ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE “Your Role As A Care Partner”

In the early stages, you may act more like a care partner, than a caregiver. Your role is one of support, love and companionship. You are there to help with daily life, as needed, and to help the person with Alzheimer’s plan for the future. Since no two people experience Alzheimer’s alike, the degree of assistance needed from a care partner in this stage varies.
A person with early-stage Alzheimer’s may need cues and reminders to help with memory. For example, he or she may need help with:
  • Keeping appointments
  • Remembering words or names
  • Recalling familiar places or people
  • Managing money
  • Keeping track of medications
  • Doing familiar tasks
  • Planning or organizing
Tap into the person’s strengths and encourage him or her to continue living as independently as possible. You can help the person stay organized with shared calendars, notes, medication schedules and other reminder systems. Establishing a daily routine and maintaining some regularity will be of benefit.
The person also will need emotional support. He or she may feel frustrated, anxious, embarrassed or isolated. You can help by:
  • Encouraging the person to share his or her feelings, and asking how you can be supportive
  • Encouraging the person to stay involved in activities he or she enjoys
  • Helping the person locate a support group for people in the early stages and their care partners
As a care partner, you also will go through many emotions. Know that you aren’t alone. Being part of a community of people going through similar experiences can provide you with support, hope and information. Contact your local Alzheimer’s Association chapter to find an early-stage care partner support group near you.

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