Caring for a loved one or patient with Alzheimer's can become a difficult and overwhelming task at times. This guide helps caregivers of individual's with Alzheimer's deal with communicating, bathing, and dressing; as well as problem solving with incontinence, sleeping, wandering; and coping with difficulties Alzheimer's patients present. Read more: Alzheimer's Disease Patient Caregiver Guide Article
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Alzheimers Disease Quiz: Stages, Symptoms & Signs
Take the Alzheimer's Quiz to discover some of the mysteries behind this cognitive disorder. Learn causes, symptoms, treatments,...
Picture of Alzheimer's Disease
In the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, patients may experience memory impairment, lapses of judgment, and subtle changes in...
Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, and Aging Brains
What is dementia? Learn about dementia disorders such as Lewy Body Dementia, Alzheimer's disease (AD), Vascular (multi-infarct)...
Caring for Someone With Alzheimer's Disease
Use this guide for advice on caring for someone with Alzheimer's. Learn to spot early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease...
Alzheimer's Disease Symptoms & Early Diagnosis
Learn the early warning signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Memory loss and confusion can be signs of normal aging, but...
Alzheimer's Diagnosis: Your Family's Questions Answered
Is there any difference between Alzheimer's disease and Dementia? Is Alzheimer's disease deadly? Find out the truth about...
Related Disease Conditions
Dehydration is the excessive loss of body water. There are a number of causes of dehydration including heat exposure, prolonged vigorous exercise, and some diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms of dehydration include headache, lightheadedness, constipation, and bad breath. Treatment for dehydration is to replace lost fluids and electrolytes.
Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. The principal types of depression are major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disease (also called manic-depressive disease).
Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However, over-stress, can be harmful. There is now speculation, as well as some evidence, that points to the abnormal stress responses as being involved in causing various diseases or conditions.
Swallowing Problems (Dysphagia)
Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing, swallowing problems. Dysphagia is due to problems in nerve or muscle control. It is common, for example, after a stroke. Dysphagia compromises nutrition and hydration and may lead to aspiration pneumonia and dehydration.
Sleep Disorders (How to Get a Good Night's Sleep)
A number of vital tasks carried out during sleep help maintain good health and enable people to function at their best. Sleep needs vary from individual to individual and change throughout your life. The National Institutes of Health recommend about 7-9 hours of sleep each night for older, school-aged children, teens, and most average adults; 10-12 for preschool-aged children; and 16-18 hours for newborns. There are two stages of sleep; 1) REM sleep (rapid-eye movement), and 2) NREM sleep (non-rapid-eye movement). The side effects of lack of sleep or insomnia include: Irritability Tiredness Feeling sleepy during the day Concentration or memory problems Lack of sleep and insomnia can be caused by medical conditions or diseases, medications, stress, or pain. The treatment for lack of sleep and insomnia depends upon the cause.
Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of disease. Regular exercise can also reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety. There are fitness programs that fit any age or lifestyle.
Dementia is defined as a significant loss of intellectual abilities such as memory capacity, severe enough to interfere with social or occupational functioning. There are several different types of dementia, including cortical, subcortical, progressive, primary, and secondary dementias. Other conditions and medication reactions can also cause dementia. Dementia is diagnosed based on a certain set of criteria. Treatment for dementia is generally focused on the symptoms of the disease.
Insomnia Treatment (Sleep Aids and Stimulants)
Insomnia is difficulty in falling or staying asleep, the absence of restful sleep, or poor quality of sleep. Insomnia is a symptom and not a disease. The most common causes of insomnia are medications, psychological conditions, environmental changes and stressful events. Treatments may include non-drug treatments, over-the-counter medicines, and/or prescription medications.
Mental health is an optimal way of thinking, relating to others, and feeling. All of the diagnosable mental disorders fall under the umbrella of mental illness. Depression, anxiety, and substance-abuse disorders are common types of mental illness. Symptoms and signs of mental illness include irritability, moodiness, insomnia, headaches, and sadness. Treatment may involve psychotherapy and medication.
Bowel Incontinence (Fecal Incontinence)
Bowel or fecal incontinence refers to the loss of voluntary control of stool, or bowel movements. The condition can include partial incontinence, in which a person loses only a small amount of liquid waste, to complete incontinence, in which the entire bowel movement cannot be controlled. Diet changes and elimination of certain medications can help patients to regain bowel control. Treatment involves a combination of medication, biofeedback, and exercise.
Depression in the Elderly
Depression in the elderly is very common. That doesn't mean, though, it's normal. Treatment may involve antidepressants, psychotherapy, or electroconvulsive therapy.
Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and fear characterized by symptoms such as trouble concentrating, headaches, sleep problems, and irritability. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults. Treatment for anxiety may incorporate medications and psychotherapy.
Alzheimer's Disease: Financial Planning
Alzheimer's disease can be not only mentally devastating to an indivdiual and family, it can also be emotionally devastating. Preparing financially for someone with Alzheimer's disease is an important task to complete so that bills get paid and the best coverage is provided. Learn what Medicade and Medicare will provide for a patient.
