There are millions of Americans who have Alzheimer’s disease. And with this, there are the millions who are unpaid caregivers for a person with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. The health and emotional stability of people who care for Alzheimer’s patients directly affects the patients themselves, and thus should be an important part of the patients’ care plans.
Protect your valuables, and hide dangerous or toxic products from the person. Take some time to:
You can also create diversions. Try these tips:
If the behaviors do not improve, talk to the doctor. Medications can be adjusted or changed.
The daily routine of caring for a chronically ill person can put tremendous physical and emotional strain on caregivers, particularly for families who have assumed care responsibilities more recently. Here are some tips on coping with the stress that may come with caring for someone with Alzheimer's:
The importance of easing the mental and physical burdens of those who care for Alzheimer’s patients cannot be underestimated, as the health of Alzheimer’s patients is closely related to the health of their caregivers. But your health is important too. So be sure to take care of yourself as you care for others.
2014 Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures. Alzheimer’s Association website. Available at: http://www.alz.org/downloads/Facts_Figures_2014.pdf. Published 2014. Accessed March 12, 2015.
Alzheimer dementia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 23, 2015. Accessed March 12, 2015.
Alzheimer's caregiving tips: Rummaging and hiding things. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/sites/default/files/Alzheimers_Caregiving_Tips_Rummaging_and_Hiding_Things.pdf. Accessed March 12, 2015.
Caregiver center. Alzheimer’s Association website. Available at: http://www.alz.org/care/overview.asp. Accessed March 12, 2015.
Eating. Alzheimer's Association website. Available at: http://www.alz.org/Resources/FactSheets/FSEating.pdf. Accessed March 12, 2015.
Gaugler JE, Kane RL, et al. The effects of duration of caregiving on institutionalization. Gerontologist. 2005;45(1):78-89.
Gonyea JG, O'Connor MK, et al. Project CARE: A randomized controlled trial of a behavioral intervention group for Alzheimer's disease caregivers. Gerontologist. 2006;46(6):827-832.
Last reviewed March 2015 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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