These caregivers I have worked with may sound a lot like you.Your spouse was once a perfectly healthy, functioning person, who you depended on to perform certain duties within your marital relationship.I don’t know about you, but when I said my wedding vows, I didn’t really understand what I meant when I repeated “in sickness and in health”.What I really meant was, “I intend for both of us to stay perfectly healthy until we peacefully die in our sleep simultaneously”.If you deny that there is a problem, your spouse may suffer by not getting appropriate treatments and you suffer by postponing getting help and support from others.There are other stages of grief including anger, guilt, physical symptoms and acceptance – although each person grieves differently.
With dementia, your spouse will not only forget to do the task, but will also get to a point where they are no longer able to complete these tasks.
And yes, this is a real grief process, because the Alzheimer’s is gradually taking your spouse’s life – and as they change you are losing the person you married so many years ago.
You grow to expect certain behaviors and personality traits from your spouse and these things change as the dementia progresses.
So far, I have been fortunate and my husband is healthy.
In my work as a Psychologist, however, I have seen hundreds of women and men who have been and are experiencing being married to a person who develops dementia.
Continue giving physical affection as much as possible, but realize that your sexual relationship will be different.