Dementia Caregivers Support & Resources
Dementia caregivers face a unique set of problems and issues. How can you cope when taking care of an elderly parent with dementia? Can you deal with an elderly parent’s bad behavior that comes from dementia? We provide information, resources and an active community of support from other dementia caregivers.
Articles About Dementia Caregiver
- We Learn to Accept or Ignore the Things Our Patients Say and Do
A dementia patient's idiosyncrasies can be rather puzzling. As caregivers, we must learn to go with the flow and pick our battles carefully.
- Honor Your Elders' Need for Independence
As caregivers, we must encourage activities and interests that contribute to our loved ones’ feelings of self-worth while also balancing their safety.
- Good Times at the Memory Café
The Memory Café sounds like the name of a 1950s diner, but this term is the official moniker of a new breed of social gathering for seniors and their caregivers that has begun cropping up around the country. ‘Support group' is a tidy, if slightly imprecise, way of explaining the true function of a Memory Cafe. The difference between a Memory Café and a support group is that a Café gathering is more about the camaraderie and less about the disease.
- Playing Along with A Dementia Patient's Realities
Dementia can cause a number of troubling behaviors in sufferers. Delusions can be especially challenging for family members to deal with. Sometimes a simple change in perspective can improve communication and help daily tasks go more smoothly. Caregivers are often faced with the choice of grounding their loved one or validating their perceptions of reality.
- Drug Giant Fined for Marketing Risperdal as a Dementia Treatment
Johnson and Johnson faces a multi-billion dollar financial penalty for making misleading claims about one of its most popular drugs.
- Validation Therapy for Dementia: Calming or Condescending?
People with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia often live in an altered reality. Through validation of our loved one's reality, "therapeutic fibbing" is very often the most kind, respectful response we can provide.
- As the Brain Goes—So Goes the Heart
I was trying to cope with all of the horrible things that had happened and Charlie’s lack of compassion wasn’t helping. I am starting to suspect he is losing his empathy along with his mind.
- Re-examining the Coconut-Oil-for-Alzheimer's Hype
I've been irked by the many hucksters who've promoted coconut oil as an Alzheimer's treatment, without one shred of scientific evidence. All that false hope to all those struggling families.... Makes me crazy! One major promoter seems to be dialing back.
- You Never Know What a Dementia Patient Will Do Next
You never know what a dementia patient is going to come up with. Charlie's latest habit is as perplexing as it is frustrating.
- The Outdoorsman Has Had His Wings Clipped
The combination of Charlie's war injuries and dementia mean he can't explore the outdoors like he used to, but there are ways he's been able to maintain his connection with the wildlife in out community.
- I Want to Go Home!
When life's challenges became so very hard, as they inevitably do, I would sometimes think, I want my mother. I want to go home.
- Living Proof That Alzheimer’s Can’t Steal Love
My mother can't always remember who she is, but that doesn't mean the love between them is gone.
- Am I Falling Down The Dementia Crevasse?
I have always said that the thing I fear the most is losing my mind. So every move I make, every false step, every outspoken word sets me on edge, giving me pause.
- Nothing is Simple for the Disabled
For Charlie and me, basic things like getting a haircut are now far from effortless. I can tell that our outings aren’t going to get any easier, and I’m worried about what the future holds.
- This is What 16 Years of Caregiving Taught Me
I have been my mother's caregiver for the past 16 years. Along the way, I and have learned many things about dementia. I have jotted them down here to share with you.
- Rest in Peace
My experiences as a long-distance caregiver for my mother taught my family and I the true significance of the phrase, "Rest in peace."
- Can You Love Someone When You Hate Their Dementia?
Dementia is so devastating and divisive that it can be hard to maintain a loving attitude towards a family member with the disease. Discover how to reconnect with a loved one.
- What Can I Do?
It's the question every dementia caregiver has about their loved one: What can I do? Unfortunately, there's no easy answer.
- Why People with Dementia Refuse to Do Things
Caregivers often wonder why a person with dementia will refuse to do certain things. Based on a recent experience with my own cognitive impairment, I believe I know why this happens.
- Am I the Only One Who Notices My Impairment?
Family members say they don't notice my cognitive impairment; even though I can clearly see how it's affecting my day-to-day life.
- Old Memories Last the Longest
Charlie's memories of flying in WWII are still fresh for him, yet he can't remember who his grandson is. When someone has dementia, their oldest memories often last the longest.
