Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s can have significant physical, emotional, and financial costs.
The demands of day-to-day care, changes in family roles, and decisions about placement in a memory care facility can be difficult. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) supports efforts to evaluate programs, strategies, approaches, and other research to improve the quality of care and life for those living with dementia and their 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 ways to deal with difficult behaviors and other caregiving challenges can help.
Good coping skills, a strong support network, and respite care are other things that may help caregivers handle the stress of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. For example, staying physically active provides physical and emotional benefits.
Some caregivers have found that joining a support group is a critical lifeline. Many organizations sponsor in-person and online support groups, including groups for people with early-stage Alzheimer’s and their families. These support groups enable caregivers to find respite, express concerns, share experiences, get tips, and receive emotional comfort.
A great resource is the Alzheimer’s Association, Chicago Chapter website: https://www.alz.org/illinois