Feedback from TappMD Expert
Janet Taylor, MD Coping with Alzheimer’s
A great model for both the individual and their family that supports them with practical information, shared experiences and lessens isolation.
Three years ago, Kennard Lehmann walked out of a neurologist’s office in Sacramento, Calif., newly diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, a prescription in hand and absolutely no idea where to turn for help.
The doctor hadn’t given him a list of resources or discussed how Mr. Lehmann might go about finding them. Knowing nothing about Alzheimer’s, his wife swiped a magazine she had been reading in the doctor’s office to take home and read.
Thus began a journey all too familiar to people with Alzheimer’s — one that Mr. Lehmann, 75, describes as “being put in a box.”
“They tell you, you can’t drive, you’re going to get lost,” he told me in a telephone conversation. “Don’t go out at night, you might have sundown syndrome. Don’t try to balance your checkbook, it could be too hard. All these negative things, all these things you’re told you can’t do now that you have Alzheimer’s.”
But Mr. Lehmann was lucky. When he and his wife moved to Minneapolis to be near their daughter, they found a group of people like him with early-stage Alzheimer’s who met monthly to socialize and “challenge ourselves so we can continue to grow,” as he put it. The focus was on what people with early-stage dementia can do — dance, write poetry, yoga, visit museums, go to concerts, draw, enjoy one another’s company — not what is no longer within their reach.
Tapp here to learn more about the Alzheimer’s Association’s expansion of social engagement groups in this article from The New York Times.
Know anyone with Alzheimer’s? What has helped them cope? Let us know below!TAPP to read more.
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