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Alzheimer's Disease: Your Role as Caregiver

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Challenges of Caregiving for Patients With Alzheimer's Disease

There are some unique challenges that confront a patient with Alzheimer's disease.

  • The disease is quite variable. There may be times when the patient can function almost normally and then other times in which he/she may be very dependent. This is a natural part of the disease. In addition, his/her response to medications may fluctuate. Because caregivers see this, there is a natural tendency for some caregivers to suspect that the person with Alzheimer's is unnecessarily demanding or manipulative.
  • Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disorder. While medications may provide some delay in worsening of symptoms for a period of time, they do not stop the progression of the disease.
  • Depression is very much a part of the disease. Alzheimer's symptoms and disability can be made worse by depression, so it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression and help your loved one seek treatment promptly.




WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on January 24, 2015
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