Today, as more Americans live longer, an increasing number of married couples must cope with a spouse who is living with dementia. And while Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are said to impact the entire family, the spouses in the marriage are affected the most.
Marriage and family dynamics experts advise that when a spouse is diagnosed with dementia, the lives of both spouses will change dramatically. Therefore, it is important for both partners in the marriage to recognize the challenges and know what to expect.
A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease would be an unwelcome, life-altering event for any of us. Therefore, it is understandable that a loved one who is exhibiting symptoms of dementia might want to avoid a formal diagnosis and the reality of Alzheimer’s as a new part of their life – and even refuse to see their doctor of many years
Alzheimer’s authorities tell us that this form of denial – avoiding a diagnosis by refusing to see the doctor – is common. After all, contemplating a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and the long-term impact on one’s life can be traumatic.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association®, in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, friends and family will begin to notice cognitive difficulties in the person with the disease, and changes in relationships may begin to occur.