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 is physically, emotionally, and financially challenging . The demands of day-to-day care, changing family roles, and difficult decisions about placement in a care facility can be hard to handle. Researchers have learned much about Alzheimer’s caregiving, and studies are testing new ways to support caregivers.

Becoming well-informed about the disease is one important long-term strategy. Programs that teach families about the various stages of Alzheimer’s and about flexible and practical strategies for dealing with difficult caregiving situations provide vital help to those who care for people with Alzheimer’s.

Good coping skills and a strong support network of family and friends also help caregivers handle the stresses of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. For example, staying physically active has physical and emotional benefits.

Some Alzheimer’s caregivers have found that participating in a support group is a critical lifeline. Support groups allow caregivers to take a break, 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. Support networks can be especially valuable when caregivers face the difficult decision of whether and when to place a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility.

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
 
Managing Alzheimer’s Disease Communication and Behavior Problems: A Resource List
 
 
 
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
 
Managing Alzheimer’s Disease Communication and Behavior Problems: A Resource List
 
 
 
Relationships
 
 
   
Alzheimer's Disease Information for Children and Teens: A Resource List
 
 
 
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
 
 
 
Coping with Emotions and Stress in Alzheimer’s Caregiving: A Resource List
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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.