Question/Answer: Early Stage Alzheimer’s Diagnosis and Clinical Trials

Question: My mother has just received an early stage Alzheimer’s diagnosis at age 69. Right now it seems like she is coping better than I am. How can I find resources about clinical trials?

Answer: A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is never easy. Know that you are not alone; there are many others struggling to get the support, answers, and care needed for their loved one, and themselves!

senior with daughter

You mentioned that you feel that you aren’t doing so well. You may be scared for your mom and her declining mental health, knowing that your roles will be changing over time as you and your family become the care providers and decision makers. Many people also become overwhelmed with the emotional and financial requirements that may be needed as the disease progresses.

As a family caregiver you and your family need just as much emotional support as your mother. Don’t be afraid to schedule consistent family meetings so that you can make decisions together, share your feelings and discuss any changes in your mother’s health. Seniors At Home Center for Dementia Care specialists are routinely called in to help with conversations like this, and having a professional who understands the nuances of dementia care can benefit your entire family. The dementia specialist will listen to your concerns, give you practical advice, and help you map out a future of care.

There are many clinical trials taking place. If your mother is willing to consider this strategy, it may be a good way to increase her quality of life while contributing to knowledge of the disease so a cure may be found. To find trials:

  • Consult your mother’s doctors to ask about clinical trials that they can recommend.
  • Go to the Alzheimer’s Associate Trial Match Page to find over 200 promising clinical trials being conducted around the country.

Caring for an aging parent – especially one with an early stage Alzheimer’s diagnosis – is hard work and can lead to exhaustion, burnout, lowered immune system function, even anxiety and depression. Many family caregivers find it beneficial to take part in educational seminars, and counseling and support groups with people in the same situation. Start to explore the resources you may want to utilize now while your mom is doing well so that you will have the support you need over time.

Contact Seniors At Home anytime you would like to get assistance in plotting a course of care for your mother.