Living with Alzheimer's disease

Tips for Living with Alzheimer's

Research and experience have helped people discover many ways to maintain an active life and deal with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Take a look at our list of suggestions from doctors and people who have been there to see how they can help you or a loved one.

You Can Take Action

These tips can help you sustain your daily life, manage your Alzheimer’s symptoms and maintain your overall brain health.1,2

Stay active and engaged.Usually, an Alzheimer’s diagnosis does not mean having to stop everything. If you can, keep up with the activities you enjoy and spend time with family and friends. If you’re not able to do some things safely anymore, try taking on new activities and do them at times of the day when you feel best. Either way, it’s very important to get regular exercise and eat the right foods to help your body stay healthy.
Build your support network.The people you trust most will become increasingly important as you need more help over time. Share your diagnosis with trusted family members, friends, neighbors, or other people who you see regularly. You may also want to join a support group or use computers and other technology to stay connected with loved ones who are further away.
Try memory aids.There are some helpful day-to-day ways to make up for memory loss. Try writing down information, using schedules, sticky notes and digital reminders, or ask someone to remind you. These can help you keep track of activities, daily goals, scheduled events, medications, people’s names, or other important information.
If you need help, ask.When day-to-day tasks like shopping, cooking, getting around, paying bills, or keeping track of medication start to feel like too much, call on family members or friends to help. You can also hire an aide to help you. Keep in mind, you will need more help over time so prepare for the long term. This is especially important if you live alone.
Plan ahead for medical, financial, and legal needs.Long-term planning is easier to handle early on, when you’re feeling stronger and more capable. Ask a trusted family member for help and work with a lawyer to prepare important documents like your will, advance directive or living will, and medical or financial power of attorney.
Find support near you.There are probably many support groups, community organizations, care services and other resources right in your area. Explore the U.S. Administration on Aging’s Eldercare Locator or try your local Alzheimer’s Association chapter to find the right options for you. You can also ask your doctor to recommend local organizations and services that may be of help.
Keep seeing your doctor.Make sure to schedule regular visits with your doctor or a specialist in Alzheimer’s disease. They can monitor your treatment and support, and they will be able to notice any new changes or symptoms that may require immediate attention.
Stay active and engaged.Usually, an Alzheimer’s diagnosis does not mean having to stop everything. If you can, keep up with the activities you enjoy and spend time with family and friends. If you’re not able to do some things safely anymore, try taking on new activities and do them at times of the day when you feel best. Either way, it’s very important to get regular exercise and eat the right foods to help your body stay healthy.
Build your support network.The people you trust most will become increasingly important as you need more help over time. Share your diagnosis with trusted family members, friends, neighbors, or other people who you see regularly. You may also want to join a support group or use computers and other technology to stay connected with loved ones who are further away.
Try memory aids.There are some helpful day-to-day ways to make up for memory loss. Try writing down information, using schedules, sticky notes and digital reminders, or ask someone to remind you. These can help you keep track of activities, daily goals, scheduled events, medications, people’s names, or other important information.
If you need help, ask.When day-to-day tasks like shopping, cooking, getting around, paying bills, or keeping track of medication start to feel like too much, call on family members or friends to help. You can also hire an aide to help you. Keep in mind, you will need more help over time so prepare for the long term. This is especially important if you live alone.
Plan ahead for medical, financial, and legal needs.Long-term planning is easier to handle early on, when you’re feeling stronger and more capable. Ask a trusted family member for help and work with a lawyer to prepare important documents like your will, advance directive or living will, and medical or financial power of attorney.
Find support near you.There are probably many support groups, community organizations, care services and other resources right in your area. Explore the U.S. Administration on Aging’s Eldercare Locator or try your local Alzheimer’s Association chapter to find the right options for you. You can also ask your doctor to recommend local organizations and services that may be of help.
Keep seeing your doctor.Make sure to schedule regular visits with your doctor or a specialist in Alzheimer’s disease. They can monitor your treatment and support, and they will be able to notice any new changes or symptoms that may require immediate attention.