Michelle and Roger had been married for more than 50 years. When they celebrated their 50-year anniversary they had a bit of a secret they kept between them. Both Michelle and Roger had recognized that he was beginning to struggle with certain aspects of his memory. Just before this huge celebration for a monumental milestone in their life, Roger had visited the doctor and was formally diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Michelle never flinched. When she got married in her early 20s, she took her vows seriously. They had gone through some extremely difficult times, financial struggles, health issues, and the loss of a child. They managed to support one another through thick and thin and there was no way she was about to tuck tail and run from this challenge.
During this celebration, surrounded by their other adult children, grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, not to mention an army of friends and neighbors, they maintained this little secret for a bit longer.
They already had a plan in place.
This plan was for Michelle to be his primary caregiver. She had no prior experience dealing with anyone who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or any other type of dementia for that matter, but she was still relatively strong and physically capable.
Besides, even though memory loss was impacting daily life to some degree for Roger, it wasn’t anything that was interfering with his ability to help around the house, take care of the yard, or even run errands to the store and back.
Michelle and Roger both had this idea that if they stuck together there was no way his memory loss would become so significant he didn’t recognize her or that he could ever yell and say horrible things to her or even threaten her physically.
The years passed.
As the years progressed, Michelle recognized an increase in memory loss. Roger became confused more frequently, especially after a nap. As the months pressed forth, Michelle remained determined to take care of him. Then that confusion caused frustration and anxiety.
One afternoon Michelle made a simple, innocuous comment while he was sitting in the recliner seeming to watch TV but was really staring off into space. He unleashed a barrage of profanity, hostility, and anger at her. The emotional wounds were deep.
If Michelle and Roger had acknowledged the challenges they would face, they might have turned to experienced home care for support. It took several more months, rivers of tears, and a great deal of pain before Michelle finally realized she needed that kind of help. It took her longer than it should have to know when caring for spouse with Alzheimer’s was becoming too much.
If you are considering hiring Alzheimer’s care in Bellville, Ohio, call the caring staff at Central Star Home Health at (419) 610-2161. Providing services for families in Mansfield, Lexington, Bellville, Mt. Gilead, Loudonville, Crestline, Galion, Shelby, Ashland, Wooster, and the surrounding areas.
Latest posts by Stephen Sternbach (see all)
- Knowing When Caring for a Spouse with Alzheimer’s Is Getting to Be Too Much - February 22, 2019
- When an Aging Parent Relies on Home Care Options, but Needs Your Help to Find the Right One, Who’s Really Hiring This Caregiver? - February 21, 2019
- Getting Creative May Help a Senior Deal with Alzheimer’s Better - February 12, 2019