Important Things to Keep in Mind This Valentine’s Day If Your Partner Suffers From Dementia

Valentine's Day With Partner With DementiaAs Valentine’s Day draws near, it is not at all uncommon to reflect upon the memories, experiences, and good times that we have shared with our partners. It is a holiday where we take the time to share gifts and experiences with those with whom we are highly affectionate towards and love tremendously.

If your partner suffers from dementia, this may be a challenging and bittersweet holiday. While it is true that you still love your partner with all of your heart, caring for someone with this condition and receiving love in return may prove to be challenging.

In some cases, your partner may not even remember who you are. If you find yourself struggling, continue reading this article. In it, you will discover several important things that you should keep in mind this Valentine’s Day.

Allow Yourself to Grieve the Loss of the Person You Once Loved

Dementia is a devastating condition that changes those that are diagnosed. By now, you have probably witnessed a few less-than-favorable changes in your loved one.

As with any loss, you will experience grief. You must accept that and allow yourself to grieve the loss of the person that your partner used to be.

Your partner’s personality, sense of humor, zest, and general love for life may become masked by the dementia.

While it is true that the person you have known and loved all these years is still in there – somewhere – it is also true that you simply may not be able to reach or access that person any longer.

You must accept this and go through the grieving process in order to move forward.

Accept Who They Have Become

Once you have grieved the loss of the person that you once loved, you will be able to recognize your partner as a new person.

You will always have an image in your head of who your partner was, the memories that you share, and the love that you had, but you can change the situation from a negative experience to a positive experience by focusing on who they are now.

Focus on the positive. Remember the good memories. Cherish the love that you shared. Then, move on to creating new memories, being appreciative that your partner is still with you, and identifying the new personality traits that you love in your partner.

Dementia does not have to end your love. It simply evolves. Completely allow the evolution to take place and your love to grow deeper.

Educate Yourself

Dementia is a very devastating and challenging medical condition. It results in the accumulation of proteins within the brain.

As these continue to build up, they will then transition to nerve-killing plaques that interfere with and completely block the nerve signals and various connections within the brain. It results in the damage and total loss of brain tissue.

Chemicals in the brain become disrupted, too. When you realize that dementia does this, you will find that you understand the issues it causes much better. Educating yourself on the disease can help you understand what your partner is experiencing as it progresses.

Don’t Take it Personally

As dementia progresses, your partner will become more forgetful. They may start to experience severe personality changes and unfavorable mood swings. They may become frightened and paranoid. They may forget who you are and may even become highly suspicious of you.

You may find that they try to get away from you or have severe outburst. While it is true that we are all just human and may become upset or get our feelings hurt by our partners that suffer with dementia, it is important that you do not take any of it personally.

Remember, somewhere, the partner you have always loved is still in there and they still love you. Unfortunately, the disease takes over as time progresses and this could cause a lot of changes that are not easy to contend with.

Dementia Is Not a Definition of Who Your Partner Is

Finally, remember that dementia does not define your partner. You knew your partner before the onset of the dementia. You created memories with them and shared a life with them. You should define them by who you know them to be, not their diagnosis.

While devastating and life-changing, it is possible to continue to love and cherish your partner – despite the dementia. Try to look past all of those terrible symptoms and the issues presented by the disease progression and remember your partner for who they are and all of those wonderful times that you shared together.

Need Assistance?

Despite the fact that you love your partner and are seeking ways to have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with them, it is important to understand that caregiving for your partner may become challenging.

Dementia patients often require an immense degree of care due to the highly complex needs and the characteristics of the disease. It is possible to get additional support and help.

We here at Beacon Senior Advisors can help you with the tools and resources that your partner may require – from in-home healthcare, to assisted living, to memory care skilled nursing facilities. Contact us today for more information: 973-713-0096



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