Caring for a husband or wife with dementia isn’t an easy task. Dementia can change how spouses relate to each other, and navigating this new reality can be challenging for many couples. Here are a few ways to provide effective care for a spouse with dementia.
Accept the Changes
When your spouse begins to experience the symptoms of dementia, your relationship might change. Some married couples adjust to the new relationship dynamic with relative ease, while others find this change difficult to navigate. You need to prepare yourself for the changes that will occur as dementia progresses, which include increased dependency, personality changes, and aggressive behaviors. If your spouse’s behavior becomes hurtful or irritating, remember it’s a manifestation of the disease and not a reflection of what he or she truly believes.
Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Scottsdale seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.
Take Your Spouse’s Wishes into Consideration
While it’s important to accept the changes that come with dementia, don’t leave your spouse out of the decision-making process. Try to preserve your spouse’s independence for as long as possible. If you’re making a decision that will impact your loved one’s life, consult him or her first. On a daily basis, give your spouse the opportunity to choose what he or she wants to wear, eat, or watch on TV. If you reduce your spouse’s independence before it’s necessary, it may breed negative feelings and resentment.
Find Small Moments of Happiness
Dementia may change the marital relationship, but this doesn’t mean you should stop seeking moments of connection and togetherness. Every day, look for little ways to celebrate your marriage. Try holding hands while listening to a favorite song or splitting the last slice of cake. These simple actions can be an important source of solace.
Develop a Support Network
In a traditional marriage, you can lean on your spouse when you need comfort or support. When you’re caring for a partner with dementia, this support system could break down. To maintain your emotional and mental health, you need people you can turn to when the going gets rough. Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family members when you need someone to talk to.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Home Care Scottsdale, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Hire a Professional Dementia Caregiver
Caregiving is a stressful job, and you shouldn’t have to do everything by yourself. When caregivers stretch themselves too thin, it can take a toll on their mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. Even if you have a strong support network full of people willing to lend a helping hand, consider hiring an in-home caregiver. Professional dementia caregivers can reduce your workload, giving you time to catch up on errands, see friends, or simply relax. Some spousal caregivers feel guilty about hiring extra help. If you ever feel guilty, remember your loved one wouldn’t want you to compromise your health for his or her sake.
Caring for older adults with dementia can be a challenging task. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Scottsdale, AZ, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. To learn about our premier in-home care methods, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (480) 771-2710 today.