Sources for Alzheimer's Education and Caregiver Training

Oftentimes people with Alzheimer's disease find their caregivers by default. Typically a family member or close friend will take up the role and help the person with things they can no longer do for themselves. They check in with them, maybe they move in and assist with daily needs. In the early stages, the necessary support can look more like providing support and companionship. Caregivers may not realize the full extent to which they may be needed as Alzheimer's progresses.

Alzheimer's progression and caregiver education

As time goes on and the disease progresses, more duties and responsibilities may begin to crop up. Continually learning and educating yourself about Alzheimer's disease is helpful in order to anticipate any issues that may arise and how to address them. This "continuing education" of sort is important in guiding awareness of the skills that may need to be learned.

If someone falls into the role of being a caregiver for a person with Alzheimer's disease there are a few things one can do to help make things easier.

Establish a network of support

For the caregiver and the care recipient, especially if the person is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, keeping regular engagement with family and friends is paramount.

Arrange meetups and hangs with family and friends that are willing and comfortable with spending time alone with a loved one. This gives the caregiver some time for themselves.1

Understanding the disease

It's important for caregivers to educate themselves about Alzheimer's disease. Knowing the course of the disease, what symptoms can arise. As well as possible complications, and ways to manage, cope, and adapt to challenges that come up will make things less difficult for both caregiver and care recipient.

Being aware of symptoms and warning signs can also be helpful in navigating when to escalate to their doctor.

Alzheimers education sources for caregivers

Websites, books, support groups, and your loved one's doctor are all excellent resources to seek out. You can talk to their doctor about reputable resources and educational opportunities, as well as details on any local caregiver groups.

Specific places to start can include the Alzheimer's Association, the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Aging, and the Alzheimer's Foundation of America.

Alzheimer's caregiver training

Even if a caregiver doesn't have professional training, there are many resources and workshops available to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to properly and diligently care for someone with Alzheimer's disease.

Don't forget about support groups for caregivers as well. Caregiving is a demanding job, so it is necessary for caregivers to maintain their well-being. Support groups are a great way to reduce stress and learn from fellow caregivers.

Sources for caregiver training

Check out this list of care training resources from the Alzheimer's Association, along with this booklet from the Family Caregiver Alliance on practical skills for caregiving.

There are also dedicated pages of information specifically for caregivers for those with Alzheimer's disease from the Family Caregiver Alliance and general caregiving information.

Asking and needing additional help is normal

If a trained professional is necessary either part-time or full-time, know when to ask for help. It is not a failure on anyone's part if, and oftentimes when, a professional caregiver becomes necessary to support a loved one's care. Sometimes this also looks like meal delivery services or respite care.2

Proper care for a loved one with Alzheimer's and maintaining their dignity as well as the caregivers are important factors when navigating through the progression of the disease. Talk to your loved one's doctor, garner insight into the disease, educate yourself and feel secure in knowing that you are prepared.

Looking for more Alzheimer's resources? Check out the Caregivers Resource Center.

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Written by: Jaime Rochelle Herndon | Last reviewed: June 2019