When you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, it’s common for you to have a wide range of questions, especially when you are diagnosed in the early stages. You may wonder if you’ll remember your loved ones as well as you did before, if you’ll still have the ability to do the things you once did or if everyone who learns about your Alzheimer’s diagnosis will begin to treat you differently or act strangely towards you. All of these things can affect the way you look at yourself, especially if the diagnosis comes as a shock to you, however, it’s crucial not to let Alzheimer’s disease affect or define who you are as a person.
According to Cydney Hansen, Marketing Director, at CountryHouse, a memory care community in Granite Bay, CA, many seniors fear being defined by Alzheimer’s disease. “Those with Alzheimer’s can become increasingly sensitive to what’s going on around them, if their loved ones are talking about them, if they are being judged or if people are ‘dumbing down’ activities so they are able to participate, even if their Alzheimer’s hasn’t yet reached a stage where their daily activities are fully affected,” says Cydney. “This can cause them to withdraw from those they love and the activities they were once passionate about. They may also decide not to try new things for fear they won’t be able to do them, or give up old hobbies because they are afraid they won’t remember the steps. While this is disheartening and upsetting for caregivers to see, it often feels even worse for the loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. Fortunately, when seniors begin to realize they are more than their diagnosis and are capable of doing many of the same things as before, they begin to regain their identity and their mindsets begin to improve.”
Why Alzheimer’s Shouldn’t Define You
Although you’ve been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it doesn’t mean that who you are has changed. Instead of letting Alzheimer’s define you, consider some of the reasons it shouldn’t.
- You can still do many of the things you once did before. In the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease, it’s mostly small things that are affected. For example, you may forget a step to a recipe, may not remember someone you just met or have trouble remembering birthdays. Otherwise, it’s common that the things you loved one, especially the hobbies you had as a child, remain fresh in your mind.
- Ability to do daily tasks may be unaffected. From laundry and housekeeping to cooking and pampering yourself, those in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease often don’t need to rely on anyone to do those things for them.
- You likely still recall most of the people you did before. Don’t be afraid that you’ll forget little details about those you love, and don’t avoid them. This can cause you to feel isolated and lonely. Trust that your loved ones will understand your diagnosis and that you shouldn’t be ashamed. They love you just the same as before and want you to keep being who you are.
- Your diagnosis doesn’t mean the end of everything you know. Even with Alzheimer’s disease, you can still enjoy everything you once did. Walks in the park, fishing, going with friends for coffee or attending movies and educational events. Keep doing these things if you enjoy them because they can reconnect you with who you are despite your Alzheimer’s.
- There are others who are facing the same journey as you are. You are never alone on this journey, there are plenty of others who have also been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease to connect with. In fact, you may even make a good friend. Make it a point to attend a support group and talk to those attending, as they can help you gain a completely different perspective.
It’s important for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease to do what they can to ensure their diagnosis doesn’t define them. Consider trying new things regularly to keep your days exciting, continue old hobbies and maybe find a way to serve the community through them, such as making blankets for babies in the hospital or baking healthy pet treats for the local shelter. Continue to set aside time for family and friends and learn as much as you can about your diagnosis. This can help you feel better and more prepared as your disease progresses. Until then, live your life as normally as possible and find new ways to enjoy every day.
For more information about Alzheimer’s disease, or to discover new ways to enrich and enhance your life while living with dementia, contact the team at CountryHouse at Granite Bay. We would be happy to provide you with tips and tricks to make each day inspiring and exciting, while helping you cope with your diagnosis. Contact us today at 916•850•2774.
Treating people like family is at the heart of what we do.
CountryHouse at Granite Bay is the very first CountryHouse location in California. With a desirable location among Folsom Lake and the Sierra foothills, and only 25 miles northeast of Sacramento, Granite Bay was the perfect area to place our upscale memory care community. While CountryHouse at Granite Bay may be brand new to California, we are certainly not new to the needs of seniors. And just like every CountryHouse around the United States, we know that personalized care can make all the difference when it comes to quality care and peace of mind.
At CountryHouse at Granite Bay, we provide personalized memory care in an environment that is beautiful and thoughtfully designed. Full of natural light, warmth and tasteful elegance, we want residents and their families to feel welcome and at home. In fact, our staff members are even hand-picked based on their natural empathy. Our staff learns each resident’s story, from their likes and dislikes to their values and their pasts, in order to customize care and make meaningful connections that provide residents with true moments of joy and the desire to make the most of each day.
With our LifeCycles wellness programming, we encourage residents to connect, engage and enjoy every day. Our LifeCycles programming is designed to focus on the four dimensions of wellness: physical, social, spiritual and intellectual. We achieve this through a range of daily activities and routines, which can include daily bus rides, cookouts, trips and other special events. At CountryHouse at Granite Bay, we strive to make sure our residents make the most of each day, and we believe that when you treat people like family, and keep that at the heart of what you do, residents, their families and their health thrive. Contact us to learn more!
Connect with us today or call us at 916•850•2774 for more information or to schedule a visit.
CountryHouse is part of the Agemark family of senior living communities.