Original Article: PDF OnlyHam Richard J.Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders: November 1999 - p S27-S35 Buy Abstract Summary: It has become increasingly clear that family members and others have enormous potential to contribute positively to the care of the patient suffering from Alzheimer disease (AD). Various methods such as respite services and day care as well as counseling and support groups have been shown to reduce caregiver stress and burnout. Moreover, there are many areas in which the informed, trained caregiver can contribute positively to, and even lead, the interdisciplinary ongoing care of AD patients. For example, the caregiver can help with memory aids, behavioral interventions, the maintenance of exercise and nutrition, health care proxies and housing arrangements, decisions about intensity of treatment, and the timely implementation of palliative care approaches. Caregivers skilled in such matters will increase the quality of life of the AD patient and reduce their dependency. Many support services and educational activities are known to help caregivers and their patients, yet their availability is variable, and it is unclear whose responsibility it is to organize and finance them. © 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.