When you're a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia, you can help make sure that your loved one does things to stay as emotionally and physically healthy as possible. According to the Alzheimer's Association, a person with Alzheimer disease needs to:

  • Learn how to manage and understand his or her diagnosis
  • Cope with fear and frustration as symptoms get worse
  • Maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Take all medicines prescribed by the healthcare provider

As a caregiver, these are other tasks you might assist with:

  • Grocery shopping, cooking and feeding
  • Bathing and getting dressed
  • Paying bills, picking up prescriptions and driving to health care provider's appointments
  • Planning for long-term care (such as a nursing home or special memory care unit) when it becomes necessary

As you care for someone with Alzheimer's disease, also keep these things in mind:

  • It's important to take care of yourself. Stay healthy and ask for help from others when you need it.
  • Be kind, slow, concise and clear when talking with someone with Alzheimer's disease.
  • Alzheimer's disease can cause anger, hostility, violence and wandering away. You will need to be prepared to deal with these situations.
  • A time will come when it's no longer safe for a person with Alzheimer's disease to drive. You will need to have a difficult conversation about giving up the car keys. Hanshaw Geriatric Center offers a driving assessment clinic that includes a driving assessment and recommendations.