In over a decade of working with people living with Alzheimer's disease and related forms of dementia and their caregivers, I have learned much from these remarkable individuals. I have found the following 10 tips to be helpful for family and friends when someone they know has dementia.
If you are not a caregiver but know someone who is, consider volunteering your services to give them a break from caregiving. Especially during the busy holiday season, the gift of respite is likely to be gratefully accepted.
These people desperately need all the assistance they can get. It will help them preserve their own well-being. It will also help them improve their caregiving since no one can be a good caregiver if they're burned out all the time.
A relatively new but increasingly-popular program offered by some assisted living communities, respite care allows families to book their loved one for a stay of a few days or even several weeks at a residential care facility.
When we talk about the burden facing caregivers, most people agree that getting help is necessary for maintaining their health and their sanity. But for some reason, when it comes time to actually take that help, many caregivers resist.
A spa, even if only as a metaphor, is a destination that we need to visit, study and copy, because it allows the very respite from the madness of most of our lives that affords us the necessary breathing, reflection and contrast.