- The Things I've Learned From a Husband With Dementia
Living with Alzheimer's and Frontal Lobe Dementia can teach you things that will change your life--and they are not all bad.
- Alzheimers' Unexpected Gift
When I first thought I had Alzheimer's, I was given the unexpected gift of community. My relationships with many people from the community changed profoundly (or at least my perceptions of them did).
- Visits with Mom Can Be a Pleasant Surprise
I never know what to expect when I visit Mom. We have good days and bad. It is an emotional roller coaster with many ups and downs. Today was a ride to remember.
- Dementia Makes Even Simple Decisions Difficult for Caregivers
Charlie has developed serious dental problems, so now I have to decide which treatment he should get. Do I go for the costly surgery that lasts longer or the more affordable option that could break down in a few years?
- Memory Care Tricks from an Unlikely Literary Source
I recently found a few interesting memory care tricks from an unlikely literary source: "And The Mountains Echoed," by Khaled Hosseini.
- The Moment Every Alzheimer’s Caregiver Lives For
This tender exchange between a daughter and her mother with late-stage Alzheimer's will warm your soul.
- Treating Cataracts May Slow Cognitive Decline
Cataract surgery can provide patients with vision loss and dementia even greater benefits than restored eyesight.
- A Lesson in Love
Even when confronted by Alzheimer's, mom manages to maintain her spirit and offer her family a lesson in love.
- Is Alzheimer’s Really a ‘Fate Worse Than Death?’
Perhaps Alzheimer's is not a fate worse than death, even though so many people believe that it is. Here's how I think society can get beyond this type of thinking.
- Dementia is the New Black
Actress Connie Shulman discusses the life-altering impact of learning that her friend had dementia, and how important it is to support patients and their families.
- The Empty Chair That Alzheimer's Left
Alzheimer's has left an empty chair as we continue on Mom's journey.
- Dementia is a Scourge
Charlie used to be a gadget guru, capable of fixing anything. Now, because of his dementia, I have to explain to him how to turn off the TV every night.
- Bathing Assistance: Our First Encounter with a Home Health Aide
Charlie's first session with his home health aide was today. He was resistant to receiving help at first, but the experience ended on a positive note.
- I Will
A poem I wrote in honor of my mother who has Alzheimer's disease.
- A Christmas Album Designed for People with Alzheimer's
Meet the caregiver who is using Christmas carols and other musical methods to help people with Alzheimer's and their families enjoy life to the fullest.
- A Powerful Anthem for Alzheimer’s Caregivers
Popular singer-songwriter, Chris Mann, has recorded a powerful anthem to encourage Alzheimer's awareness. Discover why he's so passionate about the cause.
- Offbeat Cartoon Videos Seek to Demolish Dementia Stigma
A new set of educational films aims to alleviate the stigma of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia in a unique way.
- Where-Oh-Where Has My Filter Gone?
Recently, things have been slipping out of my mouth that are better left unsaid. I am asking myself if we all lose our filter as we age—the filter that keeps hurtful things from coming out at unexpected times.
- C’est La Vie with Charlie
A personal story about the struggles of adjusting to the changes in daily life while caring for a loved one with dementia.
- I Don’t Remember Mom Complaining
When I was growing up, I don't remember Mom complaining about anything. But it was her struggle with dementia that showed me why complaining is truly counterproductive.
- Sundowning with Dad
My father recently began to display signs of Sundowners Syndrome. Here's how mom and I handle sundowning with dad.
- Dementia and Selective Memory
The selective memory of those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's disease can be baffling for caregivers. Here's how I cope with Charlie's memory slips.
- Caregiving Tips from the ‘Horse Whisperer of Dementia’
Five dementia caregiving tips from Teepa Snow, acclaimed dementia care authority and the newest AgingCare.com Expert.
- New Year, New Rollercoaster
My symptoms are becoming increasingly worse, and their unpredictability is causing me to question my ability to handle everyday tasks.
- Charlie's Brain and His Teeth
Charlie's latest dementia-fueled obsession: his dental health. He's always asking me to make appointments with the dentist, even though he doesn't need to go.
- A Playful Approach to Dementia
Discover why increasing numbers of elder care experts are advocating for a more playful, holistic approach to dementia care.
