Sadly, millions of people in the U.S. live with Alzheimer’s disease. Even sadder is that fewer than half of Alzheimer's patients or their caregivers report being told of the diagnosis by a healthcare provider.
An Alzheimer’s Association report from 2015
indicated that only 45 percent of people with Alzheimer’s disease or their caregivers say they were told the diagnosis by a physician. This is a staggering statistic.
Imagine if a doctor knowingly withheld a breast cancer diagnosis
. It would be devastating for the patient, even deadly. This is equally true for Alzheimer’s patients.
Early is sometimes late
Realistically, time is a great foe for Alzheimer’s patients, but in the beginning stages, timing is everything. Unfortunately, patients and their caregivers often receive the diagnosis after the disease has progressed. This impedes early detection, which is critical to slowing Alzheimer’s progressive destruction of the brain.
The early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s don’t come early enough. By the time symptoms are noticeable, the disease may be further along than expected. Family members need to address slight but unusual changes in behavior.
Ignorance isn’t bliss
The truth won’t set people free from Alzheimer’s, but when armed with a diagnosis, patients and families have the proper footing to advance. Take the initiative. Familial caregivers must step into the fray with their loved ones and become a patient advocate.
Caregivers struggle with role reversal
The reversal of parent-child roles i