Family Resources for Coping with Alzheimer's

"There are only four kinds of people in this world:

Those who have been caregivers

Those who currently are caregivers

Those who will be caregivers

Those who will need caregivers."

---Rosalynn Carter


If your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, you know the onslaught of information can be overwhelming. There is so much to learn and adapt to and some days it can feel impossible to keep up with changes and new demands. Communication, which we all take for granted, becomes labored and the pace of life both speeds up and slows down. Getting help, support, and good information is crucial to navigating this time and it has never been easier with new online and print resources at your fingertips. Here are just a few online and print resources to help you educate yourself, find help, take care of yourself, and build a community of support.

 Family Resources for Understanding & Coping with Alzheimer's

The 36-Hour Day | by: Nancy L. Mace and Peter V. Rabins

This guide has been a caregiver classic bookshelf staple for families navigating the care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

The Alzheimer’s Reading Room | blog by: Bob DeMarco
The Alzheimer's Reading Room blog an excellent source of life news and health information for the entire Alzheimer’s and Dementia community. The goal of the Alzheimer's Reading Room is to Educate and Empower Alzheimer's caregivers their families, and the entire Alzheimer's community

Bob DeMarco started the blog to track the thousands of books and articles he was reading to navigate his own personal experience caring for his mother. “At its core” he says,
“the Alzheimer's Reading Room is about helping members of the Alzheimer's Community understand, cope, and communicate with persons living with Alzheimer's and related dementia.

Dr. Ruth's Guide for the Alzheimer's Caregiver: How to Care for Your Loved One without Getting Overwhelmed . . . and without Doing It All Yourself:
| by Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

Dr. Ruth, a trusted name in relationship therapy, presents effective coping strategies for both the practical problems and emotional stresses of Alzheimer’s care. More than 15 million Americans are responsible for the care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, a situation that can quickly lead to feeling overwhelmed while trying to balance between the full-time needs of a dependent adult and the caregiver's own physical and mental health. The tactics and resources presented in this book build confidence in the caregiver and provide health-guided advice on how to avoid burnout, seek support from family and friends, resolve family disputes, maintain a loving relationship with a spouse or parent with Alzheimer’s, manage behavior, and make the home a safe environment. Keeping the best interests of everyone involved in mind, the guide also details how to coordinate effectively with doctors, facilities, and other care providers.

The Wall Street Journal Interviews Dr. Ruth on the book and her inspiration for writing it:

Alzheimer’s Association |

Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.

Doing Things: A Guide to Programing Activities for Persons with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders | by: Jitka M. Zgola

Doing Things shows how to provide a positive environment for persons with Alzheimer's disease by offering opportunities for social interaction and constructive, enjoyable activities. Zgola outlines the ways in which a patient's functional impairment can be assessed; the strengths, weaknesses, and needs most commonly encountered among persons with Alzheimer's disease; and ways activities can be tailored to accommodate them. She offers step-by-step instructions for selecting and presenting appropriate activities and includes cooking and crafts projects, a sample exercise routine, and a sample daily schedule. The techniques she describes are designed to promote a sense of security and self-esteem, by avoiding possible sources of confusion or confrontation.

Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Blog:

This expert blog presents articles and well-rounded resources to address the whole person caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s. It is also a helpful educational tool for understanding the disease and current research that is taking place to combat the rapidly growing disease.

Alzheimer's: Answers to Hard Questions for Families | by: Nelson, J.L. and Nelson, H.L.

This book is designed to give practical advice regarding ethical and moral issues faced by families and caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease. By describing hypothetical situations, the authors illustrate common problems encountered by caregivers at different stages of the illness, and they suggest ways to make choices that are right for both the patient and family members

The Alzheimer’s Project:

While there is no cure for the disease, THE ALZHEIMER'S PROJECT shows there is now genuine reason to be optimistic about the future. Created by the award-winning team behind HBO's acclaimed "Addiction" project, this multi-platform series takes a close look at groundbreaking discoveries made by the country's leading scientists, as well as the effects of this debilitating and fatal disease both on those with Alzheimer's and on their families.

Speaking Our Minds Personal Reflections from Individuals with Alzheimer's | by: Lisa Snyder, LCSW

This book presents the personal reflections of people with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Seven people of various ages and backgrounds express their thoughts and feelings about what it is like to live with AD, and cope with its effects on their lives. An appendix contains a list of selected resources.

National Institute on Aging:

This education and referral center by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services houses a wealth of information on Alzheimer’s disease and where to find help,.


The University of Washington Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

Supported by the National Institute on Aging, this local resource provides research opportunities and support to families with Alzheimer’s in the Pacific Northwest. Their hope is that their work will benefit future generations by finding preventions and improving treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.




Published on November 19, 2012.