Caregiving Monday: Grief in Alzheimer’s

Caregiving Monday: Grief in Alzheimer’s

Recently a dear friend of mine with Alzheimer’s mourned the loss of his wife.  He would often twists his wedding ring when thinking about her and asks questions.  There were times when he was quiet and other times when he had bursts of anger.  All of this is a natural part of the mourning process.

Alzheimer’s does not stop our loved ones from grieving when they lose a loved one, whether it is a sibling, spouse, or child.grief2

So how do we deal with this grief?

  1. DO NOT keep reminding them if they don’t remember.
  2. Allow them to talk about the loved one and share memories.
  3. Realize that any anger or showing out may be due to the grief.
  4. Try to redirect them if they become too agitated.
  5. Celebrate the life of the loved one.
  6. Understand that they will feel your loved one needs to grieve and will express the same steps in the grief process {denial, anger, guilt, sadness, acceptance}.
  7. Recognize signs, times of day or situations that may trigger the grieving process {especially anger and guilt steps}.
  8. Understand that some bonds and intuitions are strong that even without telling your loved one s/he may “know.”
  9. Remember that you are grieving also {most likely} and grieving together may be good for both of you.

Grief takes time for everyone to experience.  We’ve got to remember that the same is true for our loved ones with Alzheimer’s.  However, if they don’t remember, don’t keep bringing it back up.  Doing so will be like hearing the news for the first time each time.

How have you deal with grief?

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