Caregiving is a difficult task, but here are some tips on Practical Caregiving:
- How to care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease and Down Syndrome
- The Alzheimer’s Association offers Tips for Safety Issues such as driving, the home, and the risk of wandering.
- They also offer Effective Ways to Communicate.
- One very difficult task can be taking away a loved ones ability to drive. This website provides suggestions in how to have this difficult conversation. http://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-and-driving.asp
- It is also extremely important to discuss changes that are happening with children or grandchildren. The Alzheimer’s Assocation provides helpful ways to Communicate with your Kids and Teens, as does the The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration
- Additionally, branches of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of American have created the Alzheimer’s Foundation of American for Teens which provides information on Alzheimer’s, ways to cope and different resources and ways to get connected to other individuals.
There is also training and education available for caregivers from the Alzheimer’s Association. This website provides online training as well as “essentiALZ” certification. (Please note that this certification does have a fee.)
The Family Caregiver Alliance provides a wide array of support:
- Caregiver Education provides advice based on different health issues, issues and strategies, webinars, facts and tips, a calendar of classes and events, as well as a way for Caregivers to Connect (https://www.caregiver.org/caregiver-connect)
- Additionally they provide a “Guide to Understanding Dementia Behaviors,” which covers topics such as communication, troubling behavior, wandering, paranoia, and sleeplessness and sundowning, to name a few.
- Also provided is information on Policy and Advocacy.
The National Institute on Aging also provides numerous Fact Sheets for caregivers and those possibly experiencing memory loss with helpful information.
While dementia can not be stopped or cured, there are treatments available to help in slowly the progression of the disease. (Please ask a doctors opinion before taking any medications.)
- The Alzheimer’s Association provides information on different forms of treatment such as medications for memory loss treatments for sleep, questions for your doctor, clinical trials, and possible alternative treatments.
- While medication can be helpful, it is always important to make sure that you are safe while using any sort of treatment. Here are some tips on medication safety.
Financial and Legal Planning
Caring for a loved one, on top of being difficult emotionally, can also be difficult financially. It is important to start planning ahead both financially and legally. The Alzheimer’s Association can assist in helping to find ways to cover costs and help to understand legal matters.
- One of the largest burden can be Paying for Care. The Alzheimer’s Association provides some information on Insurance, Employee Benefits, Retirement Benefits, and other ways to pay for dementia care.
- The Illinois Department on Aging also provides information on a Senior Health Insurance Program, (SHIP) along with all of contact information.
Please see these additional websites for Family Caregivers: