Alzheimer's - Screening, Detection and Diagnosis

Why It Is Important to Get Diagnosed for Alzheimer’s Disease

It is important to get a diagnosis for Alzheimer’s disease for you or your loved one as early as you can. This can help you and your family take steps for a healthy brain and support everyday activities. It is never too late – or too early – to build resilience and stay active. You can also use an early diagnosis to make plans, organize care, and take other proactive steps.

You Can Take Action

Receiving an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be an emotional and difficult time, but getting a diagnosis early is very helpful. Getting diagnosed will give you and your family members important benefits:

Know what is causing symptoms.

An Alzheimer’s diagnosis will let you and your family know what is causing symptoms. This can help you to understand and plan for changes to memory, thinking, and behavior.1 You can check our tips for the steps towards diagnosis for help with the diagnosis process.

Take steps for brain health.

If you or a loved one has Alzheimer’s, there are steps you can take to support brain health and everyday activities, while slowing down cognitive decline.2,3 Check out our fact sheets on healthy diet, exercise, sleep, taking care of common health problems, and other steps for a healthy brain.

Get more time to make a personalized care plan.

Getting an early diagnosis can help you and your family to make a plan for the future. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease get worse over time. By planning early, you can prepare for how you, your family, and your doctors will handle these symptoms. This could include setting daily routines and check-ins. It could mean finding family or friends to provide care, hiring professional caregivers, or doing both. You can also plan for where you will live in the later stages of the disease.

Get access to care resources.

An early diagnosis can help you to get access to different kinds of resources. There are many support groups, care services, and online communities just for people with Alzheimer’s and their families. This includes local organizations in most areas across the country. With a diagnosis, you can connect with others, share your story, and learn more about how to best manage Alzheimer’s. You can also become an advocate for others with Alzheimer’s.

Handle legal and financial matters early.

When you get an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, you can begin legal planning for your care, your finances, and other important decisions. Doing this early makes sure your decisions and wishes are clear. As Alzheimer’s symptoms get worse, it could become difficult to make these decisions later on. If you start early, you can also choose who you want to make decisions on your behalf when you no longer can.4

Give loved ones and caregivers more time to learn about Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s can be difficult and confusing for everyone involved. Getting an early diagnosis gives caregivers, family, and friends more time to figure out how to best support their loved one.

Know what is causing symptoms.

An Alzheimer’s diagnosis will let you and your family know what is causing symptoms. This can help you to understand and plan for changes to memory, thinking, and behavior.1 You can check our tips for the steps towards diagnosis for help with the diagnosis process.

Take steps for brain health.

If you or a loved one has Alzheimer’s, there are steps you can take to support brain health and everyday activities, while slowing down cognitive decline.2,3 Check out our fact sheets on healthy diet, exercise, sleep, taking care of common health problems, and other steps for a healthy brain.

Get more time to make a personalized care plan.

Getting an early diagnosis can help you and your family to make a plan for the future. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease get worse over time. By planning early, you can prepare for how you, your family, and your doctors will handle these symptoms. This could include setting daily routines and check-ins. It could mean finding family or friends to provide care, hiring professional caregivers, or doing both. You can also plan for where you will live in the later stages of the disease.

Get access to care resources.

An early diagnosis can help you to get access to different kinds of resources. There are many support groups, care services, and online communities just for people with Alzheimer’s and their families. This includes local organizations in most areas across the country. With a diagnosis, you can connect with others, share your story, and learn more about how to best manage Alzheimer’s. You can also become an advocate for others with Alzheimer’s.

Handle legal and financial matters early.

When you get an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, you can begin legal planning for your care, your finances, and other important decisions. Doing this early makes sure your decisions and wishes are clear. As Alzheimer’s symptoms get worse, it could become difficult to make these decisions later on. If you start early, you can also choose who you want to make decisions on your behalf when you no longer can.4

Give loved ones and caregivers more time to learn about Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s can be difficult and confusing for everyone involved. Getting an early diagnosis gives caregivers, family, and friends more time to figure out how to best support their loved one.