The Well Spouse Association, at www.wellspouse.org, is a terrific asset to spousal caregivers. Whether one’s spouse has dementia or another ailment, the stress is undeniable. The well spouse of an Alzheimer’s or dementia patient is at risk for having many of his or her own health issues.
Many spouses feel guilty if they ask for outside help. They consider it their duty to be the caregiver. Spouses need to know that, just like other caregivers, they need respite so they can get some time alone, they need a social life, and they need to be understood. Having a support group specifically for the well spouse and talking with other’s who have a sick partner can go a long way toward relieving stress. Here, they will find people who truly understand.
If you are the adult child of an Alzheimer's patient or a parent with another illness, encourage your well parent to give this association a try. They may even want to start a support chapter that meets in person. You, as the adult child, could help set one up.
Looking outside to support of all kinds is vital, if caregivers are to keep their own health. We need to encourage every avenue of help.
Published On: November 09, 2006