Don’t Let Stigma Stop You from Getting Help

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 Stark Reality

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.

What Does Stigma Prevent?

  • The stigma around Alzheimer’s disease can prevent patients from:
  • Getting medical treatment
  • Receiving a diagnosis (early or ever)
  • Living with the best possible quality of life
  • Making future plans
  • Improving the quality of life from available treatments
  • Building a strong support system
  • Enrolling in clinical trials

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.

Overcoming Alzheimer’s Stigma

How can you or your loved one overcome the stigma of experiencing Alzheimer’s at any stage?

  • Be direct and open when talking about the disease. Talk with others about prevention, the need for more research, potential treatments and what a cure would mean to you.
  • Know your facts and don’t be afraid to share them. Much of the stigma comes from false information and misconceptions about the disease.
  • Get support, whether in a support group or from a group of peers. Stay involved in activities and relationships.
  • Never allow yourself to be discouraged. You will encounter many people who do not understand Alzheimer’s, or who do not care to make the effort to understand it. That is never a reflection on you.
  • Be part of the solution!

Partner with Senior Care Lifestyles

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!

Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Owner, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA®) & Assisted Living Placement Specialist - Senior Care Lifestyles, LLC provides compassion, guidance and recommendations to families faced with transitioning a loved one into Assisted Living, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care, Skilled Nursing, Temporary Respite Care or a Continuous Care Retirement Community. Senior Care Lifestyles was founded in 2014 by Deborah Bakalich, a Certified Senior Advisor and graduate from both Towson University and Stevenson. Senior Care Lifestyles is uniquely positioned as a local (not National) Maryland based placement firm familiar with Maryland senior care facilities and in-state financial assistance programs for senior residents. They meet personally with each family to understand the seniors care needs including medical, personal lifestyle preferences, budget, religion and desired geographic location. They pride themselves in locally guiding and educating families through the entire maze of senior living options available and will schedule tours on behalf of the family and accompany the family on visits of communities. They are passionate and committed to finding the perfect match to call home and stays with the family throughout the entire process, every step of the way, until a decision is made, and the senior is safely moved into their new home. Senior Care Lifestyles can also provide the family with trustworthy, vetted, and reputable experts to assist with the transition for organizing, packing, moving, sale of real estate, estate planning, legal services, and determining eligibility for State, Federal and Veterans Benefits to assist with care costs. Deborah is a proud member of the Maryland Senior Resource Network (MSRN) where she has served as Vice President on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Organization, Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Mid-Atlantic Network Group and a member of the Business Opportunity Network (BON).

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