELA.org
  5. Make the most of your doctor’s visits.
    If you are still seeing your primary care physicians and feel you are in good hands; stay with them and ask for referral for down the road with either a neurologist or psychologist or both. Always bring someone with you on appointments to take notes.
  6. Pharmaceutical Treatments and therapeutic activities. Current FDA approved Alzheimer’s drugs:
    Aricept (donepezil): for mild, moderate, and severe Alzheimer’s
    Exelon (rivastigmine): for mild and moderate Alzheimer’s
    Razadyne (galantamine): for mild,and moderate Alzheimer’s
    Namenda (memantine): for moderate and severe Alzheimer’sTherapeutic activities can help manage the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
  7. Exploring clinical trails and where to find them in your area.  Is a clinical trail right for you?
  8. Keeping the mind sharp.
    Not only are games and activities helpful but a good night’s sleep is often the best way to keep the mind sharp.
    Kappa Publishing Group, a leader in puzzles has teamed up with us to bring you helpful games:  http://www.kappapuzzles.com/fisher/crossword.html
  9. Diet and Exercise.How overall health and well-being can be maintained.
  10. Ask the Experts.
    Need more information? Get answers from our Alzheimer’s disease experts. For example: Is Alzheimer’s disease hereditary? >> Ask the Experts

Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation


This project was supported, in part, by a grant, number 90AZ2791, from the Administration on Aging, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration on Aging policy.