Alzheimer's Disease: More than Just Memory Loss
If you or someone close to you has Alzheimer's disease, chances are you're asking questions about the condition faster than your doctor can answer them. The Internet gives you access to information, outside of office hours, that enables you to find quick answers to urgent questions, and also helps you ask doctors, nurses, or other healthcare professionals the right questions. For a Spanish-language version of the Guide, click here
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Taking care of someone with Alzheimer's disease can be hard and even lonely sometimes. There are many sites on the Web that can give you the information and support you need to be able to continue caring for your loved one, and also to continue living your own life. These sites can provide advice on how to find respite care and support, how to work your way through the financial maze, and how to keep your loved one safe. Message boards are a great way to communicate with others who are experiencing the same challenges you are.
- You can get a lot of support from the various Alzheimer's associations, both local and national. Not only can you get basic information, but you can also look to message boards and newsletters for advice and support.
- If you have a question that's not answered on a Web site, look for a "Contact Us" section. The staff may be able to answer questions that are not addressed on the site.
The National Family Caregivers Association
is devoted to supporting and empowering people who care for loved ones suffering with a chronic illness, old age, or disability. Visit the "Caregiving Resources" link at the upper left of the page for a long list of tips, agencies, workshops, newsletters, and guides that can help you cope with your responsibilities. The "Connecting Caregivers" section provides lots of ways to connect with others for guidance and support through message boards, events, and a network of volunteers.
Family Caregiving 101
begins with "Top 10 Questions," a great place to start to find scenarios that may match your own situation. Issues like caring for elderly parents who live out of state, the stages of caregiving, and how to find help are all addressed. The "How to Manage" section gives 10 tips for caregivers to better care for themselves and also suggests ways to assess whether you and your home are prepared to provide care.
The Alzheimer's Association
site has a section called "Coping" specifically for caregivers of people with Alzheimer's. It focuses on the issues that caregivers face such as stress, depression, how to talk to kids, and more. You'll also find sections for financial concerns, how to keep your loved one safe, weaving your way through Medicare and Medicaid, and options for care. There are message boards you can visit and tools for how to advocate for people who are affected by Alzheimer's disease.
The Alzheimer Society of Canada
offers many services and support to caregivers. One important one is called the "Safely Home Registry," which allows Canadians to register loved ones in case they wander off and become lost. The section on "Alzheimer Care" covers finding help, long-term care, and more.
is dedicated to helping people within the European Union who have Alzheimer's and their caregivers. They offer suggestions on how to care for someone with Alzheimer's disease and "Tips for Carers," a section that presents situations that other families have faced when dealing with Alzheimer's.
The National Institute on Aging
has a "Home/Family" page with many articles that may help you, ranging from physical care for someone with Alzheimer's to visiting the doctor. Their "Other Resources" area lists publications and Web sites on topics like coping with emotions and legal and financial issues.
The American Health Assistance Foundation
offers caregivers information such as what is available in the community, how to solve daily problems, where to find safety products, and how to create a safe home environment. The "Resources" page links to the U.S. News & World Report list of "America's Best Neurology and Neurosurgery Hospitals" and to a database of nationwide support groups, searchable by state, city, or zip code.
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