helping a family cope

The following are tips and things one can do to in helping a family cop with an aging crisis.  In particular, helping a family cope with a recent diagnosis and dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia support.

1 Stay in touch – show you care a card, a call or a visit all mean a lot

2 Treat the person with respect and dignity Focus on all that the person can do

3 Do the little things Drop off dinner or run an errand

4 Be specific when offering help Tackle a task on the family’s To do list

5 Educate yourself about Alzheimer’s Learn about its effects and how to respond

6 Get the whole family out of the house Plan an activity like a picnic or dinner at your place; include the person whenever possible

7 Be a good listener Support and accept – try not to judge

8 Encourage the family to stay healthy Offer ideas for support and respite services

9 Allow the family some personal time Fill in as a caregiver, when needed

10 Keep all family members in mind From tots to elders, each reacts uniquely.

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What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s (AHLZ-high-merz) is a disease of the brain that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. One in three adults knows someone living with Alzheimer’s disease.

What families are feeling

You may want to offer assistance to a family living with Alzheimer’s but worry you’ll say or do the wrong thing. It may help to be aware of these common experiences.

The person with Alzheimer’s likely:

• Is adjusting to new schedules and changing roles
• Welcomes your direct contact
• Worries about overwhelming family caregivers
• Strives to keep an active, independent lifestyle

Family members often:

• Feel alone and disconnected from friends
• Need assistance or a break but hesitate to ask
• Struggle to run errands or complete daily tasks
• Feel high stress and welcome a good listener

You can make a difference

Go beyond the 10 ways to help a family living with Alzheimer’s – join the battle to end this disease:
• Volunteer at your local Alzheimer’s Association
• Sign up for Memory Walk®
• Advocate for more research funding
• Donate to support those living with Alzheimer’s, and to advance treatment and prevention strategies
• For reliable information and support, contact the Alzheimer’s Association:
• 1.800.272.3900

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Alzheimer’s Association. All rights reserved. This is an official publication of the Alzheimer’s Association but may be distributed by unaffiliated organizations and individuals. Such distribution does not constitute an endorsement of these parties or their activities by the Alzheimer’s Association.

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