If you care for someone who has Alzheimer’s disease, I salute you! You have a challenging job, one that you may not be trained to deal with. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of support.
Federal and state health agencies apparently agree with me. Many have begun programs to provide training and support to caregivers of people with dementia. The Department of Veterans Affairs, for example, offers Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health, a program that provides 12 counseling sessions and five telephone sessions with a support group.
At your fingertips are a number of helpful resources:
- Helpguide.org. This nonprofit group’s web page on Support for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers emphasizes that because caring for people with Alzheimer’s is such hard work, the caregiver must make time to take care of him- or herself. Suggestions focus on keeping a positive attitude, taking the time to have fun, and avoiding burnout.
- Family Caregiver Alliance. This site explains the stages of Alzheimer’s and gives caregivers an idea of what they need to do and what help they may need at each stage.
- The Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center. This web page, created by the Alzheimer’s Association, provides a 24/7 helpline, informational resources, and a tool to help locate a support group in your area.
- Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center. This site, run by the National Institute on Aging, provides helpful tip sheets for caregivers, as well as links to other resources.
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