Caring Web

Alzheimer's Disease Caregivers- Educational Module

 Not Defeated: Support Services for Female Caregivers

Authors: Cheryl E. Gies, DPN, APRN, CNP; Sara J. (Rutschilling) Hunter, MSN, APRN, FNP

As women, it is hard to ask for help when it comes to doing what you have done your entire life—caring for the people you love the most.  But when memory and behavior changes occur in your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), it may be necessary to get outside help.  You wonder what kinds of services are available, what services are convenient, and what types of services will work best for you.

There are many different types of support and services offered by a variety of organizations that can be free or at low cost.  It is important to know what sources are available as AD advances and it becomes harder to care for your loved one. You need a solid support network before you are in desperate need of help.

Sometimes, the woman who has been there for everyone else needs someone to be there for her.  If you are the caregiver for a person with AD, chances are, you are doing most of the caregiving alone.

As time goes on, more and more responsibilities and difficult decisions may be added.  Your loved one may need complete care; help with bathing, feeding, dressing, and getting around.  There are household chores that also need attention.

You may feel like you are on a carousel that never stops spinning and won’t let you off.  For your health and well-being, and the health and well-being of your loved one, it is important to take time for yourself and let someone else help you.  There are many places in the community that offer support and services to caregivers to help relieve some strain and burden.

It is okay to accept help from others.  You do not have to go through this alone.  You are not a failure for needing help. As a caregiver you may have thought about what it might be like to have some help once in a while or to talk to someone who understands the hard work you are doing as a caregiver. This module may offer some thoughtful suggestions to lighten your caregiver role and avoid feeling defeated.

Learning Objectives:

Using this module will help you to:

  1. Identify signs of stress
  2. Learn where you can find some helpful resources
  3. Learn about Telephone Support

Presentation:  Seeking Resources through telephone support

Presenters:  Sara J. (Rutschilling) Hunter and her grandmother               


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Presentation Notes:

                Printer-friendly PDF 

Helpful Web Links: click on the links below

1. Needs assessment

2. Asking for Help

    Help guide


3. Choosing the Right Support Services

    Adult Day Care 

    Home Care Provider 

    Residential Care Facility 

4. Care for the Caregiver

5. Telephone Support

    24/7 Helpline: call 1.800.272.3900. For more information about the helpline or to join a telephone support group look at: Helpline & Telephone Support

6. Local Support for Northwest Ohio

    Alzheimer’s Association Northwest Ohio Chapter

    Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio

    AOA Services and Programs Links

    Family Caregivers

7. State, National and International Support



    International Support for Alzheimer’s

8. Other Resources

    Alzheimer’s Navigator

    Alzheimer Care Topics 

    Alzheimer’s Care Center 


Alwin, J., Oberg, B., & Krevers, B. (2009). Support/Services among family caregivers of persons with dementia—perceived importance and services received. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 25, 240-248.

Alzheimer’s Association. (2017). 2017: Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures. Retrieved from

Area Agencies - Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

Area Agency on Aging District 5 North Central Ohio Retrieved from

Family Caregiver Alliance: National Center on Caregiving. (2018). Fact sheet: Selected caregiver statistics. Retrieved from

Gies, C., (2011). Developing Gender Specific Web-based Educational Modules for Caregivers of Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 33(8), 1110-1111.

Johnston, D., et al., (2011). Identification of community-residing individuals with dementia and their unmet needs for care.  International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26, 292-298.

Nichols, L.O., Martindale-Adams, J., Greene, W.A., Burns, R., Graney, M.J. & Lummus, A. (2006). Dementia caregivers’ most pressing concerns. Clinical Gerontologist, 32(1), 1-14.

Pinquart, M., & Sorensen, S. (2006). Gender differences in caregiver stressors, social resources, and health: An updated meta-analysis. Journal of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences, 61B(1), 33-45.

Salfi, J., Ploeg, J., Black, M.E. (2005).  Seeking to Understand Telephone Support for Dementia Caregivers.  Western Journal of Nursing Research, 27(6), 701-721.

Last Updated: 6/30/19