The National Institute on Aging, part of the US 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 changes the brain. It causes people to lose the ability to remember, think and use good judgment, according to the NIH.

People with AD 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 the 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 National Institute on Aging has written this guide to help caregivers learn about and cope with these changes and challenges.

The guide includes 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 Web site — coping with the last stages of AD; a summary and other information regarding 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 AD.

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

The medical side of AD explains medicines that treat AD symptoms and behaviors, and common medical problems in people with AD.

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

The site, which aims to provide reliable and easy-to-understand health information, is at:

http://nihseniorhealth.gov/.

This site was developed by the National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine, both part of the National Institutes of Health.

Each health topic includes general background information, open-captioned videos, quizzes and frequently asked questions with new topics added on a regular basis. The site provides information that is easy to see, understand and navigate information provided in a senior-friendly manner.

Some important components of the Web site are large print, short, easy-to-read information, simple navigation, a “talking” function that reads the text aloud, and special buttons to enlarge the text or turn on high contrast to make text more readable. A tool bar is accessible at the top of each page to activate these features.

Various diseases and conditions that are more likely to occur with age are listed; problems with taste and smell; diabetes in the elderly; balance problems; stroke; urinary incontinence and many others are included.

Medline Plus is a service that can be accessed from the Web site as well. It provides information on health topics; prescription drugs and supplements; a medical encyclopedia with pictures and diagrams; a dictionary of medical words; health information in over 40 languages and other topics at:

www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services administers Medicare, the nation’s largest health insurance program, which covers nearly 40 million Americans.

The Medicare Web site provides in depth information about Medicare, how to qualify, how to enroll, frequently asked questions, and the “Medicare Eligibility Tool” that gives information about eligibility and enrollment by asking a series of questions that are kept confidential.

Social Security will make the final decision on eligibility and enrollment status.

Information, www.medicare.gov/.

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