My close family and I have dealt with and are still dealing with many close relatives with Dementia/Altimerzers. I was diaognosed with begining Dementia about 1 year ago. I sat with my Dementia/Altimerzers Striken Dad many times in the Nursing home the last year of his life. There were so many short times when dad knew what was going on and he wanted out of there to go home. They would have to heavily medicate him. I am so scared of that happening to me.

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Hi, thanks for writing in. I’m sorry that you’ve gotten that diagnosis. So, first, it’s called “Alzheimer’s” because Dr. Alzheimer was a German physician. Dementia is an umbrella term that describes different diseases, and Alzheimer’s is the most common form. So you know what type of dementia you got diagnosed with? The BEST thing you can do right now is to 1. Talk to your family about a plan for the future and 2. Keep engaging your brain. Start a new hobby, exercise, and eat well. Try not to panic about this–even though that is difficult. 3. Be honest with yourself about the type of care you want and expect. 4. Realize that not everyone with Mild Cognitive Impairment actually gets full-blown dementia.

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Rachael Wonderlin has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of two published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. She owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting company.

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