Family 411: Advice for Alzheimer's caregivers

Family 411: Advice for Alzheimer's caregivers (MGN Online)

Caring for someone with Alzheimer's can have a high emotional impact.

There are different avenues to help ease the stress.

Tara Morgan, from our sister station WSYX, is with one caregiver who has advice in making sure you care for yourself too in this Family 411 report.

A collection of memories...of an accomplished and cherished life.

"Ron was my best friend as well as my collaborator."

Researcher Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, and her husband Ron, have been married for decades.

They worked together just as long.

"He was warm, he was funny, he was a really great scientist."

What the two studied about spouses as caregivers became Jan's reality.

"In 2014, he was diagnosed with early Alzheimer's and in the next year, he progressed really really rapidly."

Ron Glaser, an immunologist and distinguished scholar, could no longer think or speak clearly.

She kept him home until she could no longer manage on days without in-home help.

"He was very confused and he could do things that were dangerous."

Ron has a family history of Alzheimer's.

Jan stresses to families to seek a diagnosis early if you should begin to see the signs.

"There are some medications that can help with symptoms."

Make sure your finances are in order.

"There will be a point, where if the house is in your spouse's name or in both your names, you wouldn't be able to easily sell."

And have a healthy lifestyle.

Jan says stress on caregivers alters your response to flu vaccines, causes a rise in inflammation and slows wound healing.

"Making sure you have good supports. Exercising is really important, eating healthily."

Jan says care giving is often viewed as living bereavement.

She keeps cherished moments close to heart.

"You watch the person you love disappearing and I watched him disappear."

Ron now lives in a memory care unity.

If you think you need a care facility, Jan recommends getting on a waiting list as early as possible.

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