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How to Care for a Husband or Wife with Dementia

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Being a caregiver for a spouse with dementia could put you in a difficult situation. In addition to addressing your partner’s everyday health and safety needs, you also have to face his or her battle against cognitive decline. Dementia care mostly focuses on helping with daily necessities like cooking, eating, getting dressed, and showering, but you may face some unique challenges as a spousal caregiver. Use the following strategies to make your caregiving tasks a little easier.

Don’t Take Things Personally

For many spouses, the most challenging part of providing dementia care is seeing their partner undergo personality changes and exhibit aggressive, rude, or hurtful behaviors. If your husband or wife is lashing out at you, remind yourself that such behavior is due to dementia and it’s nothing personal.

Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is dementia care Phoenix 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.

Avoid Trying to Force Memories

If you forcefully try to make your spouse recall past events, he or she may end up confused, frustrated, or upset. Instead of reminding your loved one constantly that his or her memory no longer works, focus on creating a warm and happy environment.

Ask Questions Instead of Giving Commands

After a lifetime of marriage, your spouse might feel a little resentful if you start bossing him or her around constantly. Things may go a little smoother if you provide options instead of giving commands. Offering multiple choices is one of the best ways to make your spouse feel independent. For example, you could ask your spouse to choose between two different shirts to wear instead of simply ordering him or her to put one on. 

Some seniors only require help with a few daily tasks so they can maintain their independence. However, those living with serious illnesses may need more extensive assistance. Luckily, there is professional live-in care Phoenix, AZ, seniors can rely on. Home can be a safer and more comfortable place for your loved one to live with the help of an expertly trained and dedicated live-in caregiver.

Don’t Do Everything Yourself

It might be tempting to manage all caregiving duties on your own, but you won’t be of much help to your spouse if you’re exhausted. Don’t be afraid to talk to your children and friends about the challenges you face as a caregiver. Accepting help from others may give you some quality time to spend with your spouse instead of wearing yourself out.

Take Time to Be a Spouse Instead of a Caregiver

It’s easy for spousal caregivers to get caught up with their caregiving duties. However, it’s important to remember you’re also a partner. Try to avoid talking about medical issues and responsibilities for a little bit each day and just focus on enjoying your spouse’s company. Feeling your love and interest may encourage your spouse to develop a positive mood.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Phoenix Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at 602.388.1085 today.