If someone you love is diagnosed with dementia, it is highly likely that your relationship with them will eventually be impacted. Dealing with these changes can be difficult and uncomfortable. It is always important to remember that you are doing the best you can for them and yourself.
Dementia & Relationship Changes
As a person’s dementia progresses and you provide them with more support, your roles in the relationship are likely to change. This change will occur depending on your relationship to the diagnosed individual (parent, spouse, friend, sibling, etc.) You will find the many adjustments that are necessary difficult. Some aspects of this may provide you with comfort and support and you may be able to talk about many of the same things you used to. If you need to start doing tasks that the person with dementia used to do – such as paying the bills, driving or cooking – you might find this difficult to accept or get used to.
Dementia & Romantic Partner Changes
If you’re caring for a partner with dementia, your romantic relationship is likely to change as their condition progresses. Some people find it very difficult to maintain a romantic relationship with someone who requires so much. It is no longer a two-way street, and therefore feelings change. Sometimes you might even feel guilty for wanting to continue your romantic relationship with a partner – though it’s natural to continue to want intimacy.
Common Feelings For Dementia Caregivers
Many people have mixed feelings about being in a caring role. The relationship between you and the person you’re caring for might be complex. Positive emotions are a possibility when you are caring for a partner with dementia. If your relationship with this person has always been strong, you may feel a desire to continue to love and support them just as you always have. You may also feel a sense of accomplishment for being able to take on such a large responsibility. Negative emotions can also be a result of caring for a partner with dementia. Some of those emotions would include, but are not limited to guild, grief, anger, resentment, exhaust, embarrassment, or anger.
It is important to remember that all of your feelings are valid. You should not try to suppress anything that you are feeling. If you can’t talk to your partner about it, you should find someone who you can speak with. Orchard at Athens is here to help you on this journey. Please contact us today to learn more about our community!