A diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease will affect your body, mind, and emotions. It will have a big impact on your life and your family. But you don’t have to handle it alone. Counseling and support groups can be great outlets if you feel you need help dealing with fear, anger, or stress.
The decision to seek counseling is an important step. Too often, people don't get help because they feel ashamed or guilty. But when you get assistance, you make the choice to feel better and improve your life. A trained mental health care provider can help you choose the right therapy that meets your needs.
No one knows for sure what, if anything, can prevent Alzheimer's disease. Scientists are working on understandinghow people can control their risk for the condition through their lifestyle habits, like diet, exercise, social connections, and staying mentally active.
It’s also hard for doctors to know for certain who has a higher risk for the disease. Alzheimer’s tends to run in families, but if you have a parent or sibling who has it, there’s no guarantee you’ll get it, too.
Your best bet is to...
Ask the doctor treating your Alzheimer's to refer you to a few mental health professionals. They might include family therapists, social workers, psychologists, or psychiatrists.
When you have your first visit with the counselor you choose, she’ll ask you why you want counseling, what symptoms you have (emotional, mental, and physical), and your medical history. You might get a survey to fill out with these questions.
Your answers will give the counselor a better idea of the best way to help you. You can discuss:
The best type of counseling for you
The best place to have it (counselor's office, outpatient clinic, hospital, residential treatment center)
Who will join in your treatment (you alone, your family members, other people who are living with a condition like Alzheimer’s)