- Meet Charlie and Me
I'm Marlis Powers—caregiver, grandmother, cancer-survivor. I look after my husband, Charlie, who has dementia. I'll be sharing my perspectives as a spousal caregiver with the AgingCare community through an ongoing series of blog posts.
- Talking with a Dementia Patient Can be Frustrating
Sometimes I get so frustrated trying to talk with Charlie that I end up ignoring him and reading a book. I don't want to hurt him, but there comes a point when I just can't take it anymore.
- You Are Your Loved One's Voice
As dementia advances there will be challenges along the journey. It is your responsibility to contribute to a plan and follow up with the facility to ensure the plan is being carried out. You are your loved one's voice, don't be afraid to use it.
- Will it Work? Video Game Empowers People Living With Dementia
Alzheimer's experts have teamed up to create a virtual world where people with dementia can find peace and confidence.
- Glen Campbell Lawsuit Highlights POA and Alzheimer’s
A lawsuit brought against legendary singer Glen Campbell, who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, highlights the serious responsibilities that develop when we delegate authority with a POA.
- A Trip Down Dementia’s Ever-Darkening Road
It was a September day in 2008 when my husband and I began our trip down dementia's ever-darkening road.
- Charlie’s Mission is to Make Me Grumpy—And He Does a Good Job
I have to wonder how much longer I am going to keep my sanity while caring for my husband, Charlie. At least he hasn't lost his sense of humor—yet.
- Traveling with a Dementia Patient Can be Trying
A caregiver’s story: I recently found out the hard way that a vacation with a dementia patient isn’t much of a vacation after all.
- 8 Facts about Lewy Body Dementia
Lewy Body dementia (LBD) is often overshadowed by its more well-known cousin, Alzheimer's disease. To clear up the confusion, here are 8 facts everyone should know about Lewy body dementia.
- Dementia and the Thermostat
Last night, after I went to bed, Charlie's dementia convinced him to turn down the thermostat, even though I told him not to.
- Learning to Ask for Help When Dementia Care Becomes Too Much
I had trouble learning how to ask for help when Charlie's dementia care became too much for me to handle.
- Life with Two Different Husbands
What it's like to live with Bob and "Al."
- Caregiving is All about Love
I don’t resent Charlie for his lack of empathy. It’s just one more thing I have to face as a dementia caregiver. When he isn’t himself I just try to remember the man he used to be, the man I fell in love with.
- Charlie’s New Habit
Charlie has resumed one of the unhealthy habits he first picked up during his days as a fighter pilot.
- Mountaineer Climbs for Alzheimer's Awareness
In just under one year, 55-year-old Alan Arnette accomplished what few have done before; climbing the 7 Summits to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease. We should never under estimate the difference we can make as individuals, no matter how overwhelming a challenge may be.
- David Cassidy: Teen Idol to Dementia Caregiver
David Cassidy discusses his mother's struggle with dementia and how being a caregiver has motivated him to work with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia organizations to spread awareness.
- Coping when Both Parents Have Dementia
Many of us feel alone when we are trying to care for our aging parents. When we have one parent who has dementia, it is hard. When both are diagnosed, it is often nearly unbearable. Sometimes the pain is so isolating that the caregiver falls seriously ill. Statistics vary, but upwards of thirty percent of caregivers die before their patients. Join forums such as Aging Care, seek out your state’s elder care resources and share with others who are in similar experiences.
- How can caregivers cope with the tragic loss of a parent to Alzheimer's?
I found that reading caregiving statistics helped me feel less alone, especially the one about: “More than 50 million Americans are taking care of a family member or friend--and 20 million of them are Baby Boomers caring for an aging parent.”
- Dementia Patients and Their Hurtful Lies
When a person succumbs to any form of dementia, it is hard on family and friends. One of the worst things we have to cope with is the fact that a person with this disease has a flawed memory, and this can cause them to tell others terrible things about us, simply because their brain is not working correctly. No matter how far from the truth their stories and accusations may be, to them, what they are saying is true.
- Alzheimer’s Caregivers Six Times More Likely to Develop Dementia
A series of studies examining how the burdens of caregiving can affect a caregiver have resulted in a distrubing set of findings that link caregiving for people afflicted with Alzheimer's to an increased risk for developing dementia.
- Mom has Dementia and Talks to Deceased Relatives. What do I do?
When a person with dementia or Alzheimer's talks to dead family members or relatives, they are recalling happier times...but it might be time to bring in some expert help.