Staying Independent After Your Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

An Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be difficult to deal with although it does not mean you have to stop living your current lifestyle. You will need to start making changes and planning for when the disease progresses. Making these changes early is the best option. You can do several things to stay independent after your Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

Start Using Memory Aids

Start using memory aids in your daily life. These can be simple things like large calendars. They can also be pieces of technology like alarms or apps on a cell phone that keep you from forgetting important things like taking medications. Memory aids will allow you to keep living normally even if you start to have trouble remembering things. Memory aids can make a real difference in your life every day.

Make Changes to Your Home

You want to start making changes to your home after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Your goal is to make your home as safe and convenient as possible. Install bright lighting in hallways and over stairs. Add grab bars to the bathroom and shower. Remove any damaged flooring. You might even want to replace the appliances with ones that are easy to use with automatic cutoffs.

Get a Medical Alert System

You want a way to get help quickly if something happens in your home. You might encounter problems while far away from a phone. This is why you should get a medical alert system. You wear a watch or pendant that connects to the system wirelessly. If you experience an emergency, then you can hit a button on the item you are wearing to contact help right away.

Consider Scheduling a Caregiver

If your symptoms are starting to cause serious problems, then consider scheduling a caregiver a few times a week. A caregiver can show up for an hour or for several hours to check on you, help around the house or provide companionship. Caregivers can ensure that you are healthy and everything in your home is in order after you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Use Online Services Whenever Possible

You do not want to have to make frequent long trips outside just to take care of everyday tasks. You can avoid this by using online services whenever possible. You can do everything from managing your bank account and ordering groceries to paying utility bills online. You can even request reminders when certain events happen. Online services can let you continue living independently.

Explore Your Financial or Work Options Immediately

You will want to explore your financial or work opportunities immediately after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Talk to your employer about whether you can continue working or move to another position. If you do not or cannot work, then review your retirement accounts. You might also want to look into receiving benefits. You need to figure out your finances as soon as possible after the diagnosis.

Make Labels and Reminders

A final step is to make labels and reminders. Clearly label where things are in the home. Label oven knobs and hot water faucets. You should also start writing down reminders whenever you need to remember something important. Post these reminders all around your home so you do not forget.