Mike Hughbanks may not fit the image you have of someone with Alzheimer's disease, but a few years ago at the age of 58 he received that diagnosis.
Hughbanks reminds people they are more than the disease, "you know what I've been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, but I'm still Mike."
"Mike is really, I feel like, the face of Alzheimer's. It's not the advanced case of the older person in the nursing home," said his wife Debra. She and Mike blog about their experiences with the disease in hopes of tearing down some of the stigmas associated with it.
Diane Hendricks is a social worker at Nebraska Medicine. She consults with the Alzheimer's Association and echoes that opinion, "I always say not to compare the knowledge that we knew about dementia when our grandparents had it because we've come a long way."
She helps families and patients through their needs and concerns by addressing the 10 Steps to Take Following an Alzheimer's Diagnosis. "We say from here on out even though you've come in and received the information about your test results, diagnosis, we want you to still live your best life."
Mike Hughbanks told us, "I'm used to be around people and I thought, you know, I'm not going to sit home and die."
There are a number of resources available through the Alzheimer's Association.
They even have a 24/7 Helpline for a patient or caregiver who may need support or have concerns, 800.272.3900.