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What to Do If Your Spouse Has Dementia? (Read THIS)

Detangle’s Insight

 

Mental health is important for each and every one of us, and when one of the partners doesn’t feel well, things are more likely to change. I grew up in a home where my dad suffered from dementia and my mother always took care of him, and it inspired me to always love and take care of my spouse no matter what. So if you want to know how to deal with dementia in a relationship, I’ll tell you everything about it.

Is your spouse a victim of dementia?

You’re probably thinking that a relationship is based on mutual respect, love, understanding, compassion, and friendship. That’s true, but as important as all these things are, the health of the partners is just as important. I’m not talking about having a cold or feeling sick for a couple of days or weeks, although these factors can influence the dynamics between you 2.

I’m talking about mental health things that are more likely to change everything when it comes to your relationship. If your partner is diagnosed with dementia, you have to be understanding and supportive and do everything you can to help them feel better.

It’s never easy when one of the partners becomes ill and suffers from a medical condition, but there are a few things you can do to improve your couple’s lives as well as your family dynamics.

As you already know, dementia is not exactly a disease, but doctors describe it as a general term for someone’s damaged ability to remember things, make decisions, and think. Speaking of that, one of the most common types of this health condition is Alzheimer’s disease, which typically affects seniors but is not a part of normal aging whatsoever.

I was very curious to see how a couple could get past a tough situation like this, and I’ve talked to a few experts in this domain to find out more about it. They told me a few things about what to do in a case like this, and I’m going to share everything with you.

dementia
Photo by pikselstock from shutterstock.com

1. Learn more about this health condition

1st things 1st, if your spouse suffers from dementia, you both have to learn more about this health condition. As we already stated at the beginning of this article, this issue affects memory, visual perception, language skills, self-management, someone’s ability to take care of themselves, their ability to solve problems, as well as their attention and focus.

Moreover, this health issue can also affect someone’s behavioral abilities, and according to experts, many patients experience trouble regarding their emotional control. Some people even said that the personality of the patient is more likely to change too.

When the neurons, which are the nerve cells in the brain, stop doing their job properly, the signs and symptoms of this health condition typically occur. Neurons are responsible for helping many parts of the brain communicate and transmit signals to the rest of the body.

According to doctors, it’s absolutely normal to lose a couple of neurons as you age, but when it comes to dementia, this process happens at a very rapid pace, which is why it’s very important to be informed regarding this topic.

Studies say that 1 in 14 people who are older than 65 are diagnosed with this health condition. Besides that, 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 suffer from dementia. It’s believed that this health issue is becoming more popular because nowadays people are living longer than they did a couple of years ago.

2. Accept it

As with any other problem in someone’s life, the second step towards solving the issue is accepting it. You can’t exactly treat this health concern, but you can help your spouse, as well as your relationship, by accepting the fact that this is the way things are going to be.

Throughout your marriage, things are more likely to change over the years, and in order to make things better and get along with one another, you both need to adapt to the new situation. I’m not going to sugarcoat it: dementia can change your relationship, but it depends on how much you allow it to affect you.

If your spouse is diagnosed with dementia, you’re more likely to be the one who has more responsibility around the house. I’m sorry to say it, but it’s true: your marriage won’t be an equal partnership anymore, but if you love your partner and you want to be by their side no matter what, you’re going to become their caregiver.

You’ll become the one who takes care of the household, such as handling the bill payments or making any decisions that will impact the members of your home. As the condition progresses over time, you’ll also be the one who’s going to supervise your spouse, so it depends on you if you’re willing to do that or not.

If you need some additional tips on how to take care of someone who suffers from dementia, I know a book that is going to be wonderful for your family. So check it out, because it will be just great for this new situation in your household.

dementia
Photo by LightField Studios from shutterstock.com

3. Ask a professional for a diagnosis

There are different kinds of dementia, and in order to know what your partner has to deal with, it’s best to know what they actually suffer from. Experts say that there are different health conditions that can cause dementia, such as head injuries and an anomalous buildup of fluid or blood clots in the brain.

But that is not all: anxiety, stress, certain medications, emotional problems, or vitamin deficiency can also trigger this health condition. The good news is that, unlike Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, these problems can be treated if the patient receives the right care and medication.

When it comes to the 2 more serious types of brain damage that we previously mentioned, they can’t be cured, but the right treatment can keep symptoms under control and slow their progression. But in order to receive suitable treatment, your spouse must be diagnosed by a professional. Don’t forget that early detection is important, as the right medication can optimize the results.

4. Understand your spouse’s needs

As we already discussed, mental disorders can have a major impact on the communication process that takes place in the brain. This means that in the early stages of this health issue, your partner might not know exactly what they need.

Unfortunately, this can create big differences in their behavior. They might be in pain, for instance, but they’ll start streaming because they’re not able to understand what’s wrong and what they need. This whole thing is tough, and it’s going to test you in ways that you can’t even imagine, but it’s not impossible!

dementia
Photo by LightField Studios from shutterstock.com

5. Know that their behavior is not on purpose

The changes that someone who suffers from dementia has to go through are more likely going to make them feel anxious, tired, and angry, which means that they can lash out even if they don’t want to. Besides that, you might also discover that their personalities are a little different, and you have to adapt to all of them.

You might consider that the way they act toward you is mean and disrespectful, but their behavior is not intentional. Here are the worst things that can happen: their memory is affected and altered, which means that they might even forget who you are and why you’re next to them, so you have to be patient and explain everything.

6. Learn how to communicate with one another

Believe it or not, people communicate more with their body language than they do with words, which means that you have to pay a lot of attention to the way you express yourself, especially knowing that your spouse has been diagnosed with dementia.

The way you speak and act, as well as your facial expressions and the tone of your voice, can say a lot more about what you think and how you feel than your actual words.

Experts say that people diagnosed with dementia are more likely to feel anxious and stressed, which means that it’s your job to help them feel secure and at peace. If you want to talk to them, you can limit the distractions and set up a cozy and relaxing place where you and your significant other can have a chat and enjoy each other’s company.

I know that at 1st you might find it a bit hard to communicate with your partner, especially knowing that dementia is part of your life, but things are going to get easier for both of you once you can understand each other.

Don’t forget that your spouse had a hard time focusing and remembering things, so it’s best to be calm, ask them simple questions, don’t get extremely caught up in details, and give them plenty of time to adjust to their new life and memory.

If they suddenly get confused, distraught, angry, or sad, it’s best to keep calm and change the environment or the subject, so they can regain their calmness again. And don’t forget to ask doctors for help if you’re new to this and don’t have any idea how to get along with someone who suffers from dementia.

Until next time, don’t forget to check out this article too: 5 Signs Your Partner Fantasizes About Somebody When They’re With You!

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