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Caring for the caregiver and Alzheimer's disease resources

Caring for the caregiver is an essential element of managing the patient with Alzheimer's disease. Caregiving is a distressing experience. On the other hand, caregiver education delays nursing home placement of Alzheimer's disease patients. The 3Rs -

Repeat,

Reassure, and

Redirect

can help caregivers reduce troublesome behaviors and limit the use of medications. The short-term educational programs are well liked by family caregivers and can lead to a modest increase in disease knowledge and greater confidence among caregivers. Educational training for staffs of long-term care facilities can decrease the use of antipsychotics in Alzheimer's disease patients.

Caregivers should be directed to support services, particularly the Alzheimer's Association (1-800-272-3900, www.alz.org/chapter/).

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