Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care: A Guide for Family Caregivers


If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you know how difficult and intense the caregiving role can be. As your loved one’s cognitive, physical, and functional abilities gradually decline, it’s normal to experience depression, stress, and loneliness. You may even put your own health and well-being aside. That’s why it’s important to ask for support, even when you think you don’t need it. Here are 10 strategies that can ease the challenges of your role as a caregiver.

Face Your Emotions

It’s okay to feel a range of conflicting emotions, from anger to fear to grief. Try to accept whatever emotions you’re feeling, rather than resisting them. Try journaling or talking to someone close to you for some catharsis.

Do Research

The more you can learn about Alzheimer’s and dementia and the diseases’ progression, the more prepared you’ll be for future challenges. There are plenty of books, online articles, training, and other resources to learn from.

Reinforce Healthy Behaviors

While there is no known cure, there are ways to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and dementia symptoms. Exercising, eating a nutritious diet, sleeping well, managing stress, and staying mentally and socially active can improve brain health and slow the process of deterioration.

Ask For Help

Don’t expect to shoulder the burden of Alzheimer’s and dementia care all alone. Reach out to other family members, friends, or volunteer organizations to help with daily caregiving actions. Give yourself frequent breaks to take care of yourself. This will prevent you from burning out and allow you to provide better, consistent care to your loved one.

Join A Support Group

Support groups are a great way to connect with others who know what you’re going through. It can reduce feelings of isolation and you can learn from others’ experiences. If a group setting is uncomfortable, try to find someone you can trust and talk to such as a friend, family member, or therapist. 

Practice Gratitude

In the early and middle stages of dementia, your loved one will still have much of their abilities. Try to value and appreciate every moment you can with them. Be grateful for the time you have been gifted with. 

Build Structure

Try to build a sense of structure by sticking to a consistent schedule. Set regular times for activities such as waking up, mealtimes, dressing, receiving visitors, and bedtime. This can help establish a sense of time and help ground your loved one with dementia in the present. Involve them in as many daily activities as they are able to allow them a sense of control and independence. 

Plan For The Future

It’s important to establish plans early on for your loved one’s long-term care and housing. Ensure that your loved one is involved in the planning and that they have all of their legal, financial, and healthcare documents in order.

Combat Short-Term Memory Loss

Help your loved one retain their short-term memory by creating a system to recall words and names. They may need assistance with remembering appointments, tracking medications, or managing their finances.

Be Patient

As your loved one’s Alzheimer’s or dementia progresses, how they communicate will change over time. They may have trouble remembering things, repeat themselves, and become confused or get lost. Try to manage your own emotions and frustrations to allow them to feel safe. Remember to speak slowly and clearly and always be respectful.

Azheimer’s and Dementia Care Communities in Michigan

At Courtyard Manor, we provide compassionate Alzeheimer’s and dementia care for every patient. Our philosophy, training, and engagement focuses on meeting your loved one where they are. This unique approach provides comfort, joy and a higher quality of life. You can rest easy knowing that your loved one is cared for and treated with respect and dignity. Schedule a call to learn more about how we can help.

We Are Here To Help!

Do you want to learn more about our many services, including memory care? If you do, please reach out to us today!