Spouse Criticized for How He Cares for Wife with Dementia
Dear Carol: My wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s eight years ago. While it hasn’t been easy keeping her home with me, it’s been her choice – and mine. Neither of us is young, but I’m healthy and strong so I see no reason why people keep criticizing my decision to keep her in our home. The criticism’s gotten worse since she became incontinent. I’ll be the first to admit that there are extra challenges when you add incontinence to the already substantial job of caring for someone with dementia, but we make do. How do I respond? – KR
Dear KR: Most family caregivers do their best. Of course, there will be differences in approaches because both the caregiver and the person who is receiving care are unique and this creates different situations for every family. Even taking that into consideration, caregiving is more of an art than a science. Yes, we look for information and input from trained experts, but each day and each circumstance will require flexibility on our part, and we’ll often be making split-second decisions. Again, we do our best with what we know and the tools that we have.
Added to all of that, we will have people who feel the need to indicate, with words and/or expressions, that they disapprove of our choices and methods. Still, there are things that you can do…
Continue reading on Egosancares for more about how we can handle sibling criticism (not just about incontinence).
Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. “For anyone having to walk the last segments of life with a loved one, read this.” …Delores
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