You are a caregiver. While many patients retain their independence for a period of time after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, some need more help with daily activities. Regardless of how long you’ve been dealing with Alzheimer’s disease or to what degree, in some way your life and responsibilities have also been affected - physically, emotionally, or economically.
The role you have taken on is not an easy one. However, the following tips offer some guidance on how to maintain and improve your caregiving relationship:
The most effective caregiver is well-informed, prepared, and ASKS for help and support from all resources that are available.
There are some unique challenges that a patient with Alzheimer’s disease confronts. First, the disease is quite variable. There may be times when the patient can function almost normally and then other times in which the patient may be very dependent. This is a natural part of the disease. Also, the patient’s response to medications may fluctuate. There is a natural tendency for a caregiver to suspect that the patient might be unnecessarily demanding or manipulative. The caregiver may see the patient functioning normally but then assume that the patient should always be able to function normally.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder. While medications can provide some relief of symptoms, they do not stop the progression of the disease.
Depression is very much a part of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s symptoms and disability can be made worse by depression, so it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression and help your loved one seek treatment promptly.
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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
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