Once a master gardener, Frances slowly abandoned the hobby. The landscaping on their Grant, Fla. All the responsibilities Frances had maintained through nearly 60 years of marriage—paying bills, making appointments, housekeeping, cooking—fell to A. He accepted his new role without complaint, even as he found himself feeling less like a partner in a marriage and more like a father parenting a child.
Frances needed help in the bathroom. She could get her nightgown over her head but was confounded by the arm holes. She forgot how to properly handle a fork and knife, leading to lots of spilled food. Eventually, her husband's steady hand was necessary if she was to eat. The job of caregiver was tough, the hours long, the emotional toll enormous. This slow death left A. But a caregiver of older people doesn't get the positive feedback a child gives—growth, development, a glimpse of a future, Uffner says.
Confronting a progressive series of losses is just incredibly disappointing. Enter Joyce, age 83, a lifelong friend of A. Joyce, a widow, regularly joined A. But once Frances became unable to go to restaurants, A. It is not at all uncommon for a caregiver to take on a "paramour," as Uffner calls it. And in many cases, entering into a new relationship can give the caregiver the strength he needs to shoulder his growing responsibilities. It stops them from getting depressed, and it stops them from being too isolated.
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Such an arrangement can also provide caregivers with positive feedback. They have someone who thinks they're attractive or interesting, someone to talk to about daily life, says Uffner. In all likelihood, this Three's Company scenario will only become more common. And as the number of people over age 65 increases, the prevalence is expected to increase by 50 percent over the next 20 years, according to the Alzheimer's Foundation. Good luck with your realtionship I think it would be helpful if you joined an Alzheimer's Support Group in your area where your concerns can be discussed rather than on this forum which is for the spouses of Alz victims.
There is a gentleman in our group who is reunited with a lady, sad to say, that has Alz. It is an interesting situation in which he and his wife, who is now deceased, and this lady and her husband ,who is now deceased, and their kids were once upon a happier time all friends This gent helps her son and his son helps too, taking care of this lady. The widower will cook and stay at night in the home with her, there are hired caregivers in the day and the boys all look in and her help too..
That is a rare situation. As said earlier, the topic of the caregiver spouse wondering about seeing someone outside of the caregiving work when our LO no longer knows us causes some to have to really dig deep in soul searching. The conflicts we have are potentially hurting our spouse in some way. We don't know what they do think, but we do know we can run into some horrific responses depending upon what kind of mood their mind might be in at any given moment.
Alzhimer's is a very unpredictable disease. While it may be admirable that you feel you are helping in some way, the fact that you have some concerns about others being hurt by your presence suggests some unrest within your own mind. I don't mean to be unkind but I agree that you should consider some distance from this family.
Why hasn't anyone written a book about YOUR experience? None of US would be qualified because we are in the throws of this disease, we are the ones making all the decisions, finding ways to pay for help, wondering how we are going to make it when this is all over. So asking your question on these boards really is addressing the wrong group with this question.
I really think you might find more input from an Alzheimer's Group where caregivers are not always the spouse, though from our group it is mostly the spouse.. Nikki, I sure do hope you polish your halo and dust off your angel wings once in a while. I love you, girlie, and you are just too good for me. Amicrazy, if you want to know what the kids think Also, you are where you are by choice.
I personally would have rather been able to choose to care for my dear departed darling than to leave a doctor's office with a death sentence hanging over my head and not know how long it was going to take. My husband passed away February of this year. He knew who I was up to the last 5 days of his life. He had moments of clarity even then. During our relationship, I never loved anyone but him and I don't love anyone but him right now. Lord, put your arm around my shoulder and your hand across my mouth The road less traveled. I guess it the situation is rather unusual, from that standpoint someone may write a book about this type of situation.
I do not think anyone would put themself into this situation willing, you have just proven me wrong. I would say if the family does not want you involved then you should honor the request and be a friend from a far. Having been in his shoes I did not get much support from family so I was looking for what ever help I could get to cope with what life had dealt me. He is in a very difficult situation and support is what he needs, but the cost of the support you are offering may be at a high cost to his family situation. If his family is not helping him, I would not care what they thought if you are his only support.
I'm not sure if I remember the stats correctly, but I think there are about 5 million in the U. The EOAD piece would be about 5 or 10 percent of that. Unless someone with a younger-onset dementia is dx in their 40's or 50's, they probably don't have children living at home. If they do, in addition to the responsibility of the children and taking care of the person with dementia, the caregiving spouse is probably still in the workforce.
It's logistics--I don't think most people in that position have the time or energy left to be in a new relationship. Even with no children and being retired, there was no way I could think about dating while my husband was living at home. I think Mimi's suggestion about attending a support group would be beneficial. I actually see how your presence could be a plus to all concerned if it is handled sensitively. Based on your post you sound like you feel this man is worth it, even with his complicated family situation.
Amicrazy--my best advice is to get an honest assessment from your man as to HIS feelings about being in a relationship right now, and gauge the appropriateness following his lead. It's hard for you to make that call. As for his relationship with his children, etc I'm speaking from my point of view as a spouse of a husband in late-stage Alzheimer's, and I have another man in my life. I decided, recently, to be up-front about this because the decision came after years of caregiving and much consideration of the needs of all parties involved.
I know I am not alone as a spouse in this situation, and I think it SHOULD be open for discussion so pretending it is not true by omission seems silly to me. I will say that opinions WILL run gamut among members of this forum What has mattered the most to me is the opinions of our children, my husband's family, our friends and community AS WELL AS a honest, thorough, holistic look at what is best for me as an organism, and whether I can truly meet my husband's needs under these circumstances. That is why I believe you have to feel your way based on his assessment.
