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Information for Alzheimer's Caregivers

If you are caring for someone with Alzheimer's, knowledge is the key to effectively coping with the disease. Learn how to take care of yourself, handle day-to-day challenges, enhance communication with your loved one, manage challenging behaviors, and plan for the future.
  1. Behavior Management (42)
  2. Communication (16)
  3. Coping, Stress, and Burnout (23)
  4. Late-Stage Alzheimer's (21)

The Benefits of Consistent Caregivers for People with Dementia
Is your loved one in a facility such as a nursing home or assisted living? In some facilities, nurse aides have a different assignment every day, while in others, the rotation of staff is much less frequent. What's behind the idea of consistent caregivers for people with dementia, and does it really matter?

Ideas for Meaningful Activities for People with Dementia
For those with dementia, there's more to activities than just bingo. Consider some of these practical options for mental stimulation and social interaction.

Eight Reasons Why Meaningful Activities Are Important for People with Dementia
Curious about the benefits of activities for people with Alzheimer's or another dementia? Learn eight reasons why it's so important to find meaningful activities for your loved ones or patients.

Coping with Grief and Anger When a Loved One Is Diagnosed with Alzheimer's
If your family member has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's or another dementia, you might be experiencing several reactions, including grief and anger. Acknowledging those emotions is important in learning how to cope with the changes Alzheimer's brings.

Recognizing Loneliness and Boredom as a Problem for People with Dementia
Have you ever watched someone with dementia? Were they engaged in an interesting project or were they just sitting there? Boredom and loneliness are common among people with dementia, but there are things we can do to help.

Winter Weather Safety for People with Dementia
Cold weather brings beauty and danger, especially if you have a loved one with dementia. Learning about these risks and tips can increase the safety of your family member.

Responding to Hallucinations in Lewy Body Dementia
Hallucinations can occur in several types of dementia, but people with Lewy body dementia are particularly prone to experience repetitive hallucinations. Learn more about this phenomenon, including some tips for responding to and treating hallucinations in Lewy body dementia.

How to React When Someone Tells You that They Have Alzheimer’s Disease
If you're ever in the situation where someone discloses a recent diagnosis of Alzheimer's to you, be prepared with how to react so that you can support them well.

7 Tips on Celebrating the Holidays in a Nursing Home
Find out how you can help your loved one enjoy the holidays even if she's hospitalized or living in a nursing home.

An Interview with Margie: Alzheimer's From a Daughter's View (Part 1)
A reader recounts her journey along side of her mother who had Alzheimer's disease. Here's the first part of her interview where she shares some memories about her mother and also talks about her symptoms and diagnosis.

An Interview with Margie: Alzheimer's From a Daughter's View (Part 2)
An interview with a reader sheds light on coping with the effects of Alzheimer's disease, and what she found to be supportive during this journey. She also mentions her experience with a medication used to treat her mother's Alzheimer's.

What Is Person-Centered Care in Dementia?
Learn what person-centered care is, how it's different from a traditional medical model of care, and how it can improved the quality of life for people with dementia and their caregivers.

Tough Questions about Medications for People with Dementia
Here's a common scenario of how loved ones with dementia often end up on medications that they might not currently need.

An Interview with Margie: Alzheimer's From a Daughter's View (Part 3)
A daughter shares her struggle with choosing to place her mother in a nursing home as her Alzheimer's progressed. She has chosen to tell others her story so that you will know you are not alone as you cope with the effects of Alzheimer's.

Disaster Planning for People with Dementia
Are you prepared if an emergency strikes? Here are 9 things to consider as you plan ahead and care for a loved one with dementia.

How Can You Improve Quality of Life for Someone Who Has Alzheimer's Disease?
Have you ever questioned what you can do to improve the quality of life for someone with dementia? Try these tips.

5 Ways to Help a Loved One With Dementia Adjust to a Nursing Home
Are you concerned about how to transition your family member with Alzheimer's to a nursing home? Here are 5 suggestions to facilitate a positive adjustment.

Tips to Prevent Wandering in Alzheimer's Disease
Restlessness and wandering are frequent behaviors in Alzheimer's. Often, however, there are specific reasons why people attempt to wander, as well as environmental strategies you can use to discourage elopement. Identifying the triggers that cause wandering can help minimize this behavior for your loved one.

Making a Disaster Kit for Persons with Dementia
Prepare for the unexpected. Here's what you should pack in an emergency kit if you have a family member with Alzheimer's or another kind of dementia.

How to Respond to Wandering Attempts in Alzheimer's
Is your family member or friend with dementia getting more restless and trying to wander away from home? Your goal is to keep him safe and calm him down, but how do you do that? Here are 5 strategies to remember as you respond to his attempts to leave.

What to Do if Your Loved One Is Missing
If your loved one is confused and has wandered away, use these 11 tips to search for her.

