Supporting carers

More than three-quarters of families choose to care for their relative with Alzheimer's at home. Studies have shown that this care reduces the patient's behavioural disorders and delays the need for alternative accommodation.

Carers of patients with Alzheimer's disease work 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, often having to adapt to varied and unpredictable behaviour. If you are a carer, you can feel overworked, and are at risk of developing exhaustion, depression, sleep disorders or family difficulties.

Care for carers

Relatives/carers may feel undervalued, inefficient and guilty.

To remain motivated, it is that is vital that you also take care of yourself. Examples include:

  • Setting up resting periods
  • Learning how to relax, going to the cinema, for a walk...
  • To take care of your own health
  • To be open about the health of your relative/patient with Alzheimer's and any difficulties encountered
  • Not to hesitate to ask for assistance and accepting this help from others
  • Not to exceed your own limits
  • Recognising exhaustion and not to become a victim of psychological and physical overwork
  • Getting information from nursing staff and associations
  • Exchanging information with other carers can help you to further understand your relative/patient and deal with and your own emotions
  • Not feeling guilty

Respite for carers

Respite is vital for patients and their family carers.

It is encouraged so that you "can breathe", and are able to go on holiday, and take care of yourself, so that you can return rested and re-motivated.

Respite care can be provided in many ways. There are day centres where patients/relatives can be accommodated for part of the day every week. Also, there are the options of rehabilitation centres or retirement homes which can provide longer term care for a several weeks.

For more advice or information on carers, please visit the UK Carers website: or call them on 0808 808 7777
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