There are countless resources that will tell you what to physically expect when your loved one is diagnosed with dementia. What no one equips you for is the emotional toll that caring for a loved one with dementia takes. You may have heard stories from people whose loved ones suffer from memory loss, but it’s completely different when it happens to you.
The emotional struggle associated with memory loss begins with the diagnosis. There’s no right way to handle a dementia diagnosis. While it will affect everyone a little differently, one common thing we all experience is loss and fear. The person you love, who may have raised you or has been an intimate part of your life will begin to forget cherished memories and close friends and family. You see the fear in their eyes as they realize that everything they’ve worked for, everything they love will fade from their memory. There’s a feeling of panic as the reality of impending memory loss sets into both of your minds. You grieve for your loved one, and you can’t help but think that there has to be something that you can do to give you more time together.
Although the reality of memory loss can be heartbreaking for families, it is important not to suppress this emotion. Allowing yourself time to grieve and periodically re-grieve is healthy. It’s equally essential to celebrate. When your loved one remembers something, celebrate in that moment. When your loved one repeats the same stories over and over, be thankful for the memories they are reliving. If your loved one believes you are someone else, do your best to be there for them, no matter who you happen to be that day.
As the disease progresses, don’t be afraid to lean on others for support, whether through family and friends or a support group. Especially in the late-stages of Alzheimer’s, your loved one’s memory loss can become so emotionally overwhelming that it affects the quality of care you are able to provide. Seek help from reliable Lincoln home care agencies who can ensure the comfort and safety of your loved one in your absence. Finding the right support not only helps you through this difficult time, but ensures that your loved one is provided with the appropriate level of care they need and deserve.
Memory loss is terrifying and heartbreaking, but amidst the pain and the challenges take the time to be grateful for what your loved one is able to do. It’s our job love them, even when they don’t remember that we do.