You need to be aware that care for his spouse is paramount and he very likely will have to intervene in emergency situations, attend to her frequently, and remain somewhat divided in his attentions for now. I am concerned that you're worried you might hurt his relationship with his children. That says to me don't know if I'm right that maybe he doesn't have their approval, and this certainly would complicate any relationship. But that is really his issue to iron out, and how your relationship proceeds is going to be affected by his open communication with his children and whether they are of an understanding frame of mind, or whether this is something they're having trouble dealing with.
Having the questions you have is natural, and doesn't necessarily point to the relationship being a wrong choice. Are you enhancing his life and well-being without bringing pain to anyone else? He's going to have to help answer that. The book and information you seek is "Jan's Story". In the Alzheimer's world this is not always so clear. If you stepped in after her physical death and aided in childcare and had a good second mother relationship with them you would be seen as a wonderful savior.
The problem is and in the AD world will always remain exactly when is somebody; gone, dead, left, abandoned or made single by the disease. And THIS is what we and you seem to be struggling with. There is no one correct answer. If you and him and the kids and the old and new in-laws and the community at large can all agree in your hearts, that she is "gone" and exists only in a physical presence then perhaps everyone can accept you as the second relationship of a widower.
I didn't see how old the children were, but whether widowed or divorced, the relationship of a second mother is always difficult. If however you, or anyone else holds to the idea that she is 'still alive' and the original relationship and vows are still in effect, then you are and will always be nothing more than "the other woman". I certainly agree that a frank and open discussion needs to be held with ALL involved!
As was done in Jan's Story. I see two people seeking comfort. Maybe a telephone relationship would work for awhile. It is a tough road for you no matter what you do. Life is a heartache sometimes. CommentAuthor lulliebird CommentTime Jun 13th When I posted my comment about this relationship my concern was for the children.
It is interesting to read that the responses are not quite as supportive for your situation. I agree with Nikki, in that if we are supportive of the Alzheimer Spouse, how can we feel differently about the person with whom the Alzheimer Spouse is involved? In any case, this is something you have to work out with your companion. It does help to have the support of his children, friends, and family, but ultimately, the decision is for the two of you to make.
This is the link to copy and paste - http: I am aware of many Alzheimer Spouses who use dating sites for simple non face to face companionship, and others who use them looking for in person companionship.
Till Dementia Do Us Part: Alzheimer's Caregivers, Spouses Seek New Lov
In almost all cases, they are up front and honest about their situation, so you may find someone in a situation similar to yours who is willing to talk with or write to you about it. I was thinking along the lines of what Joan mentioned, that if we support that "us guys", the spousal caregivers, to have a relationship, depending in some ways on how advanced our mates are , then why would we not support the one who is the love interest, the "outsider" so to speak. AmIcrazy, in your situation it sounds a bit shaky, and I hope it can all be ironed out.
Some members here have had blessings of friends and family, and that is ideal. I, as a spouse that loves my guy so so much, he is now in a facility in late stage 6 , support anyone who is in this situation, if their hearts are in the right place. Something sort of clicked when reading your desire to write about your position.
You know I am I think anyway, very open minded to these things if done with honesty and love. Maybe I would find it much more interesting if it was written with the two, three , people involved, with all perspectives and of course the victim cannot write. Either way, I wish you all the best, we are all deserving human beings in this huge pool of life. CommentAuthor amicrazy CommentTime Jul 9th edited. I have read Jans story a long time ago as suggested but that book is from his perspective not the womans perspective he was dating.
Also his children were older and they were his from a previous marriage. We have a very open, honest relationship. I went into this relationship willingly and with my eyes completely open and I know that is hard from some to believe. She was diagnosed 8 year ago and both children are under the age of 11 I am in my early 40's. Imagine if you had to take care of your ALZ spouse and raise young children that have not had a normal childhood as they have had to grow up very quickly. They have not known a mother as you have known a mother.
Children that have to take their mother to the restroom in public, or hold her hand and guide her so she wont walk away or by telling her that its ok just to name a few. I have always told him that his family comes first. His family has not taken an active role in helping with his wife or the children. I continue to take a more active role all the time. I have taken the children and their mother out in public without his assistance and I will continue to help as much as needed by doing such things as being at the house one night a week while he has work obligations or whatever comes up.
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He is not alone as I feel like I am in this with him and its our journey together to care for her and the children and work through things. I have met his family and he has met mine and all are supportive of our relationship. As for the book We have talked about doing one together- He really wants to write one regarding his experiences with ALZ, partly because he is so young and there are young children involved.
Unfortunately the younger that people become diagnosed with this horrible disease the more our situation will not be a minority. Finally- I want to say God Bless all of you and I hope that you find strength and peace on your journeys. Call me a bitch but I sure do hope you are not looking to cash in on this unfortunate situation.
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Ok, guys, you know that I sometimes just blurt out what other people are thinking. I'm sorry and you are welcome. I guess it's just hard for me to believe that there is someone out there like you who willingly puts herself in this situation with the purest of motives.
Just look at the world around us. I have a hard time watching my DH change so much and can 't imagine having someone else in my life except a trained caregiver to give me breaks.
Till Dementia Do Us Part?
My take on the situation: The man went on a dating site, likely because he is lonely. What he did may not be right, but it is somewhat understandable.
The woman entered this relationship knowing the situation. She should have known she was walking into a minefield. Now, she wants to go visit the wife to see how sick she really is. That is totally wrong and disrespectful. She has no business going there. Next, she worries about how his stepchildren view her. After all, the ill woman is their mother. So, either she accepts the situation the way it is, stays in the background, and stops worrying so much about herself, or she needs to exit the relationship.
I find her motives and dilemma to be her problem.