Well, this answer may or may not provide comfort. Simply put… we just don’t know yet.
However, while there’s still no precise scientific link, some members of the scientific community believe that if you have a relative with Alzheimer’s disease, you have a greater chance of developing it yourself. On the other hand, however, research suggests that having more than one relative with the disease doesn’t mean that your family has a stronger genetic tendency toward it then if you had only one.
The Alzheimer Society of Canada (www.Alzheimer.ca) has detailed information about genetic research on the disease.
One thing is certain, though…you can’t prevent the disease by sitting around and worrying about it. (According to research, of course, stress may make you more vulnerable to disease.) You may never get Alzheimer’s. And, if that’s the case, you’d feel pretty badly, ten years from now, if you’ve actually shortened your life by worrying about getting it!
Your attention should be on your loved one who does have Alzheimer’s! Many people find that keeping a journal can help them deal emotionally with the stressful role of caregiver (and, possibly, their own fears about getting the disease). Others joint support groups, which is often helpful because it relieves you of the nobody-knows-what-I’m-going-through mentality. And still others seek out professional counseling.
Whatever you do, though…don’t drown in worry about your own chances of getting the disease. Worrying will only affect your ability to care for the loved one who does have Alzheimer’s. It will affect your ability to enjoy your remaining time with them. And it will affect your own health, both physically and emotionally.
There are few more stressful jobs – if any – than caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. But we can help.
At The Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we’ve been helping South Florida families care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s for the past 33 years. (By the way, we have one of the largest Alzheimer’s/dementia resource libraries in South Florida.) And we’ve helped them prepare for the possibility of Alzheimer’s, as well, with comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, long-term care planning, asset protection, and assistance with the VA or Medicaid.
We can walk you through the Alzheimer’s Journey. And we’re just a phone call away.
My Mother Has Alzheimer’s. Am I At Risk?