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Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia Guide

You hear the diagnosis: Dad has Alzheimer’s disease. Now what? The following guide addresses the most common questions about Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Here in this guide, you’ll find the information you need to help adapt to the reality of your loved one’s disease—and continue adapting as the disease progresses.
  1. 1

    What is the difference between Alzheimer's disease & dementia?

    Dementia is an umbrella term for anything that can cause issues with brain functioning such as confusion, memory loss, or loss of problem solving ability. While Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia in older persons, there are many more varieties. read more

  2. 2

    What are the stages of Alzheimer's and dementia?

    Alzheimer’s disease and the other dementias are usually slow and progressive illnesses. The average length of life after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is eight years, although many people live much longer. read more

  3. 3

    Is Alzheimer's inherited?

    For caregivers and family members, this question looms large. Forget a familiar name or appointment, make a mistake in a bank account, or burn something on the stove, and you ask yourself, “Is this it? Has my Alzheimer’s started?” read more

  4. 4

    How do I talk to Dad about his diagnosis?

    Alzheimer's is a diagnosis many families dread to discuss with their affected loved one. But knowing the truth can help them better cope with the disease. read more

  5. 5

    How can I turn a NO into a YES?

    Dementia impacts memory, reasoning and language. To turn a stubborn "no" into a "yes" for someone with dementia, try an approach of encouragement. read more

  6. 6

    How can I afford Alzheimer's services? Long-term care?

    Costs for caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias can be high, but there are steps that families can take to use their resources wisely and identify sources of help. read more

  7. 7

    What are the other types of dementia?

    While Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, numerous other dementias, each with a unique set of symptoms, affect millions of people worldwide. read more

  8. 8

    Why is Mom always angry with me?

    We all get angry now and then. We can be angry at a person, like a friend whose chronic tardiness makes us late for a movie. Persons with Alzheimer’s disease and the other dementias have good days and bad days, too. read more

  9. 9

    How do I talk to Dad about his dementia and driving?

    It’s one of the most challenging problems for family caregivers. What do you do when your family member with dementia still insists upon driving his or her car? read more

  10. 10

    Do the memory drugs work?

    The recommended medical treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and many of the other dementias includes a group of drugs that are often called “dementia slowing” or “memory enhancing” medications. The most prescribed include a group of drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors. read more

  11. 11

    How are depression and dementia related?

    As we work to unravel the mysteries of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia, one of the more interesting areas of research is depression and its connection to dementia. It appears that depression impacts people with dementia in at least two different ways. read more

  12. 12

    What are the suspected causes of Alzheimer's and dementia?

    Alzheimer’s disease is the most common dementia, impacting over 5 million Americans. Although the disease was first described by Dr. Alzheimer in the early 1900s, scientists are still trying to understand its causes. read more

  13. 13

    How do I deal with delusions?

    Delusions are common with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Often they can simply be caused by the very nature of the forgetfulness of the disease. read more

  14. 14

    How can I help someone in late stage dementia?

    Late-stage dementia is tough on everyone. The person with dementia requires significant care. How can you best help someone during this stage of life? read more

  15. 15

    How do I manage Mom's wandering?

    Why do so many people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias—over 60 %—wander away from their care settings? The reasons are pretty straightforward, says the Home Instead® network’s dementia consultant David Troxel. read more

  16. 16

    Where can I learn more about dementia care?

    In addition to this guide, which covers the most common questions about Alzheimer's and other dementias, Home Instead has developed the "Helping Families Cope" guide to provide additional information about caring for someone with Alzheimer's and the services available to help. read more

Thoughts and stories from others

  1. November 22, 2011 at 10:38 pm
    Posted by sharonclark

    hello, just thought I would share my experience with dementia!I have ms and early on my hubby and I realized there was more wrong with me!!my job was as a counter job was very dependent on my good memory!!after a few years of major stress-my mom was aging-daughter was expecting a baby-you name it my life went to hell ! too much stress will do a lot!realized it far too late!!`now hubby and I are carrying on!!
  2. November 23, 2011 at 09:22 am
    Posted by Kristen Hensley

    My 67yr. old diabetic retired Mechanic Father has just been diagnoised with dementia. What do we do now? I help his wife, my step-mother take care of him at home. It seems like he has more bad days than good any more. He go's to Jaba Adult Day Care and that is wonderful. His wife works part-time and is his caregiver. It seems sometimes like dad is slowly declining more and more. His wife is doing her best to keep him home. I'm having a really difficult time trying to know what's right anymore. Thank God for anti-depressants. We are all on them.
  3. July 21, 2012 at 10:56 am
    Posted by Rebecca Angstadt

    Rick, I met Shannon at the LifeWise Summer Party on Thursday and was extremely impressed with her. She is a wonderful representative for your company. Of all the organizations and booths she was the only one who took advantage of the opportunity to talk face to face, and one on one, with the attendees about "business". She has a warm and delightful approach, and when my husband and I stopped to get our cards signed by her she gave us a very low key, short and informative presentation on stress to caregivers. She opened up the opportunity to talk about Home Instead.
  4. July 21, 2012 at 11:02 am
    Posted by rebecca

    ...continued. She opened up the opportunity to talk about your company, what it does, and how it can be helpful. At all the other booths the attendee played a game, had some fun, and went on to the next booth. Rick, I know you from the 8 years I worked for Meals on Wheels of GVL. I also like your website, it's very informative, friendly and easy to navigate. I have emailed your site to my Dad, as we are struggling with my mother's dementia and his advanced age. Best wishes for your continued success and the spreading of your mission. Please let Shannon my compliments
  5. August 30, 2012 at 09:32 pm
    Posted by Cindy Lee

    How do you get a demintia patient to wantto change his wet pants with out fighting you.?

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