Alzheimer's / Dementia

11/16/2022 | By Alzheimer's Association – Eastern North Carolina Chapter

If you have a friend or family member who is caring for a loved one with dementia, you may be unsure of how you can help. In honor of National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and Family Caregivers Month in November, we offer eight ways to support an Alzheimer’s caregiver – useful tips for all year round.

“The demands of being an Alzheimer’s caregiver are all-encompassing and increase over time as the disease progresses,” said Lisa Roberts, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association – Eastern North Carolina Chapter. “We recognize family caregivers for all they do every day to support people in their lives living with dementia, and we invite the public to identify ways to support them as caregivers.”

Providing help and support to caregivers can be easier than most people think. Even little acts can make a big difference. The Alzheimer’s Association offers these suggestions.

8 ways to support an Alzheimer’s caregiver:

1. Learn

Educate yourself about Alzheimer’s disease – its symptoms, its progression, and the common challenges facing caregivers. The more you know, the easier it will be to find ways to help.

2. Build a team

Organize family and friends who want to help. The Alzheimer’s Association offers links to several free, online care calendar resources that families can use to build their care team, share takes and coordinate helpers. These make it easier to support an Alzheimer’s caregiver.

3. Give caregivers a break

Older African American couple walking gingerly through a yard, one assisting the other. If you know someone caring for a loved one with dementia, these 8 ways to support an Alzheimer’s caregiver give you ideas on how to help.

Make a standing appointment to give the caregiver a break. Spend time with the person living with dementia and allow the caregiver a chance to run errands, go to their own doctor’s appointment, participate in a support group, or engage in an activity that helps them recharge. Even one hour could make a big difference in providing the caregiver some relief.

4. Check in

Many Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers report feeling isolated or alone. So start the conversation – making a phone call to check in, sending a note, or stopping by for a visit can make a big difference in a caregiver’s day and help them feel supported.

5. Tackle the to-do list

Ask for a list of errands that need to be run – such as picking up groceries or prescriptions. Offer to do yard work or other household chores. It can be hard for a caregiver to find time or energy to complete these simple tasks that we often take for granted.

6. Be specific and be flexible

Open-ended offers of support (“call me if you need anything” or “let me know if I can help”) may be well-intended, but they are often dismissed. Be specific in your offer (“I’m going to the store, what do you need?”). Continue to let the caregiver know that you are there and ready to help.

7. Help for the holidays

Holiday celebrations are often joyous occasions, but they can be challenging and stressful for families managing dementia and other difficult diagnoses. Support an Alzheimer’s caregiver around the holidays by offering to help with cooking, cleaning, or gift shopping. If a caregiver has traditionally hosted family celebrations, offer your home instead.

8. Join the fight

Honor a person living with the disease and their caregiver by joining the fight against the disease. You can volunteer with your local Alzheimer’s Association chapter, participate in fundraising events such as Walk to End Alzheimer’s and The Longest Day, advocate for more research funding, or sign up to participate in a clinical study through the Alzheimer’s Association’s Trial Match.

Content and images provided by the Alzheimer’s Association – Eastern North Carolina Chapter, at or 800-272-3900.

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