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Family Care Tips Care giving for a Loved One with Alzheimer s Disease

Alzheimer's disease not only affects the person with the disease, but also the rest of the family. Family members are confronted with making important life decisions, not only for the medical care of their loved one but planning and preparing for their needs as the disease progresses.
Here are some family care tips for family members and caregivers:
1. Discuss early on a patient's wishes. Have an early and frank discussion with his/her primary physician, attorney, accountant, and financial advisors.
2. Early on make sure your loved one undergoes thorough and comprehensive evaluation, medically, neurologically, and psychiatrically.
3. Keep Alzheimer's patients in a familiar and safe environment.
4. Keep Alzheimer's patients in an independent setting as long as possible.
5. Alzheimer's patients often develop secondary medical problems and complications. These may include bedsores and aspiration pneumonia. Talk with the doctor about what to expect.
6. Alzheimer's patients should not be driving.
7. Make bathing and other personal care as easy and simple as possible. Follow a routine.
8. Choose clothing that easy to get on and off.
9. Keep windows and doors locked. Use a medical alert device.
10. Support independence and autonomy whenever possible.
11. Watch for signs of caregiving stress.
12. Grieving for loved ones begins far before their death.
13. Do not take the emotion and behavior personally.
14. Make direct eye contact before speaking.
15. Eliminate distracting noises.
16. Maintain a calm and pleasant facial expression and tone of voice.
17. Avoid situations and places that are loud or crowded.
18. Use short, simple sentences with concrete, familiar words.
19. Pause between sentences to give the patient time to respond.
20. Consult a doctor if the Alzheimer's patient's anxiety is unrelenting.
21. Always be respectful.
Alzheimer's disease is a devastating illness. Extra consideration should be given to the primary caregiver as he/she is at a high risk of emotional and physical exhaustion. He/she is also at risk for suffering from depression. Thoughtful planning and respite care are essential elements of successful caregiving.
This article was written by Rebecca Sharp Colmer, a Certified Senior Advisor and the creator of MeAndMyCaregivers, a company who offers management and peace of mind over your loved ones medical, financial and social well being. Learn more at

About Author Rebecca Sharp Colmer :

Rebecca Sharp Colmer, CSA, is a <a href " Certified Senior Advisor, as recognized by the Society of Certified Senior Advisors. The national organization has trained over 14,000 professionals across the country. As an Elder Care Advocate she has taken the educational initiative to become a professional leader in meeting the key needs and vital issues concerning senior citizens. In addition, she is a nationally recognized author, publisher, and speaker. She is also a caregiver.

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Article Added on Saturday, March 27, 2010
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