Educate yourself about the disease. A variety of valuable information around Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses can be found on our website at www.alzfdn.org. Support groups, educational workshops, and utilizing community resources and professionals will also increase your knowledge of the disease and what to expect.
Build your skills. Key skills for any care partner includes communication, understanding safety considerations, understanding behaviors, and managing activities of daily living.
Develop empathy. It’s important to gain understanding of what it is like to be a person living with dementia, experiencing this loss, while recognizing your own losses. Manage your expectations of your loved one and remain patient with the disease.
Avoid caregiver burnout. Make time for yourself! Seek support, eat well, get sleep, exercise, and focus on you!
Support is critical. Seek support from family, friends, and medical and mental health professionals. They can assist you when things get tough.
Stay active & engaged. Be mindful of what brings your loved one pleasure to maintain an active and meaningful life, whether this be through exercise, entertainment, music, or the arts.
Advocate. Be involved in your loved one’s medical care. Know who is a part of the care team, ask questions, express concerns, and discuss treatment options.
Be prepared. Take care of financial, legal, and long term care planning issues. Try to involve your loved one in decision making if they are still capable, and consider their wishes related to future care and end of life issues.
Don’t forget to connect. Kindness, humor, and creativity are essential parts of caregiving. Hugs, gentle touch, and compassion will help your loved one feel connected and loved.
Stay positive. Focus on the capabilities and strengths that remain with your loved one and enjoy your relationship while you are still together.
Reach out for care! Connecting can make all the difference.