People with Alzheimer’s disease often experience a mixture of emotions — confusion, frustration, anger, fear, uncertainty, grief and depression.
You can help a person cope with the disease by being there to listen, reassuring the person that life can still be enjoyed, providing unconditional love, and doing your best to help the person retain dignity and self-respect.
A calm and stable home environment reduces behavior problems. New situations, noise, large groups of people, being rushed or pressed to remember, or being asked to do complicated tasks can cause anxiety. As a person with Alzheimer’s becomes upset, the ability to think clearly declines even more.
Caring for the caregiver
Providing care for a person with Alzheimer’s disease is physically and emotionally demanding. Feelings of anger and guilt, frustration and discouragement, worry and grief and social isolation are common. If you’re a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, you can help yourself by:
- Asking friends or other family members for help when you need it
- Taking care of your health
- Learning as much about the disease as you can
- Asking questions of doctors, social workers and others involved in the care of your loved one
- Joining a support group
Many people with Alzheimer’s and their families benefit from counseling or local support groups. Contact your local Alzheimer’s Association affiliate to get connected with support groups, doctors, resources and referrals, home care agencies, supervised living facilities, a telephone help line, and educational seminars.
If you need more information on Alzheimer’s, the internet is a great source of information on this subject and many, many more. You may also want to search the internet for social networking sites about Alzheimer’s disease. Many of the social network sites can connect you with people who have gone through or are going through what you are experiencing.