Alzheimer’s accounts for about 60%-80% of dementia diagnoses — making it the most common form of dementia. Recent estimates as of 2020 indicate that Alzheimer’s affects nearly 6 million Americans.

Dementia describes a variety of different symptoms, such as memory loss, behavioral changes and overall cognitive and physical decline, that impact a person’s ability to complete daily tasks. The term doesn’t refer to a single disease. Alzheimer’s and dementia are also considered to be progressive, so they get worse over time.

If you have a family member living with Alzheimer’s, you can help maintain their — and your — quality of life by planning for each stage of their care as it’s needed.

How to Deal With Alzheimer’s as a Family Member

For a person living with Alzheimer’s, it becomes more difficult to do simple activities or recall important information, which can be very frustrating and disheartening.

One way to deal with Alzheimer’s as a family member is to exhibit patience and empathy. Looking at the situation through your loved one’s eyes can help you remember that even if they lash out or behave differently than they used to, it’s not intentional — nor is it personal toward you.

Tips for Caregivers and Families of People With Dementia

Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s isn’t easy. These tips can help you and your family better understand Alzheimer’s disease and cope with its effects:

  • Learn about Alzheimer’s: Educating yourself about Alzheimer’s enables you to recognize its symptoms and be more understanding about what your loved one might be experiencing.
  • Talk to your loved one: Even though their memory may not be what it was, taking the time to converse with your loved one is a great way to connect and bond with them. 
  • Help them stay active: Exercise boosts a person’s mood, improves joint and muscle function and offers a host of other health benefits that are especially helpful for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s. Encourage your loved one to stay active by going for walks, riding a stationary bike or even completing simple household chores like sweeping. Breaking exercise sessions into smaller increments throughout the day can keep them more enjoyable.
  • Ensure they are safe: As the disease progresses, your loved one might require additional supervision to ensure they stay in safe surroundings and remember to turn off appliances like the stove. The caregivers at CareGivers of America can give your loved one the assistance they need.
  • Focus on what goes well: From sharing a good laugh to spending time at a favorite location, focusing on the good times with your loved one can lift everyone’s spirits — even on the tougher days.

Get Caregiving Support From CareGivers of America

At CareGivers of America, we understand the impact Alzheimer’s and dementia can have on your family. To help alleviate the burden of caring for your loved one, our caregivers can provide companionship and assist with tasks like cooking, cleaning and providing transportation to and from appointments. You don’t have to deal with the effects of Alzheimer’s alone. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our Alzheimer’s caregiving options.