Alzheimer’s Caregivers Showing Love [It’s World Alzheimer’s Month]

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It’s World Alzheimer’s Month!  Playing ball with your dad, or  reading with your mom are American traditions of youth. What happens when those memories are lost, possibly forever? This is the reality for millions today whose parents are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (Alzheimer’s, or AD). It is also an emotional experience for other caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s.   In fact, every 67 seconds, a loved one in the United States is diagnosed with this devastating condition.1    

Today, 60 percent of family members provide care for an aging parent.2 Children, whether young or old, don’t anticipate the time, financial and emotional burdens of taking care of their parents with Alzheimer’s. But the unconditional love that they experienced when their parents were younger and healthier drives them to ensure the health and well-being of their aging parents.

November is also National Family Caregivers Month,  as the importance of family caregivers has gained recognition over the years, and  grew into an awareness month under the Obama administration.  Caregiving is often a 24-hour a day/7-day a week job. In other words. caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s can be non-stop.  There are more than 65 million Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers in the United States, so remember:

  • Caregiving work is very valuable, and very often unpaid.
  • There are support groups on the web/online so they are not alone.
  • Caregiving can be costly, click here for video interview.
  • Caregivers need to care for themselves first, and keep up with their health check-ups. Click here for article on how caregivers can care for themselves first.
  • They need to occasionally take a break.  There are services they can use, such as Respite Care, which is short-term care that can be for just a few hours or a few weeks. There is also Adult daycare.

It’s important to consider the sacrifices caregivers make, because their caregiving can result in high emotional stress and even depression. Below are tips to share with others about the different stages of AD to understand what to expect moving forward1

·         Don’t take AD behavioral changes personally, as this is associated with the nature of the disease3

·         Remain patient and calm and manage stress during difficult times3, 4

·         Ask your parent’s doctor questions about their condition, and the different treatment options available5

For additional resources and tips, please visit AlzheimersUnconditionalLove.com or one of the following: American Alzheimer’s Association downloads/facts_figures_2015.pdf. Accessed on May 1, 2015.

2 Aging Care. State of Caregiving Report. Available at http://www.agingcare.com/Articles/state-of-caregiving-2015-report-177710.htm. Accessed on May 1, 2015.

3 Alzheimer’s Association. Treatments for Behavior. Available at http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_treatments_for_behavior.asp#behaviors. Accessed on May 1, 2015.

4 Alzheimer’s Association. Five Tips to Help You Cope. Available at http://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-healthy-caregiver.asp. Accessed on May 1, 2015.

5 Alzheimer’s Unconditional Love. Unconditional Love. Available at http://alzheimersunconditionallove.com/. Accessed on May 1, 2015.

Click below for additional  information about caregiving for Alzheimer’s and other conditions associated with dementia on the Health Power website, including:

Caregiving for the Aging

Caring for Our Parents and Grandparents

Special Challenges of Caregiving for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

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Remember the Health Power Motto: Knowledge + Action = Power!®

 

 

 

 

 

 

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