Alzheimer’s is a progressive and irreversible disease of the brain, in which structural changes cause problems with thinking, remembering, decision-making and self-care. The diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease can be a shocking one, but it does not mean that your life is over. You can continue to live a healthy and productive life, even after your diagnosis.
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Maintain Your Physical Health
Research indicates that regular exercise can help to minimize the effects of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. Stay active to keep your body fit, improve your mood and reduce the stress that often occurs with Alzheimer’s symptoms. Whatever type of exercise you enjoy will help you to look and feel better. Eat a healthy diet that consists of plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, omega-3 fatty acids and whole grains to manage weight and maintain energy. Continue your medications as directed to maximize your effectiveness.
Stay Connected With Others
Others may be uncertain about interacting with you. You can overcome the misunderstandings and myths about Alzheimer’s disease by providing information to them. Let them know you still enjoy their company and are willing to engage in normal social activities. Join a support group of others with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease who understand what you are experiencing who can provide emotional support.
Manage Your Emotions
Difficulties with memory and communication can be frustrating and stressful. You may experience a range of emotions that feel overwhelming at times. Experts advise Alzheimer’s patients to allow themselves a range of emotions, understanding that this is part of the disease. Find ways to deal with stress such as exercise, meditation or prayer.
Engage in Activities You Love
Continue engaging in activities you love. These activities will continue to bring you great emotional satisfaction and will help to distract you from the emotional upsets and daily frustrations that often occur with this disease.
Foster Your Sense of Self
The progression of the disease may cause you to withdraw from your employment and other activities. Remind yourself that these activities do not define who you are, and that your essential self as a valuable human being still remains regardless of external changes. Find ways to help others who are going through similar circumstances.
Encourage Your Spiritual Strength
Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease can cause questions to arise about why you have this disease and how it will affect others around you. Many people find that turning to their religious beliefs offers comfort and serenity about the changes occurring in your life. If you are not a religious person, calming pursuits such as meditation or yoga can help you get the peace of mind you need to cope with changing conditions.