Living a healthy life after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis is so important to helping you live well with the diagnosis for as long as possible. This involves taking care of yourself mentally and physically.
It’s common to experience a wide range of emotions once you have a diagnosis. There will likely be feeling so frustration, sadness, anger, as well as confusion. As the Alzheimer’s Association states, “One of the most important things you can do is talk about your feelings with someone you trust such as your spouse, partner, pastor or counselor. Sometimes a different perspective can be helpful as you learn to adjust to living with the disease and cope with difficult feelings.”
Additionally, you can look to join a support group. The local Reno/Sparks office of the Alzheimer’s Association offers support groups for individuals who are living with Alzheimer’s, as well as their caregivers. From our experience at the Arbors, we know these support groups can be tremendously helpful.
It’s also important to maintain your social relationships. While these will change while the disease progresses, we all need friends that we can talk to and take part in activities with. While some situations may be difficult for fear of saying the wrong theme or making a mistake, it is vital to stay engaged, and if you are with those you are close to, they will understand and always help.
Physical health is just as important to maintain as emotional health. Continue to see your primary care doctor for regular check-ups and maintain a health blood pressure. Exercise and eat well. According to the National Institutes of Health, you should: eat a healthy diet, including cold-water fish (tuna, salmon and mackerel) that are rich in omega-3 fatty acid and increase your intake of antioxidants by consuming plenty of dark-colored fruits and vegetables.
We also suggest creating a care team. This is a team made up of friends, family members, neighbors, and your team of doctors including your general practitioner, neurologist, counselor and/or other specialists.
Another key to physical health is to never change medications or dosages without first consulting your team of doctors.
For more tips on maintaining your health after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.