I'm Another Title
The Alzheimer's Association
Perhaps the most extensive resource available to caregivers, the Alzheimer's Association website provides helpful information for early-stage, middle-stage, or late-stage caregiving. Each of the links below connect to tools within the Alzheimer's Association.
> Call the 24/7 helpline at 1.800.272.3900
> Discover life after diagnosis.
> Create a game plan for the day.
The 36-Hour Day
A Family Guide to Caring for Persons With Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementing Illnesses, and Memory Loss in Later Life
by Nancy L. Mace, M.A. and Peter V. Rabins, M.D., M.P.H.
You are probably busier than ever — and the extra time and energy required to care for your loved one with Alzheimer's disease (AD) can be a real challenge. To provide education and support, we've listed the following caregiving resources designed specifically for you.
The Caregiver Corner
Remember that your health and well-being are a priority too. Click here to read more about being a healthy caregiver — eating well, staying active, and managing stress.
It's the book that has helped over half a million families. When someone in your family suffers from Alzheimer's disease or other related memory loss diseases, both you and your loved one face immense challenges. For over twenty years, this book has been the trusted "bible" for families affected by dementia disorders. Now thoroughly revised and updated, this guide provides all the practical and specific advice you need to make care easier, improve quality of life, and life the whole family's spirit. It features the latest medical research and news on current delivery of care, with new appendices including website and association listings. Comprehensive and compassionate, The 36-Hour Day is the only guide you need to help your family through this difficult time.
Keeping active is essential for people with Alzheimer's disease. As Alzheimer's progresses, habits and routines may be neglected and forgotten. Activities can help reconnect the person to daily life. Playing games, going on outings, participating in hobbies, and exercising can help the Alzheimer's patient feel more vital. At the same time, these activities can provide benefits to the caregiver. They can give you something to do with your loved one while helping keep him or her connected to the world.
Guidelines for choosing therapeutic activities:
- Individualize activities to draw on past interests or skills
- Choose activities that recall a person's former occupation
- Stimulate the five senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell)
- Select intergenerational activities
- Keep activities short
- Go to a sporting event.
- Visit the zoo.
- Pick fruit at a nearby orchard or farm.
- Go bowling.
- Tour an art museum.
- Fly a kite.
- Find a book at the library.
- Visit family or friends.
- Go to a craft show.
- Press flowers or leaves.
- Make a birdfeeder.
- Play with clay or Play-Doh.
- Sing a song.
- Send greeting cards.
- Play a musical instrument.
- Go to a concert.
- Listen to popular music of the past.
- Walk a nature trail.
- Take care of a garden.
- Collect sea shells.
- Feed ducks or squirrels.
- Help with laundry.
- Wash fruits and vegetables.
- Care for houseplants.
- Talk about historical events.
- Find countries on a globe.
- Read stories.
- Play word games.
- Do a puzzle.
- Celebrate a birthday.
- Take pictures.
- Talk about childhood.
- Watch old movies.
- Celebrate a holiday.
The activities listed here focus on improving abilities like memory, abstract thinking, listening skills, motor skills, sensory perception, focusing ability, communication skills, and decision-making.
To find useful brain games and memory training, go to Luminosity, a tool that assists in clearer and quicker thinking, faster problem-solving skills, increased alertness, better concentration, and sharper memory.
I'm Another Title
Reading about similar experiences can be a valuable way to connect with other caregivers. Click the link below to read Katie's journey -- lessons she's learned while taking care of Mike, who is "disappearing little by little."
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) provides valuable resources and caregiving tip sheets through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Their website is found at www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/topics/caregiving.
Caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease is physically, emotionally, and financially challenging. The demands of day-to-day care, changing family roles, and difficult decisions about placement in a care facility can be hard to handle. Researchers have learned much about Alzheimer's caregiving, and studies are testing new ways to support caregivers.
Becoming well-informed about the disease is one important long-term strategy. Programs that teach families about the various stages of Alzheimer’s and about flexible and practical strategies for dealing with difficult caregiving situations provide vital help to those who care for people with Alzheimer’s.
Good coping skills and a strong support network of family and friends also help caregivers handle the stresses of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. For example, staying physically active has physical and emotional benefits.
Some Alzheimer’s caregivers have found that participating in a support group is a critical lifeline. Support groups allow caregivers to take a break, express concerns, share experiences, get tips, and receive emotional comfort. Many organizations sponsor in-person and online support groups , including groups for people with early-stage Alzheimer’s and their families. Support networks can be especially valuable when caregivers face the difficult decision of whether and when to place a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Caregiving Tip Sheets and Resource Lists:
Legal and Financial Issues
Middle- and Late-Stage Care