Caregivers get no holiday, though friends, family help

Want to lighten the load of friends and family who care for aging relatives and friends with Alzheimer’s disease. Mayo Clinic resaerchers came up with these tips:
• Next time you go to the grocery store, ask, “How about I pick up some milk and a few other basics for you?”
• Ask if you can hang out with the patient so the caregiver can take a few hours off for him or herself.
• Baked an extra chicken or banana bread and tell them you’re going to leave it in their fridge.
• Offer help with laundry, dishes, or sorting through the mail.
• Send a card or call if you’re out of town, just to check in. Visits are even better. Sometimes a caregiver just needs a little contact with the outside world. Caregivers can feel trapped in their own homes.
• Recognize signs and symptoms of caregiver stress including denial, anger, social withdrawal, anxiety, depression, exhaustion, sleeplessness, irritability and lack of concentration. And offer help or a resource.
• Be gently persistent in your offers of help. Remind caregivers that they can’t take care of someone else if they don’t take good care of themselves first.

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