Alzheimer’s disease affects 1 in every 3 American families
As a caregiver, it is important to remember to take care of yourself while caring for your loved one. While this is a difficult time, you are not alone.
Learning that someone you care about has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s can be life changing. Coming to terms with the diagnosis requires time. Immediate reactions of denial and fear are normal and may help you and the person diagnosed process the grief you are feeling. At this point, it is important to understand the process of acceptance, the meaning of finding your purpose and how you can also get support.
In the early stage of Alzheimer's, most people function independently. He or she may still drive, take part in social activities, volunteer and even work. Your role as care partner is an important one: to provide support and companionship, and help plan for the future.
The middle stages of Alzheimer's are typically the longest and can last for many years. As Alzheimer's progresses, the person with Alzheimer's will require a greater level of care. During this time, it's important to get the support you need as a caregiver.
The late stage of Alzheimer's disease may last from several weeks to several years. As the disease progresses, intensive, around-the-clock care is usually required. Since care needs are extensive during the late stage, they may exceed what you can provide at home, even with additional assistance. This may mean moving the person into a facility in order to get the care needed.