Taking on the role of caregiver is a selfless, and occasionally unrewarding, act. Though each stage of the disease requires different levels of involvement, sacrifices are made from beginning to end. Caring for your loved one is not an exact science; the symptoms described in the subsequent sections may not be present in the person, and some of the exercises we suggest may not work for you. More so, they are meant to be used as guidelines to help you understand the nature of the disease, and to prepare as early as possible. As you will read, the differences in your loved one will be much less pronounced in the Early Stage compared to the Middle and Late Stages. As such, it is important that you address all of the tough questions upfront, when they are still able to think rationally and give their opinions. Consulting with medical professionals at this point will be extremely valuable. Furthermore, establishing routines early on can help ease the transition as the disease progresses.
If this sounds like a lot to take on, that’s because it is. But the heavy burden placed on the caregiver demonstrates what a valuable role they play. Though it is easy to feel lost and unprepared when faced with the daunting task of caring for a loved one with Young Onset Alzheimer’s, there is comfort in knowing you are not the only one on the front lines. We hope that the following sections provide you with the tools you need to become the best caregiver you can be.
You can learn from our experiences here.