Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease at Age 62

“I was in the prime of my career…terminated from my position..it was very devastating.”

This week we are blessed with a first hand account from someone as they are currently dealing with a diagnosis of younger onset Alzheimer’s disease. We continue the radio show transcription from The Sound of Ideas you can start from the beginning by clicking HERE. We get to hear the story of a 60 year old lady who was in the prime of her career when she was blind sided by a Mild Cognitive Impairment diagnosis. Read on to discover what happened next…

Younger onset Alzheiemr's disease

Mike McIntyre

We are inviting now to the program, Joan Euronus, she lives in Hudson and is a younger onset Alzheimer’s patient. We want to get the perspective of somebody who is actually struggling. That was a word that Julianne Moore used the other day, its about struggling not necessarily suffering with the disease. Joan welcome to the program we appreciate you making time for us.

Joan

Thank you.

Mike McIntyre

So let me ask you a little bit about your case, you were diagnosed at what age?

Joan

I was diagnosed at the age of 62.

Mike McIntyre

Which is young.

Joan

Right, but I was the first to notice many problems myself. I began having some memory issues in my late 50’s and at the age of 60 I went to my physician and told her of my concerns she sent me to a neurologist who at that time at the age of 60 diagnosed me with mild cognitive impairment and had also told me that it could be likely within two years to develop Alzheimer’s disease. At the age of 62, 2 years later, I was diagnosed with younger onset early stage Alzheimer’s.

Mike McIntyre

Can I ask your age today?

Joan

I am 66.

Mike McIntyre

You have lived with this diagnosis for 4 years tell me a little bit about ow it impacts you on a daily basis. Are they memory issues, confusion issues?

Joan

Well … both. I have been working in the healthcare field for over 20 years and the issue started with being general manager of a hospice I was responsible for the entire operation of the program. Hiring the staff, growth, PNL, and budgeting. It was becoming harder for me, it took me a little longer to accomplish those goals. What I started doing was using more post it notes.

Remember, Memory test

I was getting lost with directions and learning new programs at work. Those have progressed so I was terminated from my position in April 2011 and it was very devastating. I was in the prime of my career being general manager of a hospice. I had thought I would work until I retired therefor having to go onto disability which thank goodness I did receive that through the Medicare services. I had no other coverage of insurance, I was not eligible for Medicare, I was too young so I went onto my husbands insurance. He was planning on retiring but because of my “not able to work,” he had to continue to work. The struggle for me is things that have now changed, people will say “Do you remember when we did this 5-6 years ago and I will say no. With a little prompting and a little coaching I will remember it. For instance at Christmas time I said goodbye to my son-in-law and instead of saying merry Christmas I said happy birthday. I catch myself and these are signs of “will this happen,” where at some point in time will I not remember to say oh its Christmas its not his birthday.

It is very hard, its a very hard struggle but it is suffering at the same time. Its suffering in that the suffering that I think of for my husband who is going to be and is my caregiver, how hard its going to be. My mom passed away of Alzheimer’s, my mom and dad were married 69 years and my dad was her sole caregiver. I saw the devastation the disease put on him and ultimately caused him his death that is a concern. There is not anything at this point I can do for myself but I have so much faith and hope in the Alzheimer’s Associations research that at some point they will find me a cure and a treatment that stops the progression. But this takes a lot of research and a lot of funding but I still have hope, if not for myself, for the many others who will be subjected to this devastating disease.

MIND Diet Memory Loss

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