The Toll of Caring for Dementia

doctor-comforting-happy-senior-womanIt can be rather difficult to care for a spouse or loved one who has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. When caregiving, it is almost natural to feel tired, frustrated, and depressed. If you are feeling that way, know that you are not alone. This is why it is vitally important that caregivers take care of themselves as well. A few of the issues that caregivers often struggle with are listed below.


Even though we might have a positive attitude about caregiving, it is important to understand that it can be deeply saddening to see someone that you care about slowly slip away. This is often associated with feelings of loss.

Added Stress

It does not matter how we look at it, caregiving is a stressful situation. There are significant levels of stress when dealing with a loved one who has dementia. It is also important to understand that most spousal caregiver s are in fact seniors themselves. This means that they have to deal with their own age-related health problems and one of the most difficult challenges of their life.

Financial Issues

While it might not sound fair, a day job and providing full-time care are often incompatible. Spousal caregivers often have to retire early and give up work. The cost of paid care (especially if nothing is coming in) can become rather high.

Health Problems

It can be physically detrimental to care for someone who has a memory disorder. There are physiological changes that may reflect declining physical health in caregivers of a spouse who has dementia. Some of the problems include slower wound healing, increased odds of coronary heart disease, higher blood pressure, or decreased immune function.

Getting Help

It is important to realize that these four areas are often interconnected. For example, depression and stress can lead to health problems, and vice versa.

If you find that you are struggling with one or more of these issues, it is important that you get help. Perhaps you can try to find a professional option at and find out whether an assisted living facility is a good idea. Even those who mean well might not be able to provide care indefinitely.

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