Our Stories, by the Alzheimer’s Association, features the unique stories of 5 individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. These interactive stories help to notice changes in yourself or a loved one, and give tips on starting conversations about health concerns. It can be difficult to know what to do or say, but the stories of Cynthia, Mario, Julie, Theresa, and Tom are helpful guides in how to approach different situations.
It can be difficult to know what to say when you suspect someone important to you is experiencing memory problems, thinking problems, or behavior changes. Early detection of these problems offers significant benefits for an individual who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Benefits of early diagnosis include medical benefits, emotional and social benefits, more time to plan for the future, and cost savings. Further explanations of these benefits can be found here.
The biggest question is, How do you know when it’s time to have conversations like these? What if the concerns you have are part of normal aging?
Topics that can lead to a conversation about your concerns include:
- challenges in planning
- changes in mood
- confusion with time and place
- decreased judgment
- difficulty completing tasks
- memory loss
- misplacing things
- problems with words
- trouble with visuals
- social withdrawal
The Our Stories website also offers help by providing conversation starters with their 10 Steps To Approach Memory Concerns With A Loved One worksheet.
This 10 step guide is available to help you feel more confident and comfortable as you start to begin this discussion and take action. The steps navigate through three different categories:
- Assess The Situation
- Take Action Through Conversation
- Reach Out For Help
Each step is related to one of these three categories and suggests a course of action to be taken.
You can print out this guide and fill it out at your own pace and to meet your individual needs.
In some instances, you may be the one experiencing and noticing changes in your own memory or behavior. It can be hard to discuss concerns about your health with loved ones or trusted friends. There is also a version of the above guide that suggests what steps to take when you notice these changes in yourself, and how to begin conversations and seek support.
Find these amazing resources here at Our Stories!