Alzheimer's / Dementia

11/1/2022 | By Alzheimer's Association – Eastern North Carolina Chapter

By knowing the caregiving basics of caring for those with Alzheimer’s or other dementias – both knowledge and resources – dementia caregivers can better attend to the needs of their loved one and themselves.

Caregiving can be overwhelming and caring for a loved one with dementia brings its own set of challenges. Dementia caregivers not only experience the emotional impact that occurs when a close family member is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, but they also face a steep learning curve in their new role as caregiver. One of the most important things dementia caregivers can do is to educate themselves about the disease and the care and support resources available to help.

Useful terms for dementia caregivers

Person-centered care

dementia caregiver, senior woman and her daughter looking at a photo album. Image by Yelizaveta Tomashevska

Most often associated with professional caregivers in long-term care settings, person-centered care offers important guidance for dementia caregivers in home settings as well. It requires understanding the world from the perspective of the individual living with dementia. It encourages caregivers to consider a person’s interests, abilities, history, and personality to inform interactions and care decisions.

Dementia-related behaviors

Wide-ranging behavioral symptoms are often associated with Alzheimer’s and other dementia. While most people associate Alzheimer’s and dementia with memory loss due to changes in the brain, there are several other challenging behaviors that can accompany an Alzheimer’s or dementia diagnosis, including aggression and anger, anxiety and agitation, and depression, along with many others. The Alzheimer’s Association offers tips and strategies to help dementia caregivers address these and other disease-related behaviors.

Caregiver burnout

Caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia can be exhausting – mentally, physically, and emotionally. In fact, according to the Alzheimer’s Association 2022 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, Alzheimer’s caregivers report experiencing higher levels of stress than non-dementia caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association offers Caregiver Stress Check to help caregivers identify and avoid caregiver burnout.

Related: Avoiding burnout for the Alzheimer’s caregiver

Respite Care

dementia caregiver - son kissing his elderly mother. Fotoluminate

Respite care provides caregivers a temporary rest from caregiving, while the person living with Alzheimer’s continues to receive care in a safe environment. These respite services can be provided at home – by a friend, other family member, volunteer, or paid service – or in a care setting, such as adult day services or long-term care community.

Care Consultations

A care consultation can help family members work through tough decisions, anticipate future challenges, develop an effective care plan. The Alzheimer’s Association offers free care consultations through its 24/7 Helpline (800-272-3900). During these consultations, master-level clinicians work with families to discuss wide-ranging, disease-related issues, including disease progression, care and living options and referrals to local support services.

Treatment Pipeline

Currently, there are more than 100 disease-modifying Alzheimer’s treatments in clinical trials – researchers often refer to this as the treatment pipeline. Earlier this fall, positive topline results from phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease were announced. These are the most encouraging results in clinical trials treating the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s to date. Caregivers and individuals living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia can play an active role in helping advance potential new treatments by enrolling in a clinical trial.

“Education is key when it comes to understanding Alzheimer’s and dementia,” said Lisa Roberts, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association – Eastern North Carolina Chapter. “These six essential terms can empower our North Carolina family caregivers with the knowledge and resources to support them through their journey caring for a loved one living with the disease.”

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, resources for dementia caregivers, support families and people living with the disease, and find information on the Alzheimer’s Association, visit

Alzheimer's Association – Eastern North Carolina Chapter

The Alzheimer’s Association - Eastern North Carolina Chapter serves 51 counties, providing education and support to those facing Alzheimer’s and other dementias, including those living with the disease, caregivers, health care professionals, and families. The organization also advocates for the needs and rights of those facing Alzheimer’s disease and advancing critical research toward treatment, prevention and, ultimately, a cure. Learn more at