IT'S TIME TOSURROUND YOURSELF
WITH SUPPORT

Getting a diagnosis of MCI due to Alzheimer’s can be scary. But catching it early
and building a strong support system is
important.

It's okay to ask
for help

Many people find it comforting to ask for help rather than facing it alone. Help can come from a friend, family member, or even someone you hire to help you with tasks like scheduling and driving you to doctor’s appointments or providing help when you need it, if this choice is available to you. They might notice symptoms before you do, which can help you catch them early. 

Call the Alzheimer’s Learning Line

You may also want to reach out to the Alzheimer's Learning Line, offered by Biogen. They can provide information to people with memory loss concerns and their loved ones on topics like:

  • Symptoms and how to get diagnosed
  • What to ask your doctor
  • Educational resources

Remember, your doctor is always your best
source of information.

Monday-Friday,
8:30 AM-5 PM ET

Other resources to start the conversation

Talk with your doctor 

Talking with your loved one 

It's time to talk
about
MCI due to
Alzheimer's

Noticing that someone you care about is forgetting things, losing their train of thought, or getting lost or confused more often can be very concerning. You’re probably wondering if it is normal aging or a more serious issue.

While talking with them about your concerns may seem difficult, it's really important to have the conversation and not put it off. Changes in memory and thinking could be MCI, which can be one of the early clinical stages of Alzheimer’s. The sooner you and your doctor catch MCI due to Alzheimer’s, the better your doctor can help you understand your options.

Suggestions to make talking to a loved one or friend easier:

Before the conversation:

Consider making a game plan.

  • Ask a friend or family member to help you have the discussion
  • Present your concerns immediately by asking your loved one or friend if he or she has noticed any memory changes
  • Offer to go to the doctor with your loved one or friend

Think about the right time
and place.

  • Pick a time when your loved one or friend is relaxed and more receptive
  • Pick a time when you won’t be rushed, and you can schedule the doctor’s visit shortly thereafter
  • Pick a familiar place where your loved one or friend is comfortable and not distracted

During the conversation:

Put yourself in his or her shoes.

  • Be positive and validating. Acknowledge that an MCI due to Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be scary but that catching it early can help you to prepare for the future
  • Leverage the bond you have. Whether you’re a child, friend, sibling, or spouse, make it clear to your loved one or friend that their cognitive decline affects you, and that you would feel so much better if they had a clear diagnosis so you can come up with a plan to move forward
  • Work with, not against, your loved one or friend. A strong partnership is essential. Ask about their concerns. Discuss their perspective on memory loss. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, too. Don’t finish their sentences for them, and never say, “I told you so.”

Watch your demeanor and body language.

  • Don’t be accusatory. Give clear examples of changes you’ve noticed, but make sure you’re not blaming your loved one or friend; for example: “It looks like paying bills has been hard for you lately” vs “You haven’t paid your bills.”
  • Look and act supportive. Make eye contact, don’t cross your arms, pay attention to tone, use non-verbal communication (for example, touching their hand)

If it doesn’t go as planned:

Put away your pride and persevere.

  • Be persistent. It’s not strange for your loved one or friend to be in denial at first and refuse to see a doctor. Be clear that Alzheimer's is different for everyone. The important thing is catching it early
  • Don’t be aggressive about following up. Don’t be afraid to walk away if you have to. Drop the conversation if it’s too distressing in the moment, but bring it up at a later time, and try to change up the environment and people involved in the conversation

In the Caregiver Discussion Guide below, you’ll find conversation starters that can help find those first important words to initiate this talk and reassure your loved one or friend every step of the way.

Other useful
resources

These are some additional resources that can help you get a better
understanding of MCI due to Alzheimer’s, support services, and more.

Learn about the symptoms of
MCI
due to Alzheimer’s 

Learn more about
MCI due to Alzheimer’s 

Get more resources sent right to your inbox

 

Try the Memory Response Exercise*
—you can
take it online and discuss it with your doctor

*This memory exercise is not a medical
diagnosis.
Only a doctor can diagnose a
memory-related
disorder or disease.