a man who has discussed his alzheimer's diagnosis with his family

Alzheimer's: 5 Tips for Discussing Your Diagnosis with Family

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Getting diagnosed with Alzheimer's is difficult enough, but telling others about your condition can be just as hard. Here are five tips that will make the conversation a little easier.

  1. Give yourself time.

    Make sure not to rush. First, you'll need to process the diagnosis on your own. Take a little while to sift through your thoughts. Not only will this give you more time to think about what you're going to say, but it will allow you to practice what you're going to say.

  2. Start slowly.

    Don't try to tell everyone at once. Start with a few immediate family members. After that, tell your extended family and then friends and co-workers. Again, you don't have to rush this. Trying to tell everyone on the same day can cause stress and anxiety.

  3. Bring someone to help.

    Telling your family about your condition will be much easier if you have someone by your side. A husband or wife can provide a great deal of support by simply sitting next to you while you talk. They might also be able to take over for you if you get too overwhelmed and feel like you can't continue.

  4. Give a short introductory statement.

    It's always good to prepare people a little before you tell them what's going on. It will cushion a little of the shock. Saying something like, "I've just gotten some very difficult news," is a good way to begin a conversation.

  5. Tell others how they can help.

    Your friends and loved ones will undoubtedly tell you that they'll help in any way they can. Instead of saying something vague like, "I'll let you know," think of practical ways they might be able to lend a hand and give them suggestions. Your family and friends want to be involved, but they probably don't have the first clue about how they can be of service. They'll be grateful if you tell them precisely what you'll need from them.

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