FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM DECEMBER 3, 2020 • HEALTH • THE QUEENS COURIER 19
These tips can help reduce the
burden of Alzheimer’s caregiving
Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s
or other dementias is exceptionally
demanding, and especially challenging.
Th e caregiving needs of people living
with Alzheimer’s are not only oft en more
extensive, but are oft en needed over many
years - even decades.
A recent survey by the Alzheimer’s
Association indicates many caregivers
are not getting the help and support
they need - a whopping 84 percent
of caregivers say they would like
more support in caring for someone
with Alzheimer’s, especially from family
“Too many people are shouldering the
caregiving burden alone,” says Ruth Drew,
director of information and support services
at the Alzheimer’s Association.
“Many people want or would welcome
help, but they are reluctant or just too
overwhelmed to ask.”
Tips for supporting a caregiver
Providing help and support to caregivers
can be easier than most people think.
Even little acts can make a big diff erence,
Drew says. Th e Alzheimer’s Association
off ers these suggestions:
Learn: Educate yourself about
Alzheimer’s disease - its symptoms, its
progression and the common challenges
facing caregivers. Th e more you know, the
easier it will be to fi nd ways to help.
Build a team: Organize family and
friends who want to help with caregiving.
Th e Alzheimer’s Association Care Team
Calendar is a free, personalized online
tool that allows helpers to sign up for specifi
c tasks, such as preparing meals, providing
rides or running errands.
Give a break: Spend time with the person
with dementia, allowing the caregiver
a chance to run errands, go to their
own doctor’s appointment or engage in
an activity that helps them recharge. Even
one hour could make a big diff erence in
providing the caregiver some relief.
Check in: Many caregivers report feeling
isolated or alone; make a phone call to
check in, send a note or stop by for a visit.
Tackle the to-do list: Ask for a list of
errands that need to be done. Pick up
groceries or dry cleaning, or even off er to
shuttle kids to and from activities.
Be specifi c and be fl exible: Openended
off ers of support (“Call me if you
need anything,” or “Let me know if I can
help.”) may be well-intended, but are oft en
dismissed. Be specifi c in your off er (“I’m
going to the store, what do you need?”).
Continue to let the caregiver know that
you are there and ready to help.
Help for the holidays: Help caregivers
around the holidays by off ering to help
with cooking, cleaning or gift shopping. If
a caregiver has traditionally hosted family
celebrations, off er your home instead.
Join the fi ght: Honor a person living
with the disease and their caregiver
by supporting the Alzheimer’s cause.
Volunteer at your local Alzheimer’s
Association offi ce or participate in fundraising
“It’s a mistake to assume caregivers
have everything under control,” Drew
says. “Most caregivers can use and would
appreciate help. No one can do everything,
but each of us can do something.”
To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease
and ways you can support families and
people living with the disease, visit www.
alz.org, the website of the Alzheimer’s
— Courtesy of BPT