Published on: October 4, 2017
by Marta Bibeiro for Alzheimer’s News Today:
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that makes a person lose their cognitive abilities, altering daily functioning and leading to various levels of physical and emotional stress.
Following an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, a lot of things can go through your mind. You’ll need some time to sort through your thoughts. After your mind has settled down, you’ll need to learn how you can improve your life while living with Alzheimer’s. To help you out, we’ve put together some tips that will make your life easier, based on information from the Alzheimer’s Association:
1. Be realistic, set goals and focus on what you can do everyday.
Don’t try too hard or try to do something you don’t feel like, which may end up being harmful. Go at your own pace. Some tasks may become too difficult for you to complete even with reminder aids. Don’t feel bad about asking for help; your friends and family are there for you.
2. Create your own daily routine.
Your life will change but that doesn’t mean you will stop doing everything you used to. To keep track of everything you need to do, plan ahead. Get on a schedule and organize your days–it’ll help you reduce the time you spend figuring out what needs to be done and when.
3. Learn what stresses you out.
Stress is always going to be around, and even though some can’t be prevented or avoided, we can change some parts of our lives in order to feel more relaxed. Learn what triggers your anxiety, worry or stress, and try to change it. Knowing what causes stress allows you to make plans in advance or decisions about the type of activities/tasks you choose to participate in.
4. Do one thing at a time and take your time.
Don’t give in to pressure. If you know you need a certain amount of time to perform a task, don’t feel pressure to complete it faster. If you don’t think you can finish something, just take a break and try again later. Don’t waste your energy. If at first you don’t succeed, take a deep breath and try again, whenever you feel like it.
5. Don’t worry if you can’t do it the first time.
It’s not uncommon to have to try different strategies to achieve a goal. Assess what could have been done differently and make adjustments as needed. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t finish something on your first try; remember the above tip and try again later.
6. Go to your happy place.
Family, friends, prayers, your inner strength, pets — all these sources can get you through hard times, even as you face daily challenges or setbacks. Sit down, relax, think about your loved ones and transport yourself to your happy place — and take them with you.
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