Caring for Patients



In 2009, nearly 11 million family members and friends provided unpaid care for a person with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. Many of these caregivers understandably want to keep loved ones at home as long as possible. Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease, however, can be very demanding. Caregivers have a higher risk for depression and illness than the general population. Preparation, education, and ongoing support are essential for any person caring for someone with AD.



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It is important for caregivers to know that just because a person’s memory is failing, his or her emotions are likely to be intact. In fact, recent research strongly suggests that people with severe memory loss continue to feel the emotions of an event even after they have forgotten the event itself. they may continue to feel sad from an upsetting event. they may still feel happy after a positive event. For example, a simple visit or telephone call from a family member might have a lingering positive influence on a patient’s mood, even though the patient might quickly forget the visit or call.


The following tips may help if you are caring for somebody with AD. of course, each person with Alzheimer’s disease is unique. Some tips may work, some may not, and some may need to be adjusted for your situation.



At Diagnosis


• talk to the patient’s health care provider about all treatment options that might be right for him/her
• Find a support group for caregivers
• Consider adult day care or respite services to ease the day-to-day demands of care giving
• Begin to plan for the future. this may include getting financial matters, advance care plans, and legal documents in order, or looking into long-term care options.





• Speak slowly enough for the person to understand
• Avoid talking about the person as if he or she weren’t there
• When talking, minimize distractions from televisions or radios
• Allow enough time for a response
• Don’t interrupt



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• Reduce bathroom risks by using a shower bench, installing grab bars, and using nonskid bath mats
• Make sure the person carries some identification or wears a medical bracelet
• Keep doors locked and consider a keyed deadbolt
• Remove locks from bathroom doors to prevent the person from accidentally locking himself or herself in
• Label medications and keep them locked up
• Remove scatter rugs and anything else that might lead to falls
• Consider an automatic shut-off device on the stove to prevent burns or a fire
• use night-lights in rooms or hallways likely to be used at night



Sleep problems


  •  Encourage exercise
  •  Plan physically demanding activities, like bathing
  •  Limit caffeine
  • try to keep bedtime at a similar time each night





• Look for clues that driving is becoming unsafe, for example,   if the person drives too fast or too slow, misses traffic signs,   or gets angry or confused

• Be aware of the person’s feelings about possibly losing the   ability to drive—this can be a very sensitive issue!

• Ask for help from a health care provider or your local    department of motor vehicles


Caring for somebody with AD can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding. Approaching situations with patience, compassion, or even humor may not always be possible, but it is a worthy goal and is often attainable