ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Starting Tips for the Alzheimer's Caregiver

Updated on September 27, 2018
MsDora profile image

MsDora shares information and insights from her experience as a four-year caregiver to her late mother who suffered from Alzheimer's.

“Before the players on my football team took the field, we studied and learned everything we could about the team we were playing,” writes Coach Frank Broyles. “Preparation is the key to facing any opponent.”

Coach Broyles, engagaged in Alzheimer’s research when his wife Barbara was diagnosed with the disease. His football coach’s play book is the pattern for Coach Broyles’ Playbook for Alzheimer’s Caregivers.

The coach recommends, “Learn all you can about Alzheimer’s disease. It will help you prepare for the months and years ahead.”

Caregiving needs loving hands and hearts.
Caregiving needs loving hands and hearts. | Source

Gather Some Resources

Coach Broyles Playbook for Alzheimer's Caregivers can be purchased in nineteen languages. It is a great resource, simple but detailed in 110 pages. It explains the three stages of the disease - early, middle and late.

Subheadings under each stage compare with the layout of the football game:

  • pre-game planning
  • coaches and special teams
  • playing offense
  • playing defense
  • the training table.

The book comes with a 17 page booklet on Tips and Strategies which gives very practical and insightful explanation of the patient's behavior and suggestive helps for the caregiver.

Other Resources for people helping people with Alzheimer's offers valuable research information; video tapes and transcripts on different facets of the disease and links to the Alzheimer's Association, National Institute on Aging, VA Caregiver Support and other resource sites. Under their Caring for Someone page, there are questions and answers on everyday challenges and caregiving process.

Making Life With Alzheimer’s Easier by Lianna Marie Doherty deals with all the regular Alzheimer’s information; but in addition, it teaches practical ways to make the life of the Alzheimer's patient easier—how to understand her emotions, how to relate to her in a way that lessens her stress and frustration, foods she should avoid, and also how to deal with the caregiver’s emotions. It also contains stories of the author and other people who have been affected by Alzheimer's.

Share Your Feelings

Sharing my situation in How Alzheimer’s Upset My Mother’s Life and Mine paid off in great dividends. Many people responded by sharing their experiences with Alzheimer’s people they know or have cared for. One of the precious letters I received came from someone who was an only child like I am. Her report of caring for her mother really empowered me to believe that I could do as effective a job as she did. It gave me a sense of connection which I will forever cherish.

Share your feelings and resist the temptation to think that nobody cares, when in fact, there are many others who have their feelings bottled up inside, waiting to share with one who needs to hear.

Pick a Support Team

Coach Broyles compares the Alzheimer’s caregiver to the quarterback who needs the cooperation of the entire football team in order to score points. It is your job as a prospective caregiver to find and select family members who are available and solicit their support.

If the patient needs company twenty-four hours, the caregiver will need regular breaks—personal care time, time for spiritual and emotional nourishment at a worship service or prayer meeting, time to socialize so she does not lose contact with the outside world. Alzheimer’s caregiving cannot be a one-man show, not only for the caregiver’s personal benefit, but also because the loved one will not receive the best care from someone who is tired and frustrated. A good support team ensures that the caregiver is allowed time to exhale, refresh and reset.

Select a Primary Backup Helper

Apart from the daily responsibilities of caregiving, there are some essential matters to be handled. At some point medical care, bills to be paid, and legal matters concerning property will become too complicated for the patient. The caregiver needs access to all the pertinent information, but what if the caregiver should become too sick to manage, disabled or worse? A back-up helper should be selected before any such crisis occurs.

The primary backup helper may be selected from the support team, or may be some other family member who is acquainted with their arrangements. It would be wise for all concerned to know beforehand, so that there is no confusion when it is time for action.

Locate a Support Group

Members of the support team meet, share phone calls or emails, or write newsletters to encourage each other. To get help finding a support group in the United States, call the Alzheimer's and Dementia Caregiver Center at 800.272.3900.

