Accepting a diagnosis of AD may be difficult for both the person living with the disease and for family or close friends. Most people experience feelings of disbelief, anger, fear, hopelessness, and do not know where to start and how to get help.1
However, useful information and resources are available for those living with or caring for someone with AD. Asking for help is the best way to deal with this situation and to gain strength and courage.3,4
A diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to AD means that the patient has a slight but noticeable and measurable cognitive decline. This gives the patient and the family members valuable time to prepare for the future.1
The following section provides people with a diagnosis of MCI due to AD with some practical advices to cope with the disease:2,5,6
Multidisciplinary care teams are required to support the patients in their ongoing disease management. Knowledgeable caregivers among others include primary care physicians, specialists (neurologist, neuropsychiatrist, geriatric psychiatrist, psychologists), nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and social workers. The multidisciplinary care team will focus on the following interventions:9,13
Addressing caregivers needs and active management of Alzheimer’s disease can improve the quality of life of those affected from the disease.
1.Austrom MG, Lu Y. Long term caregiving: helping families of persons with mild cognitive impairment cope. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2009 Aug;6(4):392-8.
2.Alzheimer’s Association: I Have Alzheimer's, https://www.alz.org/help-support/i-have-alz. Accessed December 17, 2020.
3.Alzheimer Europe: Accepting help from others, Life After Diagnosis, https://www.alzheimer-europe.org/Living-with-dementia/After-diagnosis-What-next/Taking-care-of-yourself/Accepting-help-from-others. Accessed December 17, 2020.
4.Alzheimer Europe: Attending self-help groups, https://www.alzheimer-europe.org/Living-with-dementia/After-diagnosis-What-next/Taking-care-of-yourself/Attending-self-help-groups. Accessed December 17, 2020.
5.Alzheimer Europe: After diagnosis - What next?: Life After Diagnosis, https://www.alzheimer-europe.org/Living-with-dementia/After-diagnosis-What-next. Accessed December 17, 2020.
6.National Institute on Aging: Next Steps After an Alzheimer's Diagnosis, https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/next-steps-after-alzheimers-diagnosis. December 17, 2020.
7.Alzheimer Europe: Facing the diagnosis, https://www.alzheimer-europe.org/Living-with-dementia/After-diagnosis-What-next/Diagnosis-of-dementia/Facing-the-diagnosis. Accessed December 17, 2020.
8.Vickrey BG, Mittman BS, Connor KI, Pearson ML, Della Penna RD, Ganiats TG, Demonte RW Jr, Chodosh J, Cui X, Vassar S, Duan N, Lee M. The effect of a disease management intervention on quality and outcomes of dementia care: a randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med. 2006 Nov 21;145(10):713-26.
9.Grossberg GT, Christensen DD, Griffith PA, Kerwin DR, Hunt G, Hall EJ. The art of sharing the diagnosis and management of Alzheimer's disease with patients and caregivers: recommendations of an expert consensus panel. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2010;12(1).
10.National Institute on Aging: Home Safety and Alzheimer's Disease, https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/home-safety-and-alzheimers-disease. December 17, 2020.
11.Alzheimer Europe: Dealing with practical issues, https://www.alzheimer-europe.org/Living-with-dementia/After-diagnosis-What-next/Dealing-with-practical-issues. Accessed December 11, 2020.
12.Alzheimer’s Association: Building a Care Team, https://www.alz.org/help-support/i-have-alz/plan-for-your-future/building_a_care_team. Accessed December 17, 2020.
13.Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer’s Association Report: 2020 Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures. Alzheimer’s Dement.2020;16(3):391-460.
14.National Institute on Aging: How Is Alzheimer's Disease Treated?, https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/how-alzheimers-disease-treated. December 17, 2020.