Alzheimer's Aid Society|
Supporting the caregiver. Remembering the cared for.
In this issue:
- Sacramento Support Group Is On The Move
- Info for Caregivers: Maintaining a Healthy Marriage
- What is "Happenings!"
Sacramento Support Group Is On The Move
The Tuesday morning support group (including their patient group) that was meeting at the Alzheimer's Aid Society offices is moving to a new location. Effective January 9 at 10:30 am, this group will meet at Arden Church of the Nazarene, 3337 Arden Way, Sacramento, 95825. While the Tuesday afternoon group is not moving, they will no longer have a patient support group. Please call our office at 916-483-2002, if you have any questions.
Info for Caregivers: Maintaining a Healthy Marriage
If you are a caregiver for a parent, in-law or other loved one with Alzheimer's, you can become so focused on their care that you become emotionally bankrupt as the needs of your spouse fall by the wayside. Caregiving and marital strain often go hand in hand. This strain can show itself in the form of:
It is important to understand how caregiving might affect your marriage. Even if you think there isnít a problem, have you asked your spouse? The caregiver needs to make the move to purposefully establish a balance between your relationship and caregiving. Here are some suggestions on how to reach that balance:
- Worries about financial burdens particularly if the caregiver spouse must stop working.
- Loss of time together as a couple and intimacy.
- Resentment of the time given to the cared-for loved one. Or the caregiver resenting their spouseís freedom. Resentment may also occur when the cared-for loved one is an in-law Ė not the caregiverís own parent.
- Tension or conflict between your spouse and other family members involved in your loved one's care.
Even if you are not currently in a situation of caring for an elderly parent or in-law, you probably will be at some time. Our population is aging and living longer. It is important that the caregiver establish the balance between caregiving and their family early in the process. If they donít, breaking set patterns will be harder as time passes. The goal is to give as much care as possible to the elder yet making sure there is enough time, patience, and energy for your spouse and children.
- Talk. Schedule time to regularly talk and share problems, feelings, or ideas. Donít wait for things to get bottled up Ė that leads to hurtful explosions. No topic should be off limits Ė good, bad, or ugly. Sharing will help keep you and your spouse connected in the face of stress and help prevent misunderstandings.
- Listen. Both you and your spouse should be able to talk without interruption. Really listen Ė donít be preparing your response. Repeat back what you heard in your own words to make sure you understand.
- Work together on a caregiving plan. You and your family are a team. Your plan on how to provide care should have shared responsibilities and sacrifices. Include your children - older children could be asked to do chores around the house for which you no longer have time. Younger children have the responsibility to pick up their own toys. Ask your adult children to help care for their grandparents. Sharing that time reading a book to them or watching TV may be the memory they cherish later.
- Make time for fun and romance together. Donít forget the little things Ė notes of encouragement, a single flower, take long walks together.
- Build a network. You are not alone. Look for outside resources. Ask for help from siblings, other relatives, or your neighbors. Join a support group. Find respite care or a regular day care. Avail yourself of local resources.
What is "Happenings!"
"Happenings!" is the our monthly e-mail newsletter for the Alzheimer's Aid Society. We send it at the beginning of the month so you can stay up-to-date on events and news in northern California. We will also include tips for caregivers and highlight new scientific research. Recent issues are available on our website. Do you have a comment or feedback? Please reply to this message - we would love to hear from you.