Sometimes, you may feel that you don't know how to care for the person with Alzheimer’s. This is a common feeling among caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s because each day may bring different challenges. Learning about the disease can help you understand and cope with these challenges. Here is some information about Alzheimer’s and ways you can learn more about it.
Alzheimer’s disease is an illness of the brain. It causes large numbers of nerve cells in the brain to die. This affects a person’s ability to remember things and think clearly. People with Alzheimer’s become forgetful and easily confused and may have a hard time concentrating. They may have trouble taking care of themselves and doing basic things like making meals, bathing, and getting dressed.
Alzheimer’s varies from person to person. It can progress faster in some people than in others, and not everyone will have the same symptoms. In general, though, Alzheimer’s takes many years to develop, becoming increasingly severe over time. As the disease gets worse, people need more help. Eventually, they require total care.
If you’re caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, a powerful technique in helping them carry out daily activities is task breakdown. Breaking down a task into small steps can help the person manage it with less difficulty.
For other ways to approach activities for a person with Alzheimer's, click here.
For more, see “Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s” from the Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center (ADEAR) of the National Institute on Aging (NIA).
The information on Alzheimer's Caregiving was developed for NIHSeniorHealth by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at NIH