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Suggestions for Visiting the Doctor and Managing Holidays

Caregiving for Alzheimer's Patients: Visiting the Doctor

It is important that the person with Alzheimer's disease receive regular medical care. Advance planning can help the trip to the doctor's office go more smoothly. Tips for caregivers include:
 
  • Try to schedule the appointment for the person's best time of day. Also, ask the office staff what time of day the office is least crowded.
 
  • Let the office staff know in advance that this person is confused. If there is something they might be able to do to make the visit go more smoothly, ask.
 
  • Don't tell the person about the appointment until the day of the visit or even shortly before it is time to go. Be positive and matter-of-fact.
 
  • Bring along something for the person to eat and drink and any activity that he or she may enjoy.
 
  • Have a friend or another family member go with you on the trip, so that one of you can be with the person while the other speaks with the doctor.
 

Caregiving for Alzheimer's Patients: Coping With Holidays

Holidays are bittersweet for many caregivers. The happy memories of the past contrast with the difficulties of the present, and extra demands on time and energy can seem overwhelming. Finding a balance between rest and activity can help. Tips for caregivers include:
 
  • Keep or adapt family traditions that are important to you. Include the person with Alzheimer's disease as much as possible.
 
  • Recognize that things will be different, and have realistic expectations about what you can do.
 
  • Encourage friends and family to visit. Limit the number of visitors at one time, and try to schedule visits during the time of day when the person is at his or her best.
 
  • Avoid crowds, changes in routine, and strange surroundings that may cause confusion or agitation.
 
  • Do your best to enjoy yourself. Try to find time for the holiday things you like to do, even if it means asking a friend or family member to spend time with the person while you are out.
 
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