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This problem may be more common than we can estimate.  If you are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, the sooner you plan for the future the better.   Many people can continue to live, work, function etc as normal in the early stages of the disease. 

Nicole Batsch, Director of Early Stage and Support Services for the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association encourages anyone who receives a diagnosis and lives alone to reach outto their long-distance family members, their faith-based, community orneighborhood center, and their neighbors. 

As cognitive abilities decline, it will be helpful to have a support system set up as the person themselves might not realize they are in trouble says Batsch.

Eventually, it will become too difficult or dangerous to livealone. Make plans now for where you will live as the diseaseprogresses. You may want to get a helpful roommate, live with arelative or move to a residential care setting.  I have personally helped a person who was in the very early stages of dementia choose where she would "go" once the disease progressed.  She is now living there as the disease managed to take over her life sooner than expected.  But the family doesn't feel guilty as they know she made the choice herself.

For more tips, please visit the chapter's March 2009 newsletter.

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