Coping With Challenging Behaviors in Alzheimer’s
Changing the caregiver's approach to challenging behavior in Alzheimer's disease can improve coping and quality of life for both those with Alzheimer's and their loved ones. Rather than first resorting to medication to handle agitation or aggression in Alzheimer's, try these eight practical tips.

The Impact of Stress on Mental Facility
Stress can be a major contributor to problems with attention, memory, and concentration, and a whole host of chemical and hormonal changes are involved in this connection.

Driving and Alzheimer's Disease
This article addresses driving safety in Alzheimer's disease, including warning signs that a person should stop driving.

Dealing With the Grief of a Loved One's Alzheimer's Diagnosis
This article describes the difficult situation of coping with the grief of a loved one's Alzheimer's diagnosis.

How an Economic Downturn Affects Family Caregiving
A survey by UnitedHealthcare and the National Alliance for Caregiving indicates that caregivers have been severely affected by the economic downturn from April 2008 - April 2009.

What is the Economic Value of Caregiving?
AARP recently released a comprehensive report on the economic value of caregiving. I found it so interesting that I wanted to share some of its highlights with you.

Gift Ideas for People with Alzheimer's and Their Caregivers
Are you at a loss when people ask for gift ideas for you and your care recipient? Make it easy for people with these simple guidelines.

How to Help Those with Alzheimer’s Enjoy the Holiday Season
While people with Alzheimer's disease often enjoy the holiday season, those with early-stage Alzheimer's might feel a special sense of loss during this time, and those in the middle or later stages could become confused and overwhelmed by the influx of people and boisterous celebrations. Here are three ways to help your loved one enjoy the holiday season.

Rita, Alzheimer's, and Me - A Caregiver's Story of Alzheimer's Disease
Through narrative and pictures, family caregiver Don Franklin describes his journey as a caregiver for his wife, Rita, who died of Alzheimer's disease on August 2, 2008.

Coping With a Financial Crisis
If you're a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia, it's natural to be concerned about the current financial crisis. You're not alone in wondering how you'll continue to be able to afford Alzheimer's care and handle other regular expenses. Find out how to keep your cool during difficult financial times.

Who Are Today's Caregivers?
Who are today's caregivers? At the 2008 Rocky Mountain Geriatrics Conference, Richard Schulz, Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine shared important facts about today's family caregivers.

Are Alzheimer's Caregivers Different from Other Kinds of Caregivers?
Are Alzheimer's caregivers different from other kinds of caregivers? At the 2008 Rocky Mountain Geriatrics Conference, Richard Schulz, Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine discussed how Alzheimer's and other kinds of dementia affect caregivers in unique ways.

Caregiver Transitions
Family caregivers go through several caregiver transitions as loved ones become more ill. At the 2008 Rocky Mountain Geriatrics Conference, Richard Schulz, Ph.D. described the most common caregiver transitions, including which one is the most difficult for family caregivers.

Why Caregivers Need Respite
The emotional and physical demands of caregiving make it hard to be a caregiver 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Without respite -- a temporary break from the demands of caregiving -- you may be more susceptible to the effects of caregiver stress. Learn why you need respite and where to find respite care for your loved one.

Anticipatory Grief and Loss - A Normal Aspect of Caregiving During Alzheimer's
Many caregivers state that the hardest part of caregiving is not the practical side -- instead, it's the grief and loss that they feel, even while their loved ones are still alive. Learn how to work through grief and loss while you care for someone with Alzheimer's.

Understanding the Brain-Behavior Relationship
The key to effective caregiving is understanding the relationship between the brain and behavior. Once we understand this relationship, we can approach caregiving with compassion and courage. Consider these 10 tips your credo for being an Alzheimer's caregiver.

Talking to Children About Alzheimer's Disease
When a grandparent or other loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, it can be the children of the family who are most affected. Try these tips and strategies when talking to children about Alzheimer's disease.

How to Have a Family Meeting
Making decisions about Alzheimer's care can be difficult -- especially when several people are involved. Families caring for someone with the disease can reduce conflict and stress by making decisions about Alzheimer's care for their loved one together shortly after the diagnosis.

What kinds of activities are appropriate for people with Alzheimer's?
Participating in activities with your loved one is good for both of you, both physically and emotionally. It helps you continue to share enjoyable experiences together, and it can reduce the frequency of difficult behaviors such as agitation and wandering.

Making Mealtimes Easier for Everyone
Because Alzheimer's affects the brain in multiple ways, a variety of eating problems can result, creating challenges for both you and the person you're providing with care. The key to making mealtimes easier is to understand how Alzheimer's affects eating behaviors and to approach mealtimes with patience, planning, and flexibility.

Pack An Alzheimer's Toolkit When Traveling
Traveling can be challenging when your loved one has Alzheimer's. To make the trip go more smoothly, pack this toolkit and keep it with you, whether you travel by plane, train, or motor vehicle.

