The National Institute on Aging, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), has an online guide available for people who care for family members or others with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) at home.

Alzheimer’s disease is an illness that affects the brain. It causes people to lose the ability to remember, think and use good judgment, according to NIH.

People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble taking care of themselves and doing basic things like making meals, bathing and getting dressed. Over time, as the disease gets worse, they will need more help.

Sometimes, taking care of a person with AD makes you feel good because you are providing love and comfort. Other times, it can be overwhelming. You may see changes in the person that are hard to understand. Also, each day brings new challenges.

You may find yourself dealing with problem behaviors or just trying to get through the day. You may not even realize how much you have taken on because the changes can happen slowly over a long period of time.

The guide includes topics such as caring for a person with AD; caring for yourself when you need help; the medical side of AD (a medicine chart and definitions of medical words are available on the website); coping with the last stages of AD; as well as a summary, tips on joining clinical trials and other information.

Caring for a person with AD offers information about understanding how AD changes people; helping family members and others understand AD; planning ahead for health, legal and financial issues; keeping the person with AD safe; and providing everyday care for people with the disease.

The section on caring for yourself includes when to seek help and how to get help, as well as finding the right place for the person with AD.

The medical side of Alzheimer’s explains medicines that treat its symptoms and behaviors, and common medical problems in people with the disease.

Information on coping with the last stages of AD and end-of-life care is also explained at:

www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers/Publications/CaringAD/about.htm.

A website for older adults makes information on aging-related health and the importance of good nutrition easily accessible for seniors, family members, caregivers and friends.

Information, http://nihseniorhealth.gov.

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