Be honest

To help diffuse tension, talk about your feelings in an open, constructive manner.

If you're feeling stressed or overwhelmed, say so — and then work together to brainstorm more effective ways to share the burden of your loved one's care. Again, work with a professional if needed.

Be careful to express your feelings without blaming or shaming anyone else. Use "I" statements, such as "I'm having trouble juggling my own schedule with all of Dad's appointments." Keep an open mind as you listen to other family members share their thoughts and feelings.

Don't criticize

There are many "right" ways to provide care. Respect each caregiver's abilities, style and values. Be especially supportive of family members responsible for daily, hands-on care.

Consider counseling

If you're concerned that the stress of Alzheimer's will tear your family apart, seek help. You might join a support group for Alzheimer's caregivers or seek family counseling.

Remember, working through conflicts together can help you move on to more important things — caring for your loved one and enjoying your time together as much as possible.

Oct. 04, 2012 See more In-depth