On my Caribbean island of Saint Kitts, there is no organized support for caregivers. Alzheimer’s though cruel to the families of the few victims on the island, has not gained enough attention to warrant national consideration. On World Health Rankings (2010) Alzheimers/Dementia occupies the 16th slot in causes of death. That translates to 6 deaths (1.75%).

Below is a fifteen-minute video in which caregivers tell their story and demonstrate how community support can be helpful. It is worth the time to watch. Caregivers in other communities might get helpful ideas.

Focus on Staying Healthy

Health, physical as well as mental, is super-important to the caregiver. Basic rules of proper nutrition, adequate rest and regular exercise cannot be ignored. Food supplements are as important to the caregiver as they are to the patient.

Throughout the day, create and maintain a mood of peace, joy and contentment through:

  • inspiring messages on radio or tape
  • songs with uplifting lyrics
  • motivational poems and quotes
  • humorous videos
  • dance

The caregiver’s preparation includes resources which, if habitually used, can negate the need for drugs as mood enhancers, tranquilizers or energizers. The state of the caregiver’s mind will determine the outcome of her struggles between faith and fear, hope and despair, serenity and worry.

Make your requests be known unto God.
Make your requests be known unto God. | Source

Solicit Prayer

“Have you tried prayer?” is sometimes asked as an afterthought when everything else has failed. It comes at the end of this article as “last but in no way least.” Prayer must be a habit for the caregiver.

The prayers of friends and supporters are also necessary. Submit your prayer requests to people who care, to prayer groups in your church and community, and even solicit prayer online. Never underestimate the power of prayer.

© 2012 Dora Weithers


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Smireles, I appreciate you reading and commenting. There is still so much to learn. Happy for you if you never have to be an Alzheimer's caregiver. Blessings on you, too.

    • Smireles profile image

      Sandra Mireles 

      6 years ago from Texas

      This is a helpful hub. Thank you for taking the time to research this information. Living with Alzheimers is difficult and painful for family members. I do not have a relative with Alzheimers, but my mother had periods of memory loss during her final illness and it was difficult telling her about the past six months when she did not remember Christmas or her Christmas presents. Blessings.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Elder. I live with my mother who is an Alzheimer's victim. "Terrible" is a good word for the disease. Glad if I can help someone else.

    • profile image

      Alicia Foley 

      6 years ago from Connecticut

      Ms. Dora thank you for writing about this subject. Alzheimer's is a terrible disease that affects the person and the family. Your resources are fantastic and will truly be a help to those not sure where to turn.

      Voted up useful and interesting.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      6 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks LL for your kind comment and your votes. I appreciate you.

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma City

      You've provided wonderful resources, insights and ideas for those who find themselves as caregivers for someone with Alzheimer's disease. Thanks, too, for the reminder that although we may feel alone and in a situation no one else could understand, there are many others out there who feel just as we do -- we just need to reach out.

      Great hub; voted up and Shared.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Mama Kim. I also feel lucky to have a wonderful HubFriend like you. You're so kind and encouraging.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 

      7 years ago

      Wonderful advise for anyone undertaking such a difficult position. You are a wonderful daughter, you mom is very lucky to have you! Voted up and useful.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Nikki. I did not know a few weeks ago that I would need it right now, but I do. Hope it can help someone else.

    • Nikki Major profile image

      Nikki Major 

      7 years ago

      Great hub MsDora....there's no doubt in my mind somebody needs this could be any of us at any moment....

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      Michele, I appreciate your input. Writing this is part of the learning process for me. Thanks for the vote.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      7 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      This is a very good caring and loving hub. Thank you so much for writing it. As medical care gets better, people get older and Alzheimer's becomes more common. Teaching us how to care for people we love is wonderful. Being confused or not knowing how to help or care for someone we love is frustrating and horrible.

      Voted up

      God bless you.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)