Tips to Tackle Family Tension Around Alzheimer’s Disease

Today, and estimated 5.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and about 15 million family members– partners, children, and other extended family – are caring for them.

New findings from an Alzheimer’s Association survey, released in conjunction with Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, show that people greatly fear becoming a burden to their caregivers as they age, but they have not planned accordingly. This lack of planning, combined with the stress of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and the stress of caregiving – especially alone–can be extremely overwhelming. That’s why it’s important for family members and friends to recognize how they can lend – or ask for – a helping hand.

Tips for families

The Alzheimer’s Association can help people learn how to navigate changes in their relationships with family members and friends. In addition to its 24/7 multi-lingual Helpline (800-272-3900) and online resources at, the Association offers various tips for families.

  1. Lend an ear. Dealing with a progressive disease such as Alzheimer’s can be stressful — and not everyone reacts the same way. Give each family member an opportunity to share their opinion. Avoid blaming or attacking each other, as this will only cause more hurt.
  2. Divide and conquer. Make a list of responsibilities and address how much time, money and effort may be involved. Divide tasks according to family members’ preferences and abilities. The Alzheimer’s Association online Care Team Calendar can help you coordinate.
  3. Talk it out. Discuss if current methods of care are working and if the needs of the person with Alzheimer’s are being met; make modifications as needed. Plan for the challenges you can anticipate as the disease progresses.
  4. Stick together. Support family members and connect with others who are dealing with similar situations. Find an Alzheimer’s Association support group in your area or join our ALZConnected® online community.
  5. Seek outside support. Sometimes, an outside perspective can help the entire family take a step back and work through difficult issues. The Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 multi-lingual Helpline (800.272.3900) is staffed with care consultants who can help anytime, day or night.

About Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month
June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month. The Alzheimer’s Association® encourages everyone to learn the facts about Alzheimer’s disease and its impact on individuals and families nationwide. 

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