In the early stages of Alzheimer’s, a person may function independently. He or she may still drive, work and be part of social activities. The symptoms are usually mild in the early stage of the disease; however, many people are aware of the changes that are taking place, including difficulty with:
• Recalling recent events
• Making decisions and judgments
• Managing routine chores
• Expressing thoughts and feelings
• Processing what was said by others
• Handling complex tasks such as balancing a checkbook
As a care partner, it is important to provide love, support and companionship. You are there to help the person with Alzheimer’s renegotiate the future.
A person with early-stage Alzheimer’s may need cues and reminders to help with memory to encourage him or her to continue living as independently as possible. A care partner can help the person stay organized with shared calendars, notes, medication schedules and other reminder systems. Establishing a daily routine and maintaining some regularity will be of benefit.
As a care partner, YOU are not alone! Being part of a community of people going through similar experiences can provide you with hope, support, and resources.
Information adapted from Alzheimer’s Association