Dear Dr. Archer,
How do I, a mentally ill wife, take care of my husband who has dementia? I am going to an Alzheimer's support group soon. I am overwhelmed with the abundance of information online.
I have support from family and friends. I mostly take care of myself pretty well. My husband has cared for me and I now want to care for him. Are there other women like me? Can you suggest other avenues I haven't connected with?
First and foremost, I am happy that you have support from your family and friends. Caring for a person with dementia can be challenging, yet can also be rewarding. The one thing I want to stress, Sara, is as you enter this phase of your life, the better you take care of yourself, the better you will be able to care for your husband. This means making time for activities out of the house with family and friends and keeping active with a hobby or two.
That said, there are a number of services that can assist you while you learn to care for your husband. If you visit Dementia and Alzheimer's Care
, you will find tips, activities and long-term care options for your husband. The Alzheimer's and Dementia Care at Home
offers tips and questions for virtually any activity you may come across. In addition, it offers Caregiver Support, which leads you to different web sites to help you along. Dementia Tips
offers many tips that should help you and your support group. It offers suggestions that sometimes are taken for granted, yet often forgotten.
What you need to remember, Sara, is to not get overwhelmed by this. When you need help, ask for it. If you need a break, tell someone. The Lewy Body Dementia
offers support listed by each state, along with names and phone numbers to put you in touch with help that is near where you live. Remember to ask for help when you need, take breaks when your body tells you, because you can't do it all, and remember, above all, to take care of yourself first! Good Luck, Sara.