An Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be difficult to accept. Whether you’re a caregiver or family member to someone recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or are suffering from dementia and memory loss yourself, it can be helpful to reach out for professional help. Not only can a licensed therapist help you to make sense of your early Alzheimer’s disease symptoms or mild cognitive impairments, but it can mean finding hope for the future. For a closer look at why seeing, a therapist could help you or someone, you love to work through an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, read on.
Making Sense of Early Signs
One of the best reasons to see a therapist if you’re dealing with a serious diagnosis is that they can help you and your family to understand early Alzheimer’s symptoms and how to manage them. While a therapist isn’t the same as a doctor or regular health care provider, they are trained to understand the cognitive changes a person goes through with dementia.
A family counselor will be able to help you to communicate with your family members about caregiving, grief, memory loss, and goals for the future. Honest conversations and plans can be had around cognitive decline and the progression of Alzheimer’s, too. In having a professional to guide these conversations, your family system will be better equipped to handle the progression of the disease in a way that’s less scary.
Coming Up With a Plan
As you and your family navigate the early stages of the disease, a counselor will be able to recommend therapy retreats and other activities that might help you to relax. As an effective treatment for caregivers overwhelmed with daily tasks involved in caring for a family member with dementia, these retreats can serve as a healthy form of well-deserved respite.
The reality is that while you might not be the person suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, your entire family will be impacted by the diagnosis. Especially when the disease comes at younger ages, it can be helpful to have tools and resources to deal with changing lifestyles. A mental health professional will be able to assist in providing what you need.
Building a Support Network
Having a strong social support network is extremely important when dealing with a serious diagnosis like dementia. If you or a family member is struggling, a therapist will be able to put you into contact with support groups where you can network with people in the same boat.
While there are many online support groups for people dealing with memory loss and an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, many people find that they do better by meeting in in-person support groups or even a hybrid model where a trained counselor can guide discussions. A great benefit of a support team of any form is that it means you’ll be able to get tips and tricks from other caregivers on what’s worked for their families and loved ones.
Even better, they can help you to identify your own natural support system and help you to build a great self-care routine. In being able to utilize your personal supports and identify ways to call upon other resources, your bad days will be a little easier. In fact, you’ll be able to make spending time with the people you love a priority, too.
At the end of the day, whether your Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis is something you’ve accepted or you’re simply worried about the risk of Alzheimer’s in your family, it’s a good idea to reach out for help if you’re struggling. In working with a therapist to untangle feelings about early signs of Alzheimer’s, you’ll put yourself in a better position to manage the future.