Most often, caregivers take care of other adults who are ill or disabled. Less often, caregivers are grandparents raising their grandchildren. The majority of caregivers are middle-aged women. Caregiving can be very stressful, so it's important to recognize when it's putting to much strain on you and to take steps to prevent/relieve stress.
Stress Management Techniques
Stress may be considered as any physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental unrest and that may be a factor in disease causation. An important goal for those under stress is the management of stress in our lives. Elimination of stress is unrealistic, since stress is a part of normal life. We can however, learn to manage stress through techniques such as exercise, relaxation, meditation, time management, and support systems so that we have control over our stress and its effects on our physical and mental health.
Urinary Incontinence in Women
Millions of women suffer from urinary incontinence (UI). UI occurs twice as often in women as in men. There are many types of urinary incontinence: stress incontinence, urge incontinence, overactive bladder, functional incontinence, overflow incontinence, transient incontinence, and mixed incontinence.
Alzheimer's disease is a common cause of dementia. Symptoms and warning signs of Alzheimer's disease include memory loss, difficulty performing familiar tasks, disorientation to time and place, misplacing things, and more. The biggest risk factor for Alzheimer's disease is increased age. Treatment for Alzheimer's is often targeted toward decreasing the symptoms and progression of the disease.
Hyothermia or extreme exposure to cold can be classified as either accidental hypothermia (unintentional cold exposure) and intentional hypothermia (generally induced for a medical procedure). Hypothermia is caused by exposure to extremely cold temperatures. Risk factors for hypothermia include cold exposure and/or certain medical conditions. Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering; increased heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure; apathy, confusion, slurred speech, no reflexes, and dilated pupils. Medical attention is generally necessary to treat hypothermia.
Brain Lesions (Lesions on the Brain)
A brain lesion is defined as an area of damaged brain. Brain lesions (lesions on the brain) are caused by trauma, inflammation, autoimmune diseases, cancers, other diseases, stroke, bleeding, pituitary adenomas, and cerebral palsy. Symptoms of brain lesions include headache, nausea, fever, neck pain and stiffness, affected vision and speech, and weakness or paralysis to one side of the body. Diagnosis of brain lesions is generally accomplished with imaging studies like CT or MRI scans. Treatment and prognosis of brain lesions depends on the cause of the lesion.
7 Alzheimer's Disease Stages and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of Alzheimer's disease depend on the stage of the disease. Some doctors and researchers disagree in regard to the number of stages of Alzheimer's disease (from 1 to 7 stages). The Global Deterioration Scale or GDS identifies seven stages of Alzheimer's disease that include stage 1 (no impairment), stage 2 (very mild cognitive decline), stage 3 (mild cognitive decline), stage 4 (moderate cognitive decline), stage 5 (moderately severe decline), stage 6 (severe decline), and stage 7 (very severe decline). There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, however, there are drugs and therapies to help the symptoms Alzheimer's disease causes.
Local ResourcesFind a local Geriatrician in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
- Could Dirty Air Help Speed Alzheimer's?
- Depression Can Deepen Over Time for Alzheimer's Caregivers
- Blood Test Heralds New Era in Alzheimer's Diagnosis
- COVID-19 Brings New Challenges to Alzheimer's Caregiving
- Maria Shriver and AARP Take on Alzheimer's in Women
- How to Connect With Nursing Home Patients in Quarantine
- U.S. Primary Care Docs Unprepared for Surge in Alzheimer's Cases
- Helping Seniors Manage Meds After Hospital Reduces Readmission: Study
- Who's Caring for Family Caregivers? 1 in 5 Says Health Is Poor
- As Prices Rise for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's Meds, Patients Go Without
- Two Experimental Drugs Disappoint With Inherited Alzheimer's
- Caregivers Give Short Shrift to Their Own Health
- Diets Rich in Fruits, Veggies Could Lower Your Odds for Alzheimer's
- Obesity in Middle Age Could Raise Odds for Alzheimer's Later
- Hospital-Level Care in Your Home? It Could Be the Future
- Can You Find Love in Long-Term Care? Just Ask Gloria and Al
- Caregivers Need to Care for Themselves
- Number of Americans With Dementia Will Double by 2040: Report
- For Seniors, Financial Woes Can Be Forerunner to Alzheimer's
- New Alzheimer's Drug to be Submitted for FDA Approval
- What Helps Calm Agitated Dementia Patients?
- Standard Memory Tests for Seniors Might Differ by Gender
- Can Your Eating Habits Keep Alzheimer's at Bay?
- Dementia Caregivers Often Face Sleepless Nights
- Health Tip: Dementia and Driving
- Deep Brain 'Zap' Restores Vivid Memories to Alzheimer's Patients
- How to Protect a Loved One With Dementia During a Heat Wave
- Recognizing When Your Parents Need Help
- A New and Better Way to 'Stage' Alzheimer's Patients?
- At Risk for Alzheimer's? Exercise Might Help Keep It at Bay
- More Evidence That Socializing Helps Protect the Aging Brain
- Could Computers, Crafts Help Preserve the Aging Brain?
