How can caregivers take care of themselves?

Taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do as a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.

Care for your physical health by eating healthy food, exercising as often as you can, and asking for help when you need it.
Join a caregiver support group to connect with others. Look for local services that might be available to you using the search tool at
Make plans with friends and family, keep up with your hobbies, and spend time participating in activities you enjoy.

Get more resources and information for Alzheimer’s caregivers.

Share this information on social media:

Twitter: #Caregivers: Learn about #caring for someone with #Alzheimers and get tips for taking care of yourself: #Alz #NFCMonth

Facebook: Keep your own health on your to-do list while taking care of a person with Alzheimer’s disease. Eat healthy foods, exercise, and get support if you need it. For more caregiving tips and information, check out the National Institute on Aging at NIH:

Dementia Friendly America Illinois Workshop

The Dementia Friendly America Illinois Workshop will be held on Thursday, March 30, 2017, in Springfield, Illinois.  This workshop is part of the process to have the State of Illinois added to the Dementia Friendly America network.

This statewide event that convenes experts and leaders from diverse community sectors throughout Illinois who support the development of dementia friendly communities.

Brief Schedule:

  • 9:30 – 10:00 a.m. – Registration & Continental Breakfast
  • 10:00 a.m. – Workshop begins
  • 11:55 – 12:40 – Box Lunch
  • 3:00 p.m. – Workshop concludes


St. John’s Hospital’s Prairie Heart Institute

Dove Conference Center, 619 E. Mason, Springfield



For further information, please contact ICRN at

You can also find additional community resources at Dementia Friendly America at

Detailed Agenda:


Thursday, March 30, 2017

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

To ensure that those who are living with dementia are guiding and shaping our work, we will follow these guidelines:

·         Those who self-identify as living with dementia will be providing perspectives and reactions throughout our agenda

·         Those who self-identify as living with dementia will be asked to speak first and have first option for speaking when sharing comments

·         We will take multiple breaks and adjust meeting conditions as needed to foster meaningful participation of those living with dementia

  9:30 AM Registration & Continental Breakfast  
10:00 AM




Welcome and Introductions

·         Welcome & Introductions

Video: Dementia Friends

·         Opening Remarks from DFA co-partners


National Association of Area Agencies on Aging


Raj Shah


Karen Messer

Meredith Eisenhart


10:20 AM Panel: Personal Perspective – What is the current experience for individuals & families?  
10:30 AM Illinois Dementia Friendly Landscape

·         Illinois Cognitive Resource Network

·         Alzheimer’s Disease State Plan

·         State Plan on Aging


Raj Shah

Jennifer Martin

Betsy Creamer

11:00 AM Overview of Dementia Friendly America

·         Dementia Friendly America toolkit overview & Dementia Friends

·         Panel: Dementia friendly efforts currently underway in Illinois

–          IL State Senator Linda Bush (D-31st District)

–          Helen Kwan, Government Relations Consultant, Helen Kwan and Associates

–          Melvin Thompson, Executive Director, Endeleo Institute


Olivia Mastry



Greg Kyrouac


11:45 AM Panel: Personal Perspective – What is needed to provide better support to individuals & families?  
12:40 PM


ALL PARTICIPANTS:  Deep Dive for Moving Forward:  


What is needed in our community so that we can better support individuals with dementia and their care partners?

Raj Shah

Darby Morhardt

Greg Kyrouac

Susan Frick

1:10 PM Large Group Debrief All
1:40 PM Panel: Personal Perspective – How can individuals & families be involved in developing solutions?  
1:50 PM ALL PARTICIPANTS:  Next Steps:


How best can we ensure we have the active role of persons with dementia and their care partners involved in planning?

Raj Shah

Darby Morhardt

Greg Kyrouac

Susan Frick


2:20 PM Large Group Debrief All
2:40 PM Wrap Up & Closing

·         Immediate next steps & accountabilities


Raj Shah



Dementia and End of Life Decision-Making

Making care decisions for a person with dementia near the end of life can be hard for caregivers. Because people with advanced dementia can no longer communicate clearly, they cannot share their wishes and concerns. You may have to make treatment decisions based on the person’s comfort at one end of the spectrum and extending life or maintaining abilities for a little longer at the other.

You may want to ask the health care team:

  • How will the approach the doctor is suggesting affect the person’s quality of life? Will it make a difference in comfort and well-being?
  • If considering home hospice for the person with dementia, what will be needed to care for him or her? Does the facility have special experience with people with dementia?
  • What can I expect as the disease gets worse?

Learn more about dementia at the end of life.

Support Options for Long-Distance Caregivers

Many people find themselves caring for a person with Alzheimer’s or dementia from far away. This task can feel especially frustrating as Alzheimer’s progresses and makes it harder to communicate. Here are some ways to find support and manage your stress:

  • Join a caregiver support group in your community or online.
  • Check out the Eldercare Locator—a federal service that connects older adults and their caregivers with information on senior services.
  • Take care of yourself by exercising, eating well, and getting enough sleep.

Learn more about long-distance caregiving—getting started, things you can do from far away, and finding local help.

Dementia Capable Training Webinar Available

The Illinois Department on Aging and the Illinois Council of Care Coordination Units has developed a dementia capable training webinar for the aging network. The training is targeted to care coordinators, adult protective service workers, in-home service workers, aging and disability resource center staff, managed care organization staff and supportive living facility staff.  The information presented in the webinar may also be of value to family members who are caring for persons with dementia.

The webinar features experts from Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Southern Illinois School of Medicine, and the Alzheimer’s Association. Experts discuss various types of dementia, symptoms and treatments, communication skills, and how to best support persons with dementia and their caregivers. Practical tips on how to implement the knowledge and skills featured in the training are provided by representatives of various statewide associations across a continuum of settings.

The webcast can be viewed at the Illinois Department on Aging website Dementia Capable Training Webinar.