Lend a Helping Hand to Alzheimer’s Caregivers

A friend recently assumed the care of her sister who has Alzheimer’s.  She never expected the intense time commitment and frustrations this would involve.  Do you have friends in this same situation?

Reach out a helping hand:

  • If you live nearby, offer to stay with the Alzheimer’s patient for short periods so the caregiver can have some free time.
  • Be available for chats, even if it’s simply instant messaging or e-mails of encouragement.
  • Send cards that will encourage the caregiver.
  • Share some of your experiences so she/he will know they’re not alone.
  • Encourage them to find humor in various situations.
  • Offer tips if the caregiver is receptive.
  • Make a meal for the family occasionally.
  • Offer to run errands if you can’t sit with the patient while the caregiver does this.

What have you found helpful when you’ve been a caregiver?  How do you help other caregivers?

An Alzheimer’s Scrapbook

When I began writing and speaking about my mom and aunt’s Alzheimer’s era and my caregiving experiences, I compiled a photo album about this time in our lives.

“I couldn’t endure doing that,” a friend remarked.  “I don’t want to be reminded about my mom’s Alzheimer’s years.”

It’s not something we can ignore nor forget.  It was an era of our family member’s (and our) life.  So it has affected what we do and remember.

Why not recall the good and fun times?  My daughter, grandchildren and I discovered there were some enchanting moments of giving and receiving joy as we cared for my mom and my aunt.

This aspect of these ladies’ lives was something we couldn’t  ignore so we learned to respect and love them more.  My album/scrapbook of their lives brings them recognition and causes us to remember how they affected us.