Memory Assisted Living

Anticipatory Grief in Memory Assisted Living: How to Cope with a Diagnosis

When someone you care about is diagnosed with memory issues, it can be hard. Thus, it is important to understand and handle those tough feelings called anticipatory grief. This will be a great factor in coping and supporting your loved ones in memory assisted living, breaking down emotions, and sharing simple ways to navigate this challenging journey together. You can also explore ways to find strength and comfort in the face of a difficult diagnosis.


How to Cope with an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis in Memory Assisted Living


It is never easy to receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s as it is a life-changing moment. Normally, you can feel a range of emotions. But you can acknowledge your feelings as a first vital step in coping with the challenges in the future.


Identifying emotions, you are experiencing after receiving the diagnosis is key in coping with your condition. Emotions may include anger, denial, depression, fear, isolation, relief, resentment, or a sense of loss.


When symptoms linger for weeks, you may already be dealing with anxiety or depression. It might be a common thing to feel anxious or depressed, but this can be treated. You will be able to accept your diagnosis, move forward, and discover new ways of living a positive and fulfilling life when you come to terms with your diagnosis.


You should have a good support network to turn to for advice when facing difficult times. They can provide encouragement to help you feel socially connected and offer a sense of belonging and purpose when connecting with others.


Anticipatory Grief


You may feel anticipatory grief that could last for days, months, or even years due to the death of a loved one or other impending loss. This is also referred to as anticipatory loss or preparatory grief. According to a licensed clinical social worker and associate professor, it is the experience of knowing that change is coming and beginning to feel grief in the face of that.


For people with Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, grieving begins after the diagnosis. That is because they become less themselves as the disease progresses. Anticipatory grief is an emotional response to the inevitable or expected loss of a loved one. But for people in memory assisted living, grief often progresses with the disease itself until the end of life.


Experts say that caregivers can help manage grief by being aware that you don’t have to fit into the concept of grief as starting only after the passing of a loved one. Moreover, it is important that they understand and acknowledge that anticipatory grief is a normal response to a difficult situation. Although coping with anticipatory grief is challenging, there are different techniques that help.


  • Talking to professionals
  • Being gentle and patient with yourself
  • Building a strong support system


Note that anticipatory grief is a privilege of more time together to let people in memory assisted living know how much you love them and opportunities to accompany them as best as you can.


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