Alzheimer's is a type of dementia that affects memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms eventually grow severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.
Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases.
Alzheimer's worsens over time. Alzheimer's is a progressive disease, where dementia symptoms gradually worsen over a number of years. In its early stages, memory loss is mild, but with late-stage Alzheimer's, individuals lose the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to their environment. Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. On average, a person with Alzheimer's lives four to eight years after diagnosis, but can live as long as 20 years, depending on other factors.
Self Care( CareGiver)
Caring for yourself is one of the most important – and one of the most
often forgotten – things you must do as a caregiver. When your needs
are taken care of, the person you are caring for will benefit, too.
The 3 R’s of Caregiving
Respect is closely linked to admiration, esteem and reverence. These
words are used here to describe you – you as a caregiver. You deserve
to be held in high opinion by yourself. By respecting yourself, you ensure
that your body, mind and spirit remain whole so that you can carry on the
tasks of being an effective family caregiver.
Realistic expectations – it’s easy to say but more difficult to achieve.
It’s hard to have realistic expectations when you are new to caregiving
or when you are so involved in the process that you risk losing a sense
of perspective. But with time, experience and knowledge you can learn
to take control and to say “NO” when expectations become unrealistic.
Better time management involves delegating, planning ahead, prioritizing
and accepting offers of help. You may feel overwhelmed as you try to
divide your time and energy between your own family’s needs and those
of your loved one. If you do, ask yourself these four questions: What can
I realistically do to help? What is it that I cannot do? What can my loved
one do to help? And who can I turn to for help?
Respite means taking a break or finding a
breathing space in your day. Be good to yourself
as you care for your loved one.
Ways of Taking Care of Yourself
•Signs of Caregiver Burnout (or compassion fatigue)
If you feel like the stress of caregiving is beginning
to take its toll, check the following list of typical
• Weariness and exhaustion
• Inability to eat or sleep
• Inability to concentrate or think clearly
• Increased dependence on tobacco, alcohol or drugs
• Weight loss or weight gain
• Loss of contact with friends
• Irrational outbursts or frequent moodiness
See your healthcare professional if you have any of
the above symptoms. A number of resources are
available to people suffering from caregiver burnout.