Alzheimer's Disease Caregiver Support
Caring for a spouse, relative or friend with Alzheimers can be bewildering. You may struggle at times to cope but you are not alone. According to the National Institute on Aging there are four million people in the US with Alzheimers disease and there is help available for you.
As early as possible after diagnosis, when the person is still able to take part in a discussion, begin planning for the future by putting financial and legal documents in order. Ask your loved one about decision-making when they can no longer do it themselves. Determine what services are covered by health insurance and Medicare. Talk to your doctor about Alzheimer's treatments for now and later on. Seek out all the professional support you can.
Depending on your circumstances investigate adult day care, nursing homes or home care to help with the physical tasks of care giving. These services allow a break from what can be a tiring and stressful routine. See if you can also smooth this routine by carrying out tasks such as bathing or feeding at the times of day when your loved one is less confused or more cooperative. Community organizations can teach you these tasks so you can help your loved one without causing undue stress.
Contact organizations such as the Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center for more information (www.alzheimers.nia.nih.gov). Your Alzheimers care giving role may last a long time and you should remember to also look after yourself. Reach out to available friends and relatives and attend a support group, online or in person. Alzheimers care giving requires patience, flexibility and creativity and a support group can help solve problems and let you communicate your feelings. Simply talking to