For those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, one of the most difficult struggles of coping with the disease exists outside the brain. Unfortunately, a great deal of stigma still exists surrounding memory loss, mainly due to the fact that many people don’t understand what exactly Alzheimer’s is. Many misunderstand the disease as minor forgetfulness, without realizing the intensity of cognitive change that takes place. Others may view dementia as a sudden loss of all abilities from thinking to speech and self-care. Yet, while the reality of most of those living with Alzheimer’s disease falls in between these two extremes, those diagnosed and their family and caregivers must deal with the various reactions caused by Alzheimer’s stigma.
“As with other stigmas, such as those surrounding mental health or people with disabilities, stigma about Alzheimer’s disease can make it even more difficult for those diagnosed.