Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be a daunting task. You will need all of the support you can get, along with the latest and most significant Alzheimer’s info and research. It is a confusing time, and the more you know, the more confident you will feel in your ability to give your loved one the best possible care and support. It is also important to build a support network that will help you to avoid the common problems associated with caretaker burnout.
Your first stop to gaining Alzheimer’s info should be your doctor or your loved one’s doctor. You should make sure that you accompany your loved one to all appointments, and ask questions about anything that makes you feel are confusing or uncomfortable. It is the doctor’s job to provide you with the information you need. You should not count on the patient to relay necessary information to you; instead, make sure you are an integral part of the health care process.
Do not let your quest for information end with the doctor’s office, though. Make sure to go out and actively seek information, both on the specifics of the disease and current treatments, and on your role as caregiver. For the most up to date Alzheimer’s info, consider subscribing to medical journals that specialize in the field.
Consider looking into local support groups and organizations aimed at caretakers. In addition to providing Alzheimer’s info and sharing personal experience and knowledge, these groups can offer a variety of support services. Often you will be able to get temporary care to allow you to attend social events and help to prevent caretaker burnout, both of which allow you to continue to give the best possible care to your loved one. Most hospitals maintain a database of these types of support groups, as do local newspapers in many towns.
There is a wealth of Alzheimer’s info and support online, as well. The National Institute of Health maintains a website dedicated to Alzheimer’s info, and includes up to the moment information on diagnostic tools and treatments. Information specifically for caregivers is included, as well, and is written for a layman to read, rather than a scientist. Many Alzheimer’s caregivers support groups maintain websites, which contain Alzheimer’s info, as well as message boards or chat rooms where you can connect with other caregivers. For many people, this is easier than attending an in-person support group, for which you need to arrange adult care and transportation.