The annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference brought together healthcare professionals and scientists to present the latest research on Alzheimer’s disease. Sadly, the disease not only affects the 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, but also the 15 million-plus Americans who care for them.
With that in mind, there were some takeaway messages from the Conference for caregivers:
1) Mental and social stimulation are important for someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, so caregivers need to ensure they remain engaged in hobbies, social events, projects or community activities.
2) Exercise is important, especially resistance training for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s; however, even a daily walk can provide a physical benefit while also adhering to a structured program.
3) Alcohol and dementia don’t mix; if you’re caring for someone who is already cognitively impaired, you certainly don’t want him or her to be intoxicated as well.
The most poignant takeaway message of all for caregivers, however, is to ensure you care for yourself. When you’re caring for another, it’s easy to put your own needs to the side. Don’t allow this to happen to you, as it may be just as detrimental to yourself as to the person for whom you are caring.
To learn more about these caregiver takeaways and how they can improve your ability to care for someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, read these tips.