Check in

Sending a card or calling a caregiver can be a meaningful way to show support. Emails and text messages work, too — but often personal visits are even better. Contact with the outside world can help lift a caregiver's spirits.

Recognize signs of caregiver stress

Keep in mind that some caregivers have a difficult time accepting help, mistakenly believing they should do everything themselves. This attitude can be harmful not only to the caregiver, but also to the person who has Alzheimer's. Caregiver stress can lead to irritability, anger, exhaustion, social withdrawal, anxiety, depression and other problems.

If your offers of help aren't accepted, be gently persistent. Remind the caregiver that he or she doesn't have to do this alone — and the best way to take care of someone else is to first take care of yourself.
July 09, 2015 See more In-depth