Ivy Palmer - Care Advice & News

What to do if a Family Member has been Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

Are you wondering how to deal with Alzheimer’s as a family member?

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia that affects thinking, memory and behaviour. If a family member has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you’re probably experiencing a whole range of emotions. You will need support during this time and the correct type of care for your loved one.

Therefore, find out what Alzheimer’s Care involves and other ways you can support your relative with Alzheimer’s.


Educate Yourself on Alzheimer’s

A older lady appears in mild distress as she looks at a collection of tablets in her hand.  For thos people living with memory chalenges, medication can be a source of distress and potential danger.  A live-in carer can and will help keep you or a love one safe and worry free by helping with medication.

Your first step to effectively support a family member with Alzheimer’s should be to educate yourself on Alzheimer’s and learn how to provide appropriate care. 

Find out how it can affect a person, what changes to expect, and how you can help maintain their dignity and quality of life. 

Share information on how to deal with Alzheimer’s with other family members, the individual’s friends, and even their co-workers to help them understand.

You can learn about Alzheimer’s by researching online or reading books about the condition. There are plenty of online courses and webinars that you can attend to help you with your caregiving strategy.

To briefly explain, Alzheimer’s symptoms grow more severe with time, and individuals tend to lose the ability to respond to their environment or hold a conversation.  

Other Alzheimer’s symptoms that may occur include:

  • Memory loss
  • Poor decision making
  • Getting lost
  • Rapid personality changes and mood swings
  • Increased anxiety
  • Taking longer to complete regular everyday tasks
  • Forgetting recently learned information.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. Typically, a person with the condition lives 4-8 years after the diagnosis but can live as long as 20 years, depending on other factors.

Life expectancy can depend entirely on age, genetics, lifestyle choices and their environment.


Consider Financial and Legal Matters

Alzheimers Care

Because Alzheimer’s usually affects a person’s ability to make decisions, it’s essential to assign someone trustworthy as a Power of Attorney as early as possible while your family member is still capable of making decisions. 

The role of the Power of Attorney is to make decisions on their behalf when they can no longer do so.

It’s also essential to create a living will and advance directives to outline their personal preferences for medical treatment and end-of-life care. This helps guide healthcare decisions in accordance with the individual’s wishes, even if they can no longer communicate.

Take the time to review and organise your family members’ financial affairs, including bank accounts, any investments they may have, and any retirement funds saved. A financial advisor can help plan long-term care costs and ensure their finances are handled appropriately.

You must also consider any property they own and where they will live. This might mean selling their home to move them into an assisted living facility or arranging live-in care and making safety modifications within their home.


Deciding on the Level of Care

Level of care

The level of care an Alzheimer’s patient needs evolves according to the progression of the disease. The typical stages of care are as follows. 


Early stage

As mentioned, you should focus on support, education, and planning. 

Consider how you and other family members can support the individual with Alzheimer’s. For example, encourage social interaction and assist with activities.

Continue to educate yourself on the condition to adapt how you deliver care while learning about the type of specialised care available. You should put a plan in place for appropriate support and long-term care.


Middle stage

As your relative’s needs increase, in-home care services may be required. They will need assistance with day-to-day activities and encouragement to carry out these tasks. 

Safety measures will also need to be put into place to reduce the likelihood of accidents, giving them the confidence to move freely around their home.


Later stage

This is when an individual can no longer communicate or have minimal environmental awareness. They will require comprehensive support.

If you choose to care for your family member yourself, which may be because they are your parent, consider respite services, such as elderly care

Respite care enables you to take some time for self-care while ensuring your family member has the best care possible. A carer can give support as and when required, providing 24/7 care. We will cover more on this in the next section.


Live-In Carers: A Viable Solution

Live in care

A live-in carer is a favoured option for an individual with Alzheimer’s because it allows your family member to remain in the comfort of their own home, which, in turn, makes them feel safe and happier. It is also much less stressful for them than in a care home where other individuals may have the same disease.

Not only that, if the individual receives care at home, family and friends can still visit whenever they feel like it, helping your family member avoid feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Live-in carers at IP Live-in Care provide all of this, allowing your loved one to stick to their daily routines while feeling safe and happy in the comfort of their own home. They will receive specialised care and 24/7 mental, emotional, and physical support.


Family Emotional Support

Family support

Live-in carers can also provide emotional support to friends and family struggling with the diagnosis. Additionally, they can help educate you on the disease and what to expect next.

Families often find it difficult when choosing to care for a family member with Alzheimer’s, and a live-in carer can relieve you of your duties, allowing you to enjoy the time you spend with them. 

A live-in carer will offer to prepare meals and clean your loved one’s home, and they can be a great shoulder to lean on for both them and you.


Maintaining Quality of Life

Quality of life

One of the most important factors when dealing with a family member with Alzheimer’s is maintaining their quality of life. This can be achieved by continuing daily routines and activities and maintaining a semblance of what they enjoyed doing before the diagnosis.

Staying connected with family and friends helps reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. A live-in carer will treat them with dignity and respect while continuing to remain as independent as possible.


An Alzheimer’s diagnosis is bound to cause stress for the individual and their family. There is support out there which can alleviate stress and ensure your loved one can still create enjoyable memories. Contact our team at IP Live-in Care to discuss your care needs and learn more about how we can help. It’s difficult to know how to deal with a family member with Alzheimer’s, but we are here to alleviate stress and guide you and your loved one through this challenging time.