According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, family caregivers, particularly women, provide over 75% of caregiving support in the United States. Providing care for a loved one, particularly someone with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia, can be challenging. Family caregivers can be understandably overwhelmed by this responsibility. As a loved one progresses through the stages of Alzheimer’s disease, caregivers find that they have more questions than answers and may not know what their next steps should be in continuing to respond effectively to changes in physical ability, communication, behavior and cognition; changes that are all a result of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, caregivers experience a high level of stress in trying to manage these many responsibilities.
One of the most effective ways to help ensure optimum care for those with Alzheimer’s disease is through caregiver education. Learning about the disease and knowing what to expect can help caregivers feel more in control and better able to plan ahead. It is also important for family caregivers to learn ways to manage stress and care for themselves in the midst of caring for a loved one.
According to the National Institute On Aging, the information and problem-solving needs of caregivers evolve over time as Alzheimer’s disease progresses. Developing ways to help caregivers become educated about Alzheimer’s disease, improve flexibility in responding to caregiving demands, and learn a variety of practical strategies can help.
Alzheimer’s New Jersey® caregiver education programs seek to achieve this goal. Our programs range from basic education about Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias to specialized topics such as coping with challenging behaviors, communication tips and techniques, caregiver stress as well as intensive multi-part education programs that provide information for caregivers specific to the early, middle, and late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, we offer half-day caregiver conferences throughout the year that provide caregivers with the opportunity to hear from local physicians, attorneys and other professionals with significant experience in working with families that are impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. We work collaboratively with hospital systems, Area Offices on Aging, houses of worship, libraries and other community organizations to provide education programs that help families cope with the challenges of caregiving.
Becoming educated about Alzheimer’s disease, learning practical caregiving approaches, and using local caregiving resources are important strategies. Learn more about our upcoming caregiver conferences and other education programs