For Caregivers

Are You a Caregiver?

Caregiver, companion, aide, loved one, supporter. There are a lot of ways to refer to someone supporting a loved one with a disease like Wet AMD. In 2015, there were over 43 million caregivers in the U.S., according to the AARP’s comprehensive report on Caregiving in the United States.1 Anyone can fill this role, but the type of support provided can look different to different people.

If you assist your loved one with everyday activities, chances are you're helping your loved one with one or more of the following2:

  • Activities of daily living, including getting in and out of beds and chairs, getting dressed, bathing, or going to the bathroom.
  • Instrumental activities of daily living, including transportation, grocery shopping, housework, preparing meals, and managing finances.
  • Other key activities, like helping administer medications, monitoring overall health, and communicating with healthcare professionals on behalf of a loved one.
  • General support and encouragement to help them stay positive.

Assisting a loved one can have its challenges, but there are simple tips to help you care for yourself and your loved one with Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (Wet AMD).


Caring for Your Loved One

If your loved one is living with Wet AMD, there are many simple things that you can do to help improve his or her daily life—from assisting with the complications of aging, to creating a more low-vision friendly environment, to reminding your loved one to focus on eye health.

Find Resilience3,4 You may be a cheerleader, advocate, secretary, and supporter all in one. It’s important to balance your roles, remain positive, and stay resilient for your loved one.
Celebrate the Victories Take time to appreciate the victories. Try to support your loved one through the highs and lows and keep the journey in perspective.
Simplify Everyday Tasks3 Simple tasks can become difficult due to vision loss from Wet AMD. Help your loved one by tackling these obstacles one step at a time rather than trying to solve them all at once. As a first step, consider reorganizing the home of your loved one or switching up the lighting.
Ease Acceptance3 You or your loved one may feel overwhelmed or fearful when faced with a diagnosis of Wet AMD. Encourage your loved one to adapt to the new reality, and tune in to what the doctor says to approach the disease as a team.
Always Listen5,6 Don’t assume your help is always required. Listen to your loved one’s needs and be open in your conversations.
Monitor7 Using simple resources such as the Amsler Grid to monitor your loved one’s Wet AMD can be essential to eye care between appointments. Download the Amsler Grid to check your loved one’s vision – and your own.
Check out Tips for Everyday Living for some other tips for you to help your loved one.
Caring for Yourself

Caring for a loved one with Wet AMD can cause stress in your own life and lead to your taking on more than you’re able to manage or feeling burned out.4

To help manage your stress levels, check out these tips for a few simple ideas to help you be your own caregiver while supporting a loved one with Wet AMD.

Ask for Help5,6 Know your limits, and don’t be afraid to bring others into the process. If you’re feeling stretched thin, ask other family members, friends, and healthcare providers for help when you need it.
Join a Support Group3 Talking to other caregivers can be one of the best ways to understand your challenges and find support. Click here to find a support group near you.
Take Control of Your Health4 Remember to stay active, eat nutritious foods, and get the proper amount of sleep.
Make Time for You6 While ensuring your loved one is properly cared for, make sure you are keeping a balance and making time to do the things you love to do.
Get Help from Elsewhere Check out the Rides In Sight* program, which provides information about options for transportation to eye doctor appointments in local communities nationwide.
Make Time to Check Your
Own Eye Health
A family history of Wet AMD increases your risk of developing this disease.8 If your loved one with Wet AMD is a relative of yours, it’s important that you also schedule regular eye exams for yourself.

You can also
download
these tips.

Resources

Continue to grow in your role with resources and information to help you better support someone living with Wet AMD. Check out the full Resources & Tools page for even more materials, including the Patient Mentor Program, a program to connect you to someone living with Wet AMD.

Family Caregiver Alliance
Supports and sustains the important work of families nationwide caring for loved ones with chronic, disabling health conditions.
Today's Caregiver
A leading provider of information and guidance for family and professional caregivers.
Rides In Sight*
Provides information about senior transportation options in local communities nationwide. Supported by Regeneron.
*Rides In Sight is not affiliated or related to Regeneron. Regeneron does not influence or control the operations of Rides In Sight and cannot guarantee assistance will be provided. Rides In Sight is not an emergency service. If you have an emergency, call 9-1-1.
Regeneron provides support to patient organizations, but does not endorse any specific patient organization. These resources are provided for informational purposes only and are not meant to replace a physician's medical advice.

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Health information contained herein is provided for general education purposes only. Your healthcare professional is the best source of information regarding your health. Please consult your healthcare professional if you have any questions about your health or any treatment options.
References:
  1. Caregiving in the U.S. 2015. AARP Public Policy Institute. AARP Web site. http://bit.ly/2yRjb5w. Accessed November 17, 2017.
  2. Caregiving. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web site. http://bit.ly/2AVYuH3. Accessed November 17, 2017.
  3. Vision loss and blindness. Family Caregiver Alliance Web site. http://bit.ly/1nITM7Z. Accessed November 17, 2017.
  4. 10 ways to deal with caregiver stress. AARP Web site. http://bit.ly/2ipy9t6. Accessed November 17, 2017.
  5. Help for first-time caregivers. AARP Web site. http://bit.ly/2C16uFP. Accessed November 17, 2017.
  6. Reactions to vision loss: is someone you love experiencing vision loss? American Foundation for the Blind, VisionAware Web site. http://bit.ly/2zMnylA. Accessed November 17, 2017.
  7. Symptoms of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and how it is diagnosed. American Foundation for the Blind, VisionAware Web site. http://bit.ly/2fB5nGl. Accessed November 17, 2017.
  8. Facts about age-related macular degeneration. National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute Web site. http://bit.ly/1dBK8yC. Accessed November 17, 2017.
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