A 28 year old may develop dementia

Alzheimer's dementia

Alzheimer's disease comes as a shock to most people and changes their lives fundamentally. Sometimes it makes understandable changes in a person's behavior or personality that were previously inexplicable.

People with dementia experience their situation differently and deal with it differently. Some manage to accept the disease and, despite Alzheimer's dementia, lead an active and contented life for as long as possible. Others find this difficult. They withdraw, are often sad or depressed. Still others suppress their disease and its symptoms.

Especially in the first time after being diagnosed with dementia, many people feel torn between the desire to be independent and the need for security and support. Most of those affected realize that sooner or later they will need help. But hardly anyone finds it easy to accept the gradual loss of one's own abilities and to accept the necessary support.

On the one hand, after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's, it is important for most people to live in the present and do and enjoy what is still possible. On the other hand, many are afraid of the future and wonder how to plan their lives now. Suddenly there are questions like: Can I still do my job and if so, for how long? Who should decide for me if I can no longer do it? How much longer can I drive a car or live alone? What do I do if I need care?

Over time, it is often possible to deal with such questions and conflicts and to accept the disease. The support of other people, but above all the family, plays an important role. However, the illness also changes relationships with family members and friends.

Engaging in common activities and hobbies becomes more difficult. Many roles and tasks within the family or between couples are being redistributed. Perhaps, for example, the wife, who previously always had an eye on finances, is no longer able to do this, so that her husband has to take on this task.

Some people report that the family's emotional warmth and closeness grew stronger afterward. Some couples now see themselves as a team that has to stick together. However, as the disease progresses, tension and conflict can arise. Many relatives are heavily burdened by the care and support and need support themselves at some point.

Many people with Alzheimer's dementia have positive experiences with being open about their condition and experience understanding and support. Humor can also be a good strategy for dealing with the condition in many situations. However, negative experiences are often inevitable, for example when something does not work or other people react negatively.

The exchange with other affected persons - for example in self-help groups - is experienced by many as valuable. It is important to continue to be active and to cultivate hobbies: Singing, hiking, cooking, painting - a lot is still possible for a long time despite Alzheimer's dementia. Activities also help to avoid thinking about the illness all the time.

In the course of time, many decisions have to be made: on everyday issues as well as on treatment, life planning, subsequent care and the appropriate form of living (domestic environment, nursing home, residential group). People with dementia express their desire to be involved more and more clearly today. As long as they can, they want to be actively involved in decisions about their concerns. They are demanding that less be talked about them and more with them.