They say aging is not for the weak of heart.
Aging is a challenge all by itself. Adding a disease like Alzheimer’s to the equation makes things even more difficult. When your spouse is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it can be scary and confusing. If you find yourself in this position, here are a few things that can help you transition into your new life.
Knowledge is power. In this instance, the more you know about the disease, the better equipped you will weather the storms ahead. Take your time to research and find out all you can about Alzheimer’s diagnosis, symptoms, treatments, and special care.
Talk to the doctor
Your spouse’s doctor is your best source of information regarding your loved one’s health. Come to each appointment prepared with questions, comments, or concerns about your spouse’s health. If your doctor seems unwilling to talk to you about your problems, change doctors. Having a medical professional in your corner will make this difficult time a little easier.
Talk to a lawyer
Over the years, your lives have become blended. Both names are on the bills, the bank, the mortgage, etc. You will need an attorney to help you with two things at this point. First, you need to prepare Power of Attorney documents that state you are your spouse’s legal representative for personal business. Second, you should make sure you are current on other legal documents: like a will.
Take care of yourself
Caretakers often forget to take care of one very important person: themselves. They get so caught up in all the things needing to be done for the one they love that they fail to see they still have required in order to. If you want to be able to give your loved one the best care you can, you need to be eating properly, sleeping well, and taking time to get away for a few hours. Establish your own schedule early on. Take a yoga class on Tuesday morning or a painting class on Thursday evenings. Keep your time away from the calendar. By creating “your time” now when you’re discovering your new life together and it will become that much easier as you continue to transition into uncharted waters.