1. Don't Panic! Contact the Alzheimer's Association or Organization connected with the illness/disease to identify reputable community resources and vital support groups.
2. Talk to your loved one about their feelings, wishes and organizing their affairs. Information is power.
3. Develop a Self Care Plan for yourself with a Licensed Social Worker or Geriatric Care Manager (if appropriate).
4. Join a Support Group! Don't Isolate; Do Not Isolate. Do Not Isolate.
5. Develop Medical and Behavioral Care Plans for your Loved One as early as possible. Utilize the services of a reputable Geriatric Care Manager.
6. Engage with your Loved One's Medical Team to stay informed and be confident that an appropriate and consistent continuum of care is implemented. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
7. Set up a Behavioral Team for you AND your loved one; Education, Empowerment and Energy! Let people help you.
8. Learn How Not To take Things Personally! There is Your Loved one and there is a DISEASE – separate your loved one from the disease.
9. Schedule telephone or face to face sessions with family on a regular basis with the help of a professional and objective third party.
10. Always be content with doing your best. Keep your sense of humor. Perfectionism and martyrdom are a spiritual death sentence. B-R-E-A-T-H-E. And Take Your Oxygen First!
For more, visit www.drjamie.com
Given the many crucial issues surrounding the physical, mental, emotional, and lifestyle demands associated with caregiving, it’s important for families to be aware of where to go for answers, support, and encouragement.
Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer's Disease: A Guide for the Home Caregiver
by Peter Rabins, M.D., MPH, and Ann Morrison, RN, Ph.D.