Vice president for the non-profit organization, Beth Kallmyer estimates that in this way many people do not get the chance of making decisions concerning their lives by not revealing the problems ahead connected with the condition.
Alzheimer’ disease is a condition that gradually deteriorates the memory and destroys other mental functions. Currently it is sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. with more than 5.3 million Americans having to face the condition, for which there is no cure, unfortunately.
Surveys have raised public awareness that some doctors avoid talking about the diagnosis for various reasons including uncertainty about the condition or fear of how patients will respond to the news.
Only 45 percent of the patients who were listed as suffering from Alzheimer’s are actually aware of their diagnosis. In contrast, almost 90 percent of patients with cardiovascular disease or colorectal, breast or prostate cancer, and 72 percent suffering of Parkinson’s disease said their doctors had told them of their illnesses.
Not only Alzheimer’s patients, but also caregivers are often kept in the dark as well. A mere 53 percent of them knew about the diagnosis, and a mere 33 percent of the patients who answered themselves said they were aware of their condition.
Diagnosing Alzheimer’s in its earlier stages provides the patient with better chances of leading active lives. Left in the dark by their doctors, patients can feel lost and helpless. Knowing what is happening to you gives a person ample chance to understand its progress and make those decisions best suited in light of diagnosis.