Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center

About Alzheimer's Disease: Caregiving

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Get tips for caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease.

Elderly coupleCaring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease can have high physical, emotional, and financial costs. The demands of day-to-day care, changes in family roles, and decisions about placement in a care facility can be difficult. There are several evidence-based approaches and programs that can help, and researchers are continuing to look for new and better ways to support caregivers.

Becoming well-informed about the disease is one important strategy. Programs that teach families about the various stages of Alzheimer’s and about ways to deal with difficult behaviors and other caregiving challenges can help.

Good coping skills, a strong support network, and respite care are other ways to help caregivers handle the stress of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. For example, staying physically active provides physical and emotional benefits.

Some caregivers have found that joining a support group is a critical lifeline. These support groups allow caregivers to find respite, express concerns, share experiences, get tips, and receive emotional comfort. Many organizations sponsor in-person and online support groups, including groups for people with early-stage Alzheimer’s and their families.

Caregiving Tip Sheets and Resource Lists

To download and view NIA eBooks, see the instructions below.

Behaviors
       
Coping with Agitation and Aggression
 
Hallucinations, Delusions, and Paranoia
 
Communication and Behavior Problems: Resources for Alzheimer’s Caregivers
 
 
 
Managing Personality and Behavior Changes
 
Rummaging and Hiding Things
 
Sundowning
 
Everyday Care
 
 
 
 
Bathing
 
Daily Activities
 
 
 
Exercise and Physical Activity
 
Going Out
 
 
 
Grooming and Dressing
 
 
 
Healthy Eating
 
 
 
Incontinence
 
 
 
Managing Medicines
 
 
 
Traveling Overnight
 
 
 
Communication
 
 
 
 
Changes in Communication Skills
 
Communication and Behavior Problems: Resources for Alzheimer’s Caregivers
 
 
 
Relationships
 
 
   
Resources for Children and Teens About Alzheimer's Disease
 
 
 
Changes in Intimacy and Sexuality
 
 
 
Helping Family and Friends Understand Alzheimer’s Disease
 
Helping Kids Understand Alzheimer’s Disease
 
Holiday Hints
 
Intimacy, Sexuality, and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Resource List
 
 
 
Safety
 
 
 
 
Disaster Preparedness
 
Driving Safety
 
Going to the Hospital
 
 
 
Home Safety
 
 
 
Wandering
 
Caregiver Health
 
 
 
 
Caring for Yourself
 
 
 
Relieving Stress & Anxiety: Resources for Alzheimer’s Caregivers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Money Problems
 
 
 
Middle- and Late-Stage Care
 
 
 
 
End-of-Life Care
 
 
 
  • Kindle: Select Kindle for the publication you want in the chart above to download the file to your computer. Then use a USB cable to connect your computer and Kindle to transfer the file.
  • Smartphone or tablet: Do you have an app for eBooks? If so, select ePub to download and view with your app. If you don’t have an app, select PDF.
  • Desktop or laptop computer: Free software is available to read eBooks on your computer. Adobe Digital Editions is one option for ePub and Calibre is one for Kindle.

More Information

  • View videos and other resources from THE ALZHEIMER'S PROJECT, a collaborative effort of the National Institute on Aging/NIH and HBO Documentary Films.

Featured Research

The image of hands holding puzzle pieces shadowA promising approach to reducing agitation in people with Alzheimer’s disease, and decreasing caregiver burden, is being tested in the Tailored Activity Program (TAP). TAP is a nonpharmacologic, home-based intervention that trains caregivers to design and use activities that draw on a person with dementia’s interests and abilities. A pilot study and further evaluation showed promising results. Read about two ongoing clinical trials, an NIA-supported trial in Baltimore, MD, and another involving veterans in Gainesville, FL.