As A Patient, What Are The First Things I Should Consider When Diagnosed With Alzheimer's Disease?

Dr. Gary Small answers the question: 'First Step After Alzheimer's Diagnosis?'

ByGary Small, M.D., Director, UCLA Center on Aging
November 19, 2008, 12:19 PM

May 4, 2009 -- Question: As a patient, what are the first things I should consider when diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease?

Answer: One of the first things to consider when diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease is if you're getting the best medical care possible. We know there are symptomatic treatments, medications that can help with the symptoms; they can't cure the disease but they can keep people at the highest level of functioning as possible. Another thing to keep in mind is financial planning, and especially if you're diagnosed early in the disease you can be involved in the planning process.

It's also important to know that there are a lot of resources in the community. And studies have found that although many people do experience anxiety when they receive that diagnosis, families often feel empowered because they know what to do and how to plan for the future.

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