Mary M Lancaster
We are all strong enough to bear the misfor-
tunes of others.
—Duc de la Rochefoucauld
Although a cure for Alzheimer's disease is not yet known, there is an abundance of management information for the disease that caregivers need to carry out their role. Each member of the health care team must take it upon himself or herself to become involved in the educational process and to lend knowledge, expertise, and support to caregivers.
Education of caregivers is the foundation for successful day-to-day management of Alzheimer's disease. Armed with the necessary information, caregivers will possess the sense of support and competence needed to continue in their caregiving role. This information and support is vital regardless of whether the caregivers are family members or health care personnel. In fact, the basic educational needs of both family and professional caregivers are very similar. The overall objectives of caregiver education can be generalized into three main categories, as shown on p. 342.
Education can be carried out both formally and informally. Meetings with health care professionals are good mechanisms for informal teaching. These meetings offer a good way to identify the specific behavior that is most troublesome, how the caregivers explain the behavior, what solutions have been tried, and the effectiveness of their solutions. Family meetings are also an opportune time to discuss more sensitive issues such as legal and financial matters, wills, burial