6 Responses to “Reactions to an Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnosis”


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  1. Wow! Okay, I would have to say that I wouldn’t want to know. If I was at risk for a disease I could prevent by changing something (lifestyle, diet, exercise) then yes, I would want to know. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there is nothing you can do about a diagnosis of high risk for Alzheimer’s. That being the case, I would rather just keep on trucking, blissfully unaware.

  2. My mom, who has Alzheimer’s and dementia, has lived with my husband and I since her stroke and TIA, so we witnessed the decline in memory and sequencing skills. For me, the tougher realities were taking over so much of her mental responsibilities — financial, medical, dietary — but still seeing her physically quite strong.

  3. I don’t care if you are the spouse, or the child, hearing that diagnosis is always a bombshell!
    Would I want to know in advance. Yes. First I’d make sure about the gene APOE4, then I would make every day count with family, friends and what you want to do with your life until you no longer know yourself. I’d write my Memoirs, I’d sped time with loved one, and yes, I’d find out everything I could about Alzheimer’s Disease.

  4. Hi Eliza,

    I agree with you. I don’t think I’d want to know the *possible* medical liabilities that lay ahead. I try very hard now to make every day/hour/moment of life count. If I knew tough times were ahead,it would distract me and only make it harder to live life to the fullest in the present. As far as I know, while they say keeping physically and mentally active may help keep our brains and bodies functioning better, there is nothing you can really “do” for such a diagnosis. Maybe research will change that in the future.

    Hi Lori,

    Watching your mom’s gradual decline does fall into a different area on the continuum. It is certainly difficult when our loved one’s mental and physical selves don’t align as we (and they) are used to. I’ve experienced that myself when recovering from surgery. My mind said I was 100%, but my body still needed to take it slow and not go full speed ahead — very frustrating.

    Hi Helene,

    Thank you again for writing your book and sharing your experience with the world. Your comment here reflects the sincerity of your book. Best wishes to you and Howard!

  5. The kind of problems that have been commented on here is relatively easy to handle for caregivers. When the husband or a father gets it and takes the “prone to violent outbursts” route, it is devastating for the primary caregiver, observers and well wishers.

    As a patient, I can get used to the idea, but as a caregiver, the implications can be devastating if one was to told in advance. It will however give time enough to get prepared for it.

    But, as you have rightly pointed out it is the risk that is under question and not the possibility of the disease itself that is being pointed out. When such a serious disease is discussed, we tend to read what we wish to read into it I suppose.

  6. Dear Rummuser,

    “When such a serious disease is discussed, we tend to read what we wish to read into it I suppose.” Yes, read and also hear. We may listen to what the doctor is saying, but not truly hear it, if you understand my meaning. That is why it is always smart to take another person with us to important MD appointments — as well as accompanying our seniors to theirs.

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