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Alzheimer's: How to help a caregiver
Alzheimer's care is a round-the-clock job. When you offer to help an Alzheimer's caregiver, be specific — and gently persistent.By Mayo Clinic staff
Alzheimer's caregivers need all the support they can get. If you know someone who's caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer's disease, here's how to help.
When someone you care about is going through a difficult time, you might say, "Let me know how I can help." It's a nice gesture, but such offers can be difficult to accept — primarily because they're not specific. Instead, make concrete offers of help.
- "I'm going to the grocery store. What can I pick up for you?"
- "I've got a couple of hours free tomorrow afternoon. May I sit in for you while you run a few errands or take some time for yourself?"
- "I doubled my meatloaf recipe so that I could share it with you. I brought enough to last you for several meals."
- "Do you need some laundry done? I can pick it up today and bring it back clean tomorrow."
- "Does your yard need to be mowed? I'd be happy to take care of it this weekend."
Sometimes sending a card or making a phone call to check in on a caregiver means a lot. Emails and text messages work, too — but often personal visits are even better. Contact with the outside world can help lift a caregiver's spirits.Next page
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- 10 ways to help a family living with Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's Association. http://www.alz.org/national/documents/care_10waystohelpafamily.pdf. Accessed April 27, 2012.
- Caregiver stress. Alzheimer's Association. http://www.alz.org/living_with_alzheimers_caregiver_stress_lwa.asp. Accessed April 27, 2012.