How to Provide Care to a Spouse Living with Dementia

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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. 

Caring for seniors with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is Home care Reston families can rely on. Professional dementia caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores. 

 

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. Reducing your spouse’s independence before it’s necessary 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.

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted senior home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help.

 

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 looking for top-rated Reston elderly home care providers can reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (703) 783-5758 to learn more about our customized care plans.