Alzheimers Caregiver:
The Unsung Hero

By M. Chris Wolf, PH.D.

Through the Seasons: An Activity Book for Memory-Challenged Adults and Caregivers

Being an Alzheimers caregiver can be very hard job. The frustration of dealing with a person that is losing their memory and may become disoriented and even angry can cause any person to reach a breaking point. Seeing a loved one go through something so hard is devastating, but caring for them and seeing it happen first hand can be even more difficult.

There are many different tips for an Alzheimer's caregiver that can take some of the stress out of the picture and help put the mind of the caregiver at ease. A few of those techniques include :

Deal With the Diagnosis Head On

Going into denial about the diagnosis will not help anyone, especially the Alzheimers caregiver. It will just waste valuable time that you could be using to help the Alzheimer's sufferer. Dealing with the disease and learning as much as possible about it can be the best way to start and help your loved one. Asking the doctor all of the questions that you are thinking can help put your mind at ease. Also, do as much research as possible. Look at worst and best case situations to get a gauge for what you will be dealing with and what you can look forward to in the future.

Consider a Stress Formula

Join a Support Group

Finding and talking to others that know what you are going through can be one of the best things that you do for yourself. Having an outlet to talk and vent with others may be just what you need so that you do not take out your frustration on your loved one. As an Alzheimers caregiver, you can learn how to help your loved one and hear some success stories that may help with treatment in the future. Being able to get out and meet people that you can laugh, cry and connect with will help take some of the pressure off your shoulders.

Seek the Help of Professionals

Many organizations will go into your loved one's home and help them while you take a break or take care of your own needs. Many of these groups offer services from simple companionship for the Alzheimer's sufferer to helping your loved one feed him or herself. This may be just the break you need to keep yourself level- headed and not become completely overwhelmed by the situation.

Technology Can Help

According to a recent story on the St. Petersburg station Channel 13, wearing an 'EmFinders' bracelet can save the life of a loved one who may have wondered off. Whether it’s a child with autism or a family member with dementia, the tacking device inside the watch can track people. Family just calls 911 and the device is activated. A few minutes later the police know exactly where the person is located and they can be quickly found. The device costs about $200 but has been a life saver. The device is being used at the Rocky River Senior Center in Ohio and in the St Petersburg Bay area as well as other areas around the country.

As an Alzheimers caregiver, there are many things that you can do to help your loved one and help yourself in order to maintain a happy live. The diagnosis does not have to mean the end of the world.

Also see Alzheimer's Disease Research

Caregiver Burden

Caregiving Resources

Elderly Parent at Home

Sundowning: What is it?

Home Instead Senior Care

Handling Stress

Stress Reduction Techniques - For Caregivers

Return from Alzheimers Caregiver to Caregiver Stress


Memory Loss Facts

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