Role Reversal: When You Have to Parent Your Parents
When disease, illness or simply age changes the way adult children interact with their parents, learn some ways of coping with this role and relationship change.

Balancing Cargiving and Family: Tips for Success
Are you part of the sandwich generation- caring for both your children and your parents? Here are some practical tips on maintaining your sanity and balancing these roles.

Tips for Summer Safety with Dementia
Review these tips to keep your loved one with Alzheimer's disease safe in the heat of the summer.

"Caring For Your Parents" Caregiver's Handbook
This online handbook was created in conjunction with the PBS program, "Caring for Your Parents." It includes topics such as how to talk to parents about their increasing needs, how to find and access services, and the importance of caring for the caregiver.

Your Caregiving Journey -- Free Internet Talk Radio Show
Denise Brown started her own free internet talk show on BlogTalkRadio called Your Caregiving Journey. Each week she focuses on a different caregiving topic; listeners can participate during the shows or tune in later and listen to archives.

Caring for a Loved One With Alzheimer's Disease
This free online training video was created to help family caregivers find and access community resources, develop realistic expectations for oneself and loved ones, and provide quality Alzheimer's care as well as caregiver self-care.

Eating and Alzheimer's
Helping your loved one with eating and nutrition are extremely important, both in terms of maintaining good heath and avoiding agitation and other difficult behaviors. Practical strategies for helping a person with Alzheimer's eat and enjoy meals will be provided.

Dressing and Alzheimer's
Helping your loved one with dressing is an important way to preserve dignity and feelings of being respected. Due to both memory loss and apraxia, choosing and putting on clothing can be difficult for a person with Alzheimer's disease. Strategies and tips will be presented to help your loved one maintain her appearance and maximize her self-esteem.

Grooming and Alzheimer's
Helping your loved one with grooming is an important way to maximize self-esteem and quality of life. Due to both memory loss and apraxia, abilities often taken for granted such as combing hair and brushing teeth may be lost. Strategies and tips will be presented to ensure that grooming as a pleasurable activity is maintained in Alzheimer's disease as long as possible.

Bathing and Alzheimer's
Helping your loved one with bathing is arguably the most challenging aspects of Alzheimer's caregiving. Not only does it require skill and...

Bathing and Alzheimer's Disease - Helping with Bathing and Alzheimer's Disease
Helping your loved one with bathing is arguably the most challenging aspect of Alzheimer's caregiving. Not only does it require skill and sensitivity, but it also is commonly associated with fear, anxiety, agitation and even aggression. These strategies and tips may help you and your loved one ensure the bathing process goes smoothly.

Dressing and Alzheimer's Disease - Helping with Dressing and Alzheimer's Disease
Helping your loved one with dressing is an important way to preserve dignity and feelings of being respected. Due to both memory loss and apraxia, choosing and putting on clothing can be difficult for a person with Alzheimer's disease.

Grooming and Alzheimer's Disease - Helping with Grooming and Alzheimer's Disease
Activities such as combing hair, shaving, and applying makeup can easily be taken for granted when you are healthy, but when they are impacted from either memory loss or apraxia, they can become more challenging than you would ever imagine.

Eating and Alzheimer's Disease - Helping with Eating and Alzheimer's Disease
Not only should eating be a pleasurable experience for your loved one with Alzheimer's disease, it should also be an opportunity to reminisce, to enjoy each other's company, and to relish in your loved one's enjoyment of a good meal. People with late-stage Alzheimer's disease are at particular risk for malnutrition.

Medication Safety and Alzheimer's
Helping your loved one with their medications is one of the more important aspects of Alzheimer's caregiving. While proper, prudent use of medications may help your loved one's quality of life and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and medical problems, they can have the opposite effects when used improperly or unsafely. These strategies and...

Ways to Help Your Loved One With Alzheimer's
Helping your loved one with Alzheimer's to bathe, dress, eat, groom, and take medications safely are tasks that make up the core of being an Alzheimer's caregiver. These five pieces all describe strategies and tips to help ease the burden on you and your loved one during these critical activities of daily living. Whether it's deciding to do a...

Caregiver Self-Advocacy: Four Messages to Live By
The National Family Caregivers Association provides four messages to inspire caregivers to take care of themselves and ask for the help they need.

So Far Away: Twenty Questions for Long-Distance Caregivers
Are you caring for a loved one who lives far away? Take a look at So Far Away: Twenty Questions for Long-Distance Caregivers, a publication by the National Institute on Aging that provides helpful guidelines for those providing care across the miles.

ClinicalTrials.gov - The Best Place to Find Research Studies
A service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, this database of clinical studies -- including studies about Alzheimer's causes and treatments -- is searchable by disease and geographic location.

Seeing Life through the Lens of Dementia
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to have Alzheimer's disease? Take a few moments to see and feel what life might be like if you had dementia.

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