Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
Text Size

Health News

Alzheimer's Caregivers Need Care, Too

Alzheimer's Caregivers Need Care, Too


WEDNESDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- The growing number of people with Alzheimer's disease in the United States means that more people are becoming caregivers, a responsibility that health experts warn can pose risks to body and mind.

But caregivers can take various steps to protect their health, says Rebecca Axline, a clinical social worker at the Nantz National Alzheimer Center in Houston.

To keep stress in check, for instance, she emphasizes the need to find time and ways to reenergize, to keep meaningful things in your life and to remain social and participate in your favorite activities.

Axline also offered communication techniques that can help reduce caregivers' stress and frustration:

  • Always identify yourself and call the person you're caring for by name.
  • Talk slowly and clearly. Use short sentences and break down instructions into steps.
  • Ask one question at a time and wait patiently for a response. Repeat information and questions. Clarify and give visual clues, such as pointing to an object or location. Avoid vague words.
  • Use positive rather than negative instructions, such as "walk carefully" instead of "don't trip."
  • Don't get into power struggles with the person, such as arguing about something that's possibly been forgotten.

Getting adequate rest -- at least seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep a night -- and eating well, Axline said, also are key to keeping a caregiver's body and mind healthy. If there's no time to cook, caregivers should ask for help from family, friends or neighbors.

Building a support team is important, she said. The doctor and treatment team, including the social worker, for the person receiving care, as well as the local Alzheimer's Association can help create a care program that works for the recipient and caregiver alike.

More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, a number that experts predict will rise to 16 million by 2050. Women are more likely than men to develop Alzheimer's and are also more likely to become caregivers.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Aging offers an Alzheimer's caregiver guide.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


Latest News

Crouse Hospital Appoints Chief Information Officer
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >