A guide for carers
If a loved one shows signs of confusion or forgetfulness, keep a log of how often it's happening. Consult your GP early, with or without your loved one. Better to be safe than sorry. Once diagnosed, start reading and learn how to deal with the symptoms in a way that keeps your loved one happy and you sane. A good read is The 36-hour day: a family guide to caring for persons with Alzheimer's disease, by Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins. Be open with family and friends. It lifts the unnecessary burden of trying to cover for your loved one's sometimes odd behaviour. You can't do it alone -- get support. Make contact with Alzheimer's Society -- they can link you to invaluable day care centres, HSE supports, respite care, home help as well as carers' support groups. Remember the person. Photos around the place remind you, visitors or carers of the person behind the disease.
Find out more information, volunteer or donate to provide information and support to people with dementia and their families at www.alzheimer.ie or phone the National Helpline on 1800 341 341.