Caregiver Support

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Last week, the Alzheimer’s Association announced new research that indicates Alzheimer’s disease affects more women than men. The reason is two-fold: more women suffer from the disease themselves, and more women serve as caregivers to loved ones with the disease. With more than 5 million Americans already diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and new diagnoses predicted to triple by 2050, it is becoming increasingly important to raise awareness about the disease and to provide support to the families and caregivers of Holding Hands with Elderly PatientAlzheimer’s patients.

Regardless of your gender, or whether you are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or you know someone who is, here are 10 tips for family caregivers (from Caregiver Action Network):

  • Seek support from other caregivers.  You are not alone!  Click here to find a support group near you.
  • Take care of your own health so that you can be strong enough to take care of your loved one.
  • Accept (and request) offers of help; suggest specific things people can do to help you.
  • Learn how to communicate effectively with doctors.
  • Take respite breaks often — care-giving is hard work!
  • Watch out for signs of depression and don’t delay in getting professional help when you need it.
  • Be open to new technologies that can help you care for your loved one.
  • Organize medical information so that it’s up to date and easy to find.
  • Make sure legal and financial documents are in order.
  • Give yourself credit for doing the best you can in one of the toughest jobs there is!

Many more resources for caregivers are available through the Alzheimer’s Association.

-Katie Huffman

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