Alzheimers Caregiving: Lessons from a Surviving Spouse

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This article from Grief. Other models define grief as having seven stages , a similar model to the 5-stage model that breaks down some of the original five stages into more complex experiences. This article outlines the seven-stage model of grief.

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The five stages of grief are universal and experienced by people from all corners of the world and from all walks of life. This article discusses the five stages of grief and explains how these emotions represent stages experienced by anyone experiencing a loss. Image via Flickr by Alan Cleaver. Not only is the grieving process different for each individual, but as Carol Bradley Bursack explains in this article at ElderCareLink, the grieving process and the emotions experienced can change from day to day.

This resource includes the perspectives and advice of several families and caregivers who have dealt with similar situations. The reaction of a person with dementia to grief is largely affected by their cognitive understanding of what has happened to their loved one. Image via Flickr by Borya.

4 Lessons I Learned About Alzheimer's Caregiving (Podcast, Health) Caregiver

If so, who should be the person to communicate the news, and how should it be handled? This article addresses how to best answer these questions and handle the communication of bad news. Carol Bradley Bursack shares her experience when placing her dad in foster care, while her mother, who had dementia, shared a room with him in the nursing home. This article covers many of the possible scenarios caregivers may face, along with tips for addressing these situations.

These situations prove particularly challenging for caregivers in determining how to best communicate throughout these conversations. Image via Flickr by Marjan Lavarevski. As this article explains, if the person does not believe you, they may become angry with you; if they do believe you, they will experience grief and loss all over again. And ultimately, the information may not be retained, so you may encounter the same situation again tomorrow. However, this is dependent on the person as well as his disease process.

This approach, outlined in this resource, recognizes that whatever the individual correctly or incorrectly believes to be true is, in fact, the reality in which the individual is living. Habilitation Therapy approaches these situations by understanding what the person is experiencing and respecting it, never negating it. The following tips and resources offer helpful advice for coping with situations such as attending funerals and other bereavement activities.

Again, every individual handles grief and loss differently. This article offers advice for handling different situations when a person has dementia, such as attending church and attendance at the funerals of loved ones. Published July 14th, Category: Cremation Planning for Caregivers , Resources. Complete the form and press "Request A Free Guide" to download the book from the next page. Mike Neff and others from Neptune made everything so smooth Mike Neff and others from Neptune made everything so smooth.

They went above and beyond to make sure everything was handled with such love like they were part of the family. Thank you so much for everything.

Till Dementia Do Us Part?

I contacted the Neptune Cremation Society after the unexpected death I contacted the Neptune Cremation Society after the unexpected death of my husband. We had no plan in place previous to meeting with Alvin Chin, the funeral director for cremation. Chin was wonderful to work with. He was able to answer all my questions and put me more at ease with making the necessary arrangements. He took care of everything. I did not have to do anything except sign the contract and write the obituary. Everything was handled sensitively and efficiently.

These lessons will help you to live in the day when your loved one deteriorates physically, mentally, and emotionally. It will also help you to recognize signs and seek qualified medical help; get educated and understand the diseases progression; acknowledge your loved one is changing and is not the same person you knew; adapt to who they are and who they will become; rely on a circle of family and friends; stay vigilant; acknowledge stress, depression, and changes that will overtake you if not handled properly; never stop learning.

The information presented in Alzheimers Caregiving shows you how to face tough decisions and helps you build and maintain a balanced outlook while caring for your loved one. Lessons from a Surviving Spouse Richard J. We are social creatures. We need that physical connection. Barry Petersen can sympathize with A. For him, finding a new love when his wife was stricken with Alzheimer's was his way of choosing to live. The grief he felt over his wife's disease, and the emotional toll of caregiving, brought him so low he considered suicide.

But in the end, his choice to enter into a new relationship was about striking back against Alzheimer's. By going on and by having a life, I was looking in the face of the disease and saying, 'You're not going to win twice. You won't get me. I am going to have the rest of my life. Then in August , Frances stopped taking any food or water. With his life partner gone, A.

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But it was the loneliness that he found hardest to handle. Petersen says that, more often than not, it's women who question his choice to enter into a secondary relationship.

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You would have given up everything,' " Petersen says. I honor their feelings. But I personally chose a different way, and I am satisfied with what I did. For me, just for me, it's what I needed to do. Petersen and his lady friend are committed to each other , and he says she is a full partner in his role as caregiver to Jan. I see Jan, and then when we leave I am sometimes in tears, and [my lady friend] is there to help. The need for a new relationship is not limited to husbands. Female caregivers interviewed for this article, but who were uncomfortable with having their names used, lamented most a loss of physical intimacy.

She has not taken on a "paramour," but often thinks about it. I don't know if turning 50 or menopause has awakened me, but I want passion back in my life.

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The journey definitely affected A. Two months after Frances' passing, long before, he says, many would have deemed it, "acceptable," A. And soon he wasn't counting the days since his wife's passing, or breaking into tears at the small mementos of her existence—the last bottle of nutritional supplement in the fridge, her photo on the mantel. Seven months later, A. And yes, I love her enough to be willing to go through that all again.

It beats being alone by a long shot. Choosing to love again is a leap of faith and an act of courage for Petersen as well.