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Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer's Disease

- Thursday, May 17, 2012

Do you know where most of the millions of people who have Alzheimer’s disease live? At home, where family and friends provide almost 75% of their care.

That’s why caregiving has been called the fastest growing unpaid profession in the United States.

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, during the past year more than 67 million Americans provided care to a family member, friend, or loved one, many of whom are suffering from different stages of Alzheimer’s disease or some other type of dementia.

If you’re a caregiver, you know first-hand what it’s like: Getting swept up in a flurry of tasks – bathing, shopping, cooking, feeding, making arrangements for medical care, managing behavioral problems, making decisions for the ill person that you have never had to consider before -- while simultaneously trying to cope with your own anxieties and fears.

Or perhaps you’re facing a situation where you’re likely to become a caregiver -- and you’re wondering how you can make the many difficult decisions that anyone who steps into this demanding role has to confront.

It’s an extremely hard job and often it feels like you’re in it alone. But you’re not.

With you in mind, Johns Hokins asked two world-renowned Alzheimer’s specialists -- Dr. Peter Rabins and Dr. Ann Morrison -- to write a practical, no-nonsense guide, Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease: A Guide for the Home Caregiver. This comprehensive special report provides detailed, authoritative advice on how to successfully manage your day-to-day responsibilities, to your patient and to yourself.

Many people think of Alzheimer’s as strictly a memory-stealing ailment. But as a caregiver, you know that it may also unleash difficult-to manage behaviors.

Feeling overwhelmed? Caregivers have been described as “hidden patients” because many of their own emotional and physical needs go unattended while they provide care to others.

For information on the guide, contact Johns Hopkins. For information on deciding to move a loved one into residential care, contact Spring Arbor. This is surely one of the hardest decisions a caregiver will face, we understand.

Johns Hopkins Health Alert