Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease or Other Dementia

Caregiver Support is a Phone Call Away

Talk to caring people for practical caregiving information and help finding local resources/services.

Contact your local Family Caregiver Support Program.

If the person you care for asks questions repeatedly, has trouble performing simple tasks, or forgets recent events, he or she may have a form of dementia.

There are several causes for dementia, so you should have the person diagnosed by a doctor.

Some dementia may be caused by factors that can be treated, such as drug interactions, severe diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, or depression. The most common kind of dementia is Alzheimer's Disease. It is not curable.

There are many helpful resources for family caregivers coping with dementia, including:

Learn More

The website MedlinePlus includes easy to understand information and illustrations on the causes, risks, symptoms, tests, treatment, and additional references on different types of dementia and over 4000 other diseases.

Websites and Books on Dementia

Books

Did You Know?

Alzheimer's Association, Safe Return Program 
The Alzheimer's Association Safe Return® is a nationwide identification, support and enrollment program that provides assistance when a person with dementia wanders and becomes lost.

If an enrollee is missing, one call immediately activates a community support network. Visit the website or call toll-free 1-888-572-8566.

  • Taking Care of Aging Family Member: A Practical Guide. Wendy Lustbader and Nancy Hooyman. (paperback) New York: Free Press, Rev/Ex edition (1994).
  • Counting on Kindness, Dilemmas of Dependency. Wendy Lustbader. (paperback) New York: Free Press (1991).
  • The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for Persons with Alzheimer Disease, Related Dementing Illnesses, and Memory Loss in Later Life. Nancy L. Mace, and Peter V. Rabins. Mass Market Paperback (2001)
  • The Forgetting. Alzheimer's: Portrait of an Epidemic. David Shenk, New York: Doubleday (2001).

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Websites for Caring for a Person with Dementia

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Activity Ideas and Tips for People with Dementia

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Caregiver Support Groups

Surveys of caregivers report that one of the most stressful parts of caregiving is the feeling of isolation that caregiving often brings.

Support groups can provide a sense of connection and:

  • Offer an opportunity to share your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions.
  • Compare notes and learn from others in a similar situation.
  • A safe place to share feelings honestly, without having to be strong or put up a brave front for the family. No one understands as well as a fellow caregiver.

Today, there are also internet support groups that make it easy to connect with others without having to leave home and can fit around your schedule.

Electronic Locator Bracelets

  • Alzheimer's Association, Safe Return Program 
    The Alzheimer's Association Safe Return® is a nationwide identification, support and enrollment program that provides assistance when a person with dementia wanders and becomes lost. If an enrollee is missing, one call immediately activates a community support network. Visit the website or call toll-free 1-888-572-8566.

Find a Support Group

Caregiver Support is a Phone Call Away

Talk to caring people for practical caregiving information and help finding local resources/services.

Contact your local Family Caregiver Support Program.

Staff with your local Family Caregiver Support Program can help you find a support group where you live. Find your local Family Caregiver Support Program. Learn more about other services offered by the Family Caregiver Support Program.

The following sponsor support groups.

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Services and Programs that Provide Help with Care

This website has several links to help. Learn more about:

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Other Resources

The Alzheimer’s Association has a free on-line tool called CareFinder to help people with Alzheimer’s and their families identify the right care options for the individual. You enter information about a person’s needs, abilities, and preferences, and CareFinder generates a private, customized printout with recommendations and questions to ask when screening a residential care facility (or caregiver).