My name is Martine and I’m from Saint-François de Madawaska in NB. My husband, Gérard, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 6 years ago.
Gérard was 70 when he was diagnosed. He is the 6th in his family to have the disease. Having seen the effects of the disease on other members of his family, we knew the first thing we needed to do was to get help.
After receiving his diagnosed, our family doctor suggested we reach out to our local Alzheimer Society in Edmundston. We were offered a series of resources we could use whenever we needed them. We were connected with information, education and programmes to help us on our journey.
Gérard and I decided early on that we wanted to be open with his diagnosis. Facing it alone wasn’t an option for us. We decided to talk about it. Gérard wanted to tell people himself. He told our family and friends early on, trying to get everyone comfortable with the disease.
We are learning everyday how to live with the disease, instead of just accepting it. What I mean by this is that we have learned how to live well with it with the tools available to us. We stayed active socially and physically for many years after Gérard was diagnosed.
If I could share some advice with someone who is just starting their journey with the disease, I would say to be open and to talk about your situation. It’s much easier that way!