It’s time we bust the stigma associated with Alzheimer’s. And to do so, first, let’s get down to facts associated with the same.
It can take up to 4 years to diagnose a person with Alzheimer’s, for its symptoms are often mistaken for the outcome of stress like forgetfulness, short temper, depression, lack of concentration et al.
Also, studies suggest that Alzheimer’s mostly affects people above the age of 65. Only 5% of people are affected at a younger age.
Remember, a person with Alzheimer’s is not ‘abnormal or disabled’! They are like any one of us and can lead a normal life with little support and encouragement.
Here are a few tips that work the best reduce the stigma that surrounds Alzheimer’s:
· Encourage people with Alzheimer’s to speak out! Let them show the world that they are not alone. In fact, there are famous celebrities who have Alzheimer’s and are completely open about it and are leading completely normal lives.
· Encourage them to share their stories with others affected with Alzheimer’s, sharing tips on how to cope with the same and lead a normal life.
· Socialize with those who you know is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Take them for outings, holidays, a long drive or whatever else makes them happy. Recent studies show that socializing helps control the escalation the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
· Put yourself in their shoes. Think for a moment, “If I were to be surrounded by the social stigma associated with Alzheimer’s, how would I feel?”
But the most important tip is to be patient. Handhold me through the journey, as it is not easy. But the love and support of friends, family and loved ones can help them cope it better.
Last but not the least get rid of the misconception that a person with Alzheimer’s loses all decision-making abilities as well as independence.
As we communicate with people suffering from Alzheimer’s, we must strive to remember that they are not defined by an inability to perform the same functions they once could or to retain the same information they once did.
So, this World Alzheimer’s Day let’s permanently erase the stigma around it from our minds!