Director's Corner

Caregiving for Early-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease

Caregiving for Early-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease

During early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, both the individual with the disease and the caregiver will need to adjust to the diagnosis and make plans for the future.

Here is what to expect as a caregiver in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Learning about early-stage Alzheimer’s disease

As a caregiver, learning as much as possible about Alzheimer’s disease will make caregiving easier. Don’t stress out about the late stages just yet – concentrate on learning about early and middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Behaviors in the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease can be upsetting but learning to separate the person from the disease is vital.

Emotional Support

An Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be heartbreaking for the person affected and their families, including the future caregivers. It’s important for caregivers to seek out emotional support through counseling, support groups or other family members.

Having an established support system in the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease that can grow and change as the disease progresses will ensure the caregiver can stay strong for their loved one.

Family Roles

After an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, it will become increasingly difficult for the person diagnosed to fulfill the role they typically played in the family. Cooking, driving and shopping will become increasingly difficult in the early stage. If the person with Alzheimer’s disease typically would be responsible for these tasks, it’s time for another family member to take over.

Finances

In the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease, it’s important to map out your family’s financial strategy. This should include reviewing health, disability and long-term care insurances.

Legal

Even in the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease, the person will need help making medical and financial decisions. Legal documents should be reviewed and completed as early as possible before the Alzheimer’s patient is no longer capable of signing these documents.

Learn more about early, middle and late stage Alzheimer’s disease and caregiving at https://www.caregiver.org/alzheimers-disease-caregiving

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