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Transcript: "Share the Care"

Cynthia D. Steele, RN, MPH
Johns Hopkins University Alzheimer's
Disease Center:

There really are two major concerns in order to care for yourself as you care for someone who has Alzheimer's disease. They are: first, take care of yourself, and the second, share the care. Taking care of yourself means planning breaks away from the person who's affected. Now they may not want you to leave, and it's best not to get into a discussion about it. It's best just to say, "I'll be back soon." Activities like exercise, going to church, taking a walk with a friend can be very helpful. Another way to help yourself is to join a support group. Many people find these are very helpful, both in understanding that you're not alone with this illness and also in finding solutions to practical problems. Now, sharing the care can be a bit more of a challenge. It's often hard to directly ask for help from loved ones or neighbors or friends. It's often helpful to them to know exactly what you need and when you need it. An example might be to say, "Gee, John loves to go for a walk. Could you come by two days a week at 11:00 and take him? He'd love it."

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