Receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can be devastating—for the person with the disease, and for his or her caregivers and loved ones. The disease that damages the brain seems out of one’s control, not something that can be “managed” with any reliability.
Despite these realities, there are things that the patient and family members can do, in fact must do, to organize the patient’s financial and legal affairs as well as provide for current and future medical care. Gathering information, then deciding upon and carrying out the patient’s wishes for the future empowers families to feel more in control of Alzheimer’s disease.
Some individuals choose to join clinical trials to test potential Alzheimer’s treatments. (One does not have to have a disease to take part.) From the person’s participation can come discoveries that end the disease for future generations.
In this section, you can read a checklist of steps to:
- Find a physician and consider early-stage treatments.
- Bring important questions to your doctor visit.
- Attend to legal and financial affairs right away.
- Learn about government benefit programs to help with costs.
- Make decisions on long-term care.