Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. As the disease progresses, it affects the person with Alzheimer’s and those who care for them. Alzheimer’s can be one of the toughest challenges a family faces.
You can get help from many sources, including healthcare providers, community organizations, online support groups, and more.
Prepare for caregiving.
As a caregiver, you may not be able to prevent your loved one from developing Alzheimer’s disease, but you can prepare for the future. Here are some things that you should do:
- Plan ahead. Consider what might happen after your loved one can no longer live alone. Then, consider how you would feel about each option and choose one that makes sense for everyone involved.
- Be prepared to make difficult decisions. You will probably need to make many difficult decisions as a caregiver, such as whether or not it is safe for your loved one to drive, who will take care of them at night when they need assistance getting up and going back to bed and what kinds of medication they should take to treat his symptoms effectively without causing too much discomfort (or worse). It’s OK if these choices cause stress on both sides; remember that they’re necessary so everyone involved is safe.
- Learn about the disease. You can learn more about Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia by talking to your doctor, visiting a local library or bookstore, and searching online.
- Get help from a professional. If you live in an area with Alzheimer’s Association chapters, contact them for free support services such as educational workshops and caregiver support groups for people caring for someone with the disease.
- Talk to other caregivers. You can learn from others who have already walked this path — both positive and negative. In addition, some caregivers may be willing to share their mistakes so they won’t be repeated.
- Look for support groups where you live or online if there aren’t any available near where you live. However, you would still like some extra guidance on how…