OHSU

Early Stage Support for Alzheimer's Disease Patients

If you have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease or another dementia, there are things you can do right away. These actions can help you continue to enjoy life and cope with changes that are likely in the years ahead.

It is important that you take care of your physical health and do enjoyable activities with family and friends. Share information about your diagnosis with those close to you. Be honest about your feelings and the support you need from them.

Expect Alzheimer's Disease to cause changes in your everyday life over time. It can be frustrating to have difficulty doing tasks that used to be easy.  

Give yourself time to do things and get help from other people when things are too difficult. Avoid noisy or distracting environments that can confuse you.   

Coping with changes

The Oregon Alzheimer's Association organizes support groups for people in the early stages of AD. Joining a group can help you and your family adjust to life with AD. The National Alzheimer's Association web site is also a source for information and useful ideas for making life easier.

Maintaining independence

The early stage of Alzheimer's Disease is the easiest time to make changes around the house. You can  find services to do household chores and arrange for transportation when you can't drive any longer.   

Resources are available that provide proven ideas for staying safely independent.