Posts Tagged ‘Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’

15 Tips for Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Friday, December 19th, 2014
  1. Become an educated caregiver: Some useful sites for educating yourself are the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer’s Reading Room. Also, attend any caregiving seminars presented in your community.
  2. Ask for help – and accept it: Don’t be too proud to ask for help. Getting help can make a major difference in your life.
  3. Take care of yourself: Try to eat well, exercise regularly and visit your doctor when needed.
  4. Give yourself credit – not guilt: Make a list of all the things you are doing correctly and look at it frequently.
  5. Consult a geriatric care manager: Geriatric care managers are specialists who help families care for elderly relatives. They can provide valuable information and resources you will need to help you through these difficult times.
  6. Contact the Alzheimer’s Association for help: The Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org) has a 24/7 help line. Just call 1-800-272-3900.
  7. Contact the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America for help: This organization (alzfdn.org) has a help line operated between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. Call 1-866-232-8484.
  8. Study and put into practice “The Caregiver’s Bill of Rights:” You can find this document here.
  9. See a psychotherapist: If your stress level is very high or if you are feeling depressed, a therapist might be able to help you.
  10. Consult with your spiritual leader: If you are a religious person your spiritual leader might also be able to help you.
  11. Join a support group: Support groups can be helpful for Alzheimer’s caregivers, even if you just listen in.
  12. See a family therapist if there is conflict in your family: If there is a lot of conflict among family members consider seeing a family therapist.
  13. Keep a journal: Writing about your experiences and feelings every day can also be therapeutic.
  14. Learn how to get along better with your loved one: Here are three quick tips: Don’t contradict or argue with them, Don’t bring up subjects that might upset them, and if they do get upset quickly change the subject. Following these tips will lead to a better relationship.
  15. Take up a hobby about which you become passionate. It’s important to have time to yourself. Find a hobby you love. It can make a big difference.

NOTE: A few of these tips are based on ones presented by the Alzheimer’s Association.

What to Do When You Just Can’t Take it Anymore

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Sign up Your Loved One for Day Care: Enrolling your loved one in day care can do wonders to relieve your stress and give you some blessed time for yourself. You may worry that the person will be lost without you, but most people with Alzheimer’s adjust. If you can’t afford this on an ongoing basis, do it at least for a while.

Obtain Around the Clock Respite Care:  Around the clock respite care will give you even more time to yourself. You can have the person stay at a facility or with a friend, relative or neighbor. Again, if you can’t afford ongoing respite care, do it for a short period of time while you recharge your batteries.

Call in a Geriatric Care Manager: Geriatric Care Managers are health and human services specialists who help families caring for older relatives. They are trained and experienced in any of several fields related to care management.  You can read more about them and locate one in your area by going to the profession’s website.

Contact the Alzheimer’s Association: The Alzheimer’s Association website has ample advice for caregivers. It also has a 24/7 helpline manned by trained professionals (1.800.272.39001.800.272.3900.)

Contact the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America: This is another helpful resource for burned out caregivers. The Foundation offers counseling and advice Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM (Eastern Time) by phone, Skype, or live chat. You can reach the Foundation at 1.866.AFA.848411.866.AFA.84841.866.AFA.8484866.AFA.8484.

See a Psychotherapist: Nearly all overwhelmed caregivers could benefit from seeing a therapist. Therapists can help you better understand your situation and coach you on how to make time for yourself, as well as gain a better perspective of your caregiving duties. It’s a good idea to get a referral from a friend or relative. A few visits can help, even if you don’t have the funds for long-term therapy.

Visit with Your Pastor: If you regularly attend church, talking with your pastor can be a good substitute for psychotherapy. A pastor can help you with the same things therapists do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

I have been asked by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America to interview their CEO or Executive Vice President for 2 stories I’ll be publishing on the Huffington Post. One deals with getting a diagnosis. The other deals with helping Alzheimer’s patients recall memories. Stay tuned. I’ll give you the links when the articles are published.