- Common Blood Pressure Med Might Help Fight Alzheimer's
- Nearly 1 in 4 Home Care Aides Faces Verbal Abuse
- Could You Afford Home Health Care? New Study Says Maybe Not
- Immigrants Make Up 1 in 4 U.S. Health Care Workers
- 'Robopets' Bring Companionship, Calm to Nursing Home Residents
- Could Alzheimer's Spread Like an Infection Throughout the Brain?
- Untrained Caregivers Bear Burden of Care for Families: Report
- Financial Scammers Often Prey on People With Early Dementia
- Caregiving May Not Be as Taxing to Your Health as Feared
- Brain Scans Spot, Track Alzheimer's
- Even Distant Relatives' History Could Up Your Alzheimer's Risk
- Rate of U.S. Deaths Tied to Dementia Has More Than Doubled
- FDA Warns 17 Companies About Illegal Alzheimer's Disease Products
- Could Gut Bacteria Be Linked to Dementia Risk?
- Plunging Temperatures a Threat to People With Alzheimer's
- What Makes for a Good Nursing Home?
- Health Tip: Caring for a Person With Alzheimer's
- Can Alzheimer's Be Spread? Mouse Study Hints It's Possible
- Doctors' Office Dementia Tests Are Often Wrong: Study
- Key Strategies When Caring for a Loved One With Dementia
- Ageism Costs Billions in Health Care Dollars
- Could Diabetes Drugs Help Curb Alzheimer's?
- Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Has Dementia
- Poorer Care at For-Profit Nursing Homes, Study Claims
- Could Herpes Virus Help Cause Alzheimer's?
- Map of Mouse Hippocampus Could Be Weapon Against Alzheimer's
- What's the Dollar Cost of Caring for a Loved One With Alzheimer's?
- U.S. Alzheimer's Cases to Nearly Triple by 2060
- Exercise May Boost Brain Power in Alzheimer's, Mouse Study Suggests
- Severity of Alzheimer's Can Vary by Season
- Health Tip: Help Kids Understand Alzheimer's
- Intensive Blood Pressure Control May Help Preserve Brain Health
- Virtual Reality as a Window Into Dementia
- Alzheimer's Drug Trial Offers New Hope, But Uncertainty, Too
- The Right Lighting Can Calm Alzheimer's Patients
- Life Is Short After Dementia Diagnosis, No Matter Your Age
- Could Aspirin Help Keep Alzheimer's Away?
- Robots May Soon Join Ranks of Alzheimer's Caregivers
- Health Tip: Living With Dementia
- How Much Exercise Helps the Aging Brain?
- Health Tip: Caregivers Can Help Prevent Falls
- 'Markers' of Alzheimer's Don't Doom You to Dementia
- Can Exercise Help Curb Dementia? One Study Says No
- Making Life With Dementia More Bearable
- When Do You Take Guns From Someone With Dementia?
- 'Smart Dresser' Might Help Alzheimer's Patients Clothe Themselves
- Health Tip: Signs of Abuse at an Eldercare Facility
- The Focus Shifts in Alzheimer's Research
- Alzheimer's Stigma a Barrier to Prevention, Care: Survey
- Scientists Remove Alzheimer's Brain Plaques in Mice
- The High Costs of Alzheimer's
- Heartburn Meds Not Tied to Hip Fractures in Alzheimer's Patients
- Poor Sleep May Heighten Alzheimer's Risk
- What Caregivers Should Know About Alzheimer's
- Health Tip: Using a Geriatric Care Manager
- Health Tip: Next Steps After Being Diagnosed With Alzheimer's
- Eyes May Be Window Into Future Memory Loss
- Health Tip: Friendships May Stem Cognitive Decline in Seniors
- Another Alzheimer's Drug Fails: What Makes This Disease So Tough to Fight?
- Health Tip: Alzheimer's and the Holidays
- Dementia Care: A Huge Financial Burden for U.S. Families
- Traveling With Dementia: Tips for Family Caregivers
- Wives, Daughters Shoulder Most of Alzheimer's Care Burden
- Early Palliative Care Seems to Help Caregivers, Too
- Brain Injuries in Older Age Could Boost Dementia Risk, Study Finds
- Blood Test May Have Power to Predict Alzheimer's
- My Father's Keeper: Caring for a Parent With Dementia
- Portable Bed Rails Can Pose Safety Hazard, FDA Says
- Alzheimer's 'Epidemic' Straining Caregiver, Community Resources: Report
- A Third of U.S. Seniors Die With Dementia, Study Finds
- More Regular Meals May Improve Dementia Care
- For Alzheimer's Caregivers, Patience and Compassion Are Key
- Family's Questions About Alzheimer's Patients Can Put Nurses in a Bind
- Drug May Slow Memory Loss in Early Alzheimer's
- Home-Based Care Teams Offer Help for Those With Dementia
- Health Tip: Take Care of Yourself, Too
- Lower Weight May Be Early Alzheimer's Sign
- Eye Surgery Improves Mood of Alzheimer's Patients
- Family History Has Complex Role in Alzheimer's Risk
- Laughter Might Be Good Medicine for Alzheimer's Patients
- Alzheimer's and Its Impact on Women
- Researchers Find Clues for Early Alzheimer's