One of the most heartbreaking aspects of Alzheimer’s disease is the feeling of helplessness that can overtake the lives of people diagnosed with the disease and those who love them.
Alzheimer’s disease cannot be prevented or cured at this time. Lifestyle changes and some medications may help some people stave off the destruction of the disease for a time, but in the end, the disease wins.
How do people cope? Everyone has an individual coping mechanism, however many people find that volunteering helps with the emotional fallout of the diagnosis and onward march of the disease. Caregivers often volunteer for fundraisers to support Alzheimer’s research. People who develop the disease can help more than many realize by taking part in any study for which they qualify. By donating time and/or money, or by taking part in studies, caregivers and the people with AD can help to eventually place Alzheimer’s on the “diseases we’re conquered” list.
According to an article on Marketwatch.com, at least one study that is helping spur new discoveries is being slowed by a lack of Alzheimer’s volunteers. According to the site, “The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) is the largest and most comprehensive research effort on AD to date, and is offering the data it gathers to scientists around the globe to inform and speed new treatments. There are a number of ongoing clinical trials, and many more about to start, aimed at slowing disease progression with drug treatment. All of these trials are using the diagnostic methods developed through ADNI. If the availability of ADNI data is slowed down, it slows down the entire field.”
To volunteer for this study or learn more about other studies contact the National Institute on Aging's Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center at (800) 438-4380, or visit www.adni-info.org .
To donate money or help with fundraising, contact the Alzheimer Foundation of America (www.alzfdn.org) or the National Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org). Either of these organizations can help direct you toward existing efforts to raise money or help you organize your own fundraiser. They can also direct you to more studies.
Feeling completely powerless can hasten the deterioration of our mental and/or physical health. Feeling that we are doing something about our “enemy”, which in this case is Alzheimer’s disease, can help stimulate good hormones and some happiness even in the face of eventual loss. Think about actively fundraising or volunteering for studies (family members may qualify for some studies). You may find that it’s easier to face the future knowing you are doing what you can to fight back at the disease that is changing your lives.
Marketwatch (2012, November 15) Alzheimer's Caregivers Can Fight the Disease. Retrieved from http://www.marketwatch.com/story/alzheimers-caregivers-can-fight-the-disease-2012-11-15
Published On: November 19, 2012