What It’s Like Living with Alzheimer’s and How to Get Help

family caregiver hugging senior with alzheimer's

An Alzheimer’s diagnosis is difficult to hear, but help is available.

With an astounding 47 million estimated diagnoses throughout the world, including more than 5 million in the U.S. alone, Alzheimer’s disease touches most of us in one way or another. When you or someone you love hears the words, “It’s Alzheimer’s,” it’s important to educate yourself as much as possible to know what to expect and how to best manage the changes to come.


At Visiting Care Giving Services, our aging care experts are proficient in dementia care in O’Fallon, MO and the surrounding areas, and have compiled some of the key facts you’ll need to know to prepare for living with Alzheimer’s.

First, know that an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can trigger a wide range of emotions: anger, fear, loss, isolation, depression, and even relief in knowing the reason behind the symptoms experienced and a definitive path forward to get help. All of these feelings are perfectly normal, and can be managed through such activities as:

  • Writing in a journal
  • Talking openly with trusted family, friends, or a professional counselor
  • Finding a support group in your local area or online
  • Engaging in activities that bring joy and peace

Next, familiarize yourself with the stages and what can be expected in each:

  • Early Stage: Changes in memory, thinking, and reasoning that impact the ability to manage daily life activities, such as misplacing objects, forgetting names or something you just read, problems with planning and organizing.
  • Middle Stage: Noticeable gaps in thinking and memory, although significant details about yourself and those you love may remain. Increased confusion about time, place, appropriate clothing for the season, eating, and using the toilet.
  • Late Stage: Abnormal reflexes, muscle rigidity, impaired swallowing, and difficulty with communication and movement control. Full-time assistance is needed for safety and with daily activities.

Although there is still no cure available for Alzheimer’s, there are several medications that help slow the progression of the disease, as well as the opportunity to participate in clinical trials of treatment options still being tested. The Alzheimer’s Association’s TrialMatch® program can help you find clinical studies in your area.

Find additional helpful information and resources from the Alzheimer’s Association, and contact Visiting Care Giving Services for highly skilled, creative, and compassionate dementia care in O’Fallon, MO and the surrounding areas. We can enable family caregivers to take much-needed breaks from care to protect their own health and wellbeing with professional in-home care services, available for just a few hours each week up through and including full-time, 24/7 care.

Call us any time at (636) 493-9058 for a free in-home assessment to find out more about how we can help ease the transition into and through Alzheimer’s disease.