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4. Be Understanding

Alzheimer's makes it hard to improve skills or remember directions. So you need to make adjustments for how much your loved one can -- and can't -- do.

Lewis says, for example, you could let your mother set the table as best as she's able. If you later need to quietly rearrange the silverware in its correct order, that's OK.

Or instead of reminding your father-in-law not to drink out of the milk container over and over, buy him his own container and put his name on it.

5. Make Decisions for Your Loved One

People with the disease may get upset or flustered when they have to make decisions, Lewis says. So it's OK to take some control of everyday choices.

For example, rather than asking your wife what she wants to wear, let her pick between just two blouses. Or simply choose one for her and tell her how nice she looks wearing it.

At a restaurant, help your friend look at the menu. Then suggest a few items that you know he would like.

6. Be Ready for "Sundowning"

At night, some people with Alzheimer's grow upset more easily. This is called sundowning.

Davis suggests these steps to help calm your loved one in the evenings:

Turn on more lights. Well-lit rooms may seem less worrisome.

Show your concern. At night, your loved one may be worried that an intruder is trying to break into the home. Don't dismiss her fears. Instead, let her watch you check that the doors and windows are locked. Reassure her that no prowlers are in her home or yard.