A recent study by the Alzheimer’s Association found that the stigma around Alzheimer’s disease discourages adults from educating themselves about risk factors, seeking treatment and joining clinical trials for potential future treatments. Despite the importance of seeking help in the early stages of the disease, many adults choose to suffer in silence.
The Alzheimer’s Association recently surveyed over 300 adults who were given the description of a patient diagnosed with mild impairment or dementia due to Alzheimer’s. Each participant in the study was told whether the condition of the patient would improve, stay the same or deteriorate. A whopping 55% of respondents expected the patient, regardless of improvement or deterioration, would be discriminated against in the workplace and not be allowed to make their own medical decisions. Almost half thought that the patient’s medical records, like brain imaging or genetic testing, would cause limits to be imposed on their health insurance. While these findings don’t guarantee that those in the study would avoid seeking help if they found themselves in a similar situation, it does show the real fear of discrimination that many facing Alzheimer’s experience.
Beyond the personal effects of stigma, it also prevents research from moving forward as rapidly as it could otherwise. Alzheimer’s research is funded at lower rates by the government, despite the cost of caring remaining very high.
How can you or your loved one overcome the stigma of experiencing Alzheimer’s at any stage?
At Senior Care Lifestyles, we specialize in facilitating the connection between seniors and the right in-home care, assisted living and senior living communities. We have assisted hundreds of families with finding effective and affordable solutions for loved ones. Get in touch today by calling 410-977-3718!