Taking care of a demented spouse can be much like taking care of a toddler because the person cannot be left alone or unattended and he or she cannot necessarily be reasoned with. More and more, these healthy spouses are only too relieved to place their ill spouse in a care facility in order to get their spouse a better level of care as well as to get a respite from caretaking.While these facilities help take care of one set of issues, the healthy spouse is then left at home alone and, in some cases, profoundly lonely.
The best way to know where you stand is to speak with your spouse’s doctor about the illness.
Attend doctor's appointments with your spouse and learn what palliative treatments may improve the quality of life for your loved one.
An author fighting ovarian cancer who may not have long to live has offered up her husband in a tear-jerking essay: “If you’re looking for a dreamy, let’s-go-for-it travel companion, Jason is your man.” Amy Krouse Rosenthal described her illness and her marriage in a “Modern Love” column published Friday in the New York Times.
It didn’t take long for her essay to go viral online.
Previously an illness that was always terminal and resulted in death usually within a few years of onset can now be delayed with revolutionary treatments so that even people with a disease like AIDS can be saved and their lives adequately prolonged.
And yet despite so many advances, sometimes an illness cannot be controlled and a person may be facing death than either of you had expected.
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In many ways, this reflects progress, but there are situations where living longer doesn't necessarily mean living better. According to the National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer's Disease (named for the scientist who discovered the brain abnormalities in 1906) is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.
So if your spouse had been diagnosed with a terminal illness, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Learn about it as much as you can Today people live in times that have produced enormous medical breakthroughs.
People with Alzheimer's can live for many years with this disease and there are various levels of progression.