When your loved one, husband or wife, begins to deal with memory loss, they become less of the person who said “I do” all those years ago, and more of someone else. When a spouse is diagnosed with memory loss, there are many thoughts that can go through the caregiver’s mind. Some of the most common including, “I promised for better or worse, in sickness and in health, so I need to try my best to care for them” and “How am I going to care for them as time goes on, what if they forget me?” Memory loss is tricky. It takes the person you love and changes them into someone unrecognizable, completely altering you and your loved one’s life.
According to Diane Reier, Lifestyle Specialist at Aspired Living® of Prospect Heights, a senior living community in Prospect Heights, IL, many couples try to tackle memory loss as long as they possibly can. “Many spouses find it’s their duty, and pleasure, to help care for their significant other who is suffering from memory loss. This can not only give them purpose but also comfort them knowing that they are helping the best they can,” says Diane. “As time goes on, however, it can become much harder for spouses to take care of their loved one at home and alone, making it necessary to consider moving them into a memory care community.”
While moving your spouse with memory loss into a memory care community can be difficult and cause extremely conflicting emotions, it’s important to realize why it’s important. After all, doesn’t your loved deserve the best life possible?
The Importance of a Move to Memory Care
While many spouses prefer to keep their husband or wife at home to care for them, as seniors age it becomes harder and harder to keep your spouse’s needs met as well as your own. Consider some of the following challenges that those caring for a loved one with memory loss face.
More challenges and demands. As your spouse’s care needs change and become more complex, it can be harder to care for both yours and their needs. As their memory loss increases, your loved one will need more supervision and help with activities of daily life. This can leave little to no time to take care of tasks around the house and mean less time is spent taking care of yourself.
Increased caregiver stress and burnout. The more care needs increase, the more that caregiving can become stressful. As caregiving is a 24/7 job, leaving less time for relaxation, it can be easy to neglect yourself. With less time to exercise, eat right, sleep and keep up with hobbies, it’s more likely you’ll become burnt out. Many caregivers often try to do everything themselves, while asking for very little help, making caregiver stress and burnout worse.
Potential decrease in health. With less time to exercise, eat right, rest and socialize with others, health often declines. When there is no longer time to visit with friends and family or to refresh and recharge, depression is likely to occur. It’s important to keep up with your own health and well-being. As caring for a spouse with memory loss makes this difficult, it’s important to try to find other options, for both your health and your loved one’s.
As much as seniors would like to keep their spouse living at home, it’s often not the right option for either party. Many caregivers can’t provide the lifestyle that’s needed in order to keep their loved one happy and healthy, and many can’t provide the level of care that’s needed as memory loss progresses. In order to ensure your spouse receives the utmost care in an environment where they will thrive, it is a good idea to move them into a leading memory care community.
How to Cope with Moving Your Spouse
It’s rarely easy to move a loved one into a memory care community, which is why it’s important to learn what to expect and how to cope with the move ahead of time. This ensures a smoother transition and a deeper understanding of how the relationship will continue. Try following some of these tips from Caring.com.
Make a plan. Make a plan before your spouse moves. Discuss, if possible, how often you will visit, if you will have meals together on any special day of the week or if there are any programs you could both participate in together. If your loved one is unable to make this plan with you, map out your own schedule and make it a routine so that your loved one knows when you are likely to visit.
Ensure the community supports spouses. Many leading memory care communities, such as Aspired Living® of Prospect Heights cater to couples who have a spouse in memory care because they understand the challenges moving may bring. Be sure that the community can accommodate everything your loved one needs while still providing support in your relationship.
Understand that having trouble coping is normal. It’s common to feel guilty and depressed about moving your spouse to memory care. Understand that this is normal and expected. It’s important to realize that your reasons for moving your spouse were for their best interest. Not only are they able to receive all the care that they need, but they are able to live a lifestyle with programs that are tailored directly to their needs.
Join a support group. If you are having trouble coping with your decision to move your spouse into a memory care community, consider joining a support group. There, you are able to socialize with others facing the same journey and can learn valuable information and find support that can help make coping easier.
Continue Your Journey Together with a Beyond Ordinary Lifestyle
If you absolutely do not want to live separately from your spouse, consider moving to a leading independent, assisted living and memory care community such as Aspired Living® of Prospect Heights. Not only can couples stay together and get the support they need, but they are able to live a lifestyle that enhances their lives. Being able to stay together ensures that both can receive the care they need in a place that they can continue to grow through new experiences, never having to be apart.
For more information about our beyond ordinary lifestyle, give us a call today at 847-243-6920.
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Live Well. Age Well. Be Well.
Offering Independent, Assisted Living and A Knew Day Memory Support, Aspired Living® of Prospect Heights is a distinctive senior living community designed to offer seniors residing in the Chicago Northwest Suburbs area a fresh alternative to “typical” senior living communities.
Aspired Living® of Prospect Heights provides residents with the ideal balance of personalized support, dignified privacy and enhanced independence complemented by luxurious amenities and our life-enriching, award-winning VIVA!SM programming by Pathway to Living®.
Managed by Pathway to Living®, an innovator in senior living, Aspired Living® offers the choice of a private studio or a one- or two-bedroom apartment and the beauty of a brand new community, stunningly appointed and decorated for unsurpassed comfort and style by the award-winning senior living design firm, Thoma-Holec Design, Inc.
For more information, please call Diane or Janette, Lifestyle Specialists, at 847-243-6920.
Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Aspired Living ® of Prospect Heights for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.