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How to Live with a Spouse Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

As a couple, you’ve accomplished so much. You’ve raised a family, enjoyed a rewarding career, and fallen in love. Yet, you’ve long since taken your vows, and for better or worse, in sickness and in health, it’s till death do us part.

Marriage is one of the most significant emotional connections you can have with someone, and it is not always an easy road. One of the most considerable hardships comes as we age, and one partner’s health begins to decline before the other. There may be a time when you have to consider changing your lifestyle to support your partner in that uncertainty.

How do I take care of someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia?

Alzheimer’s is a degenerative mental condition that is only one of the many forms of dementia. It is unpredictable, unannounced, and now seen to affect people before retirement age. Becoming a caretaker for your partner is possible, but it is admittedly strenuous.

In one woman’s story of the journey of discovering her husband’s experience with younger-onset Alzheimer’s, the emotional unrest becomes overwhelming. A trip to the University of California, San Francisco confirmed and changed their plans for the future in an instant.

If your husband or wife is experiencing Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or another form of dementia, consider the process of caretaking:

  • Managing frustration, paranoia, and confusion
  • Managing medications and doctor visits
  • Preparing meals with brain-healthy ingredients
  • Losing needed socialization for both of you
  • Providing activities that preserve brain health
  • Experiencing caretaker guilt

What options do I have besides being the caretaker?

In central California, Elk Grove Park provides memory care and assisted living services for this exact situation.

Elk Grove Park | Dining Hall
Through apartment living in a group atmosphere, our Connections program for folks living with Alzheimer’s, Lewy body, or other forms of dementia takes the pressure off partners so they can still lead independent lifestyles with the ones they love.

How do I talk to my partner about moving into an assisted living or memory care community?

The first step is planning for the future. If your husband or wife is in the early stages, it’s essential to include them in conversations and let them know their feelings are important and considered. The ability to understand future legal, financial, and medical options can lift a huge burden. While this step is a gambit, it’s imperative to the aging process.

From a first-hand account, helpful recommendations include:

  • Being honest about your emotional and physical well being
  • Acknowledging your partner’s point of view
  • Bringing in a neutral third party into the discussion
  • Considering a support group in the Elk Grove area for ideas from people in similar positions

How can Elk Grove Park help my partner’s experience with Alzheimer’s and dementia?

Close to Sacramento, Elk Grove Park in Elk Grove, CA has long been a trusted asset for assisted living and memory care. Our community is unique by design and made up of five cottages, each housing 15 apartments. Each cottage includes a common area for socialization, but you can enjoy plenty of privacy in your own home. In addition, participating in community activities is a great way to spend time with your loved one. Our community is like a mix of hospitality and healthcare.

  • One-story cottage-style community
  • Dedicated memory care cottages
  • Depending on your cottage, they include a piano, aviary, and beauty salon
  • Intimate family-style living
  • Park-like outdoor area and courtyards
  • Pet friendly
  • Over 50 percent of associates have contributed to the community for over a decade
  • A dedicated Health and Wellness Director, Health and Wellness Coordinator, and Wellness Nurse
  • More nurses than most communities available regularly
  • Strong care team and providing a higher level of care than other facilities
  • Research-based memory care specialists
  • On-site physical, occupational, and speech therapy
  • Three chef-inspired meals a day
  • Housekeeping, bed linen, and maintenance services
  • Transportation service
  • Walking paths and community garden
  • Clubhouse for activities and events
  • Library

What is the Connections program for Alzheimer’s and dementia care?

While there is currently no cure for these cognitive conditions, research is discovering new ways of preserving independence for people living with these setbacks. Our Connections program studies these findings and encourages four main goals that drive the program:

  • Activities like art, music, and socialization engage the emotions
  • Walking club and chair yoga are ways to encourage movement and maximize the quality of life
  • Stimulating word games and reminiscing over stories challenge the brain
  • From group activities to multiple common areas, we are constantly supporting socialization for all residents

Our team of associates includes registered nurses who can aid in:

  • Diabetic care
  • Incontinence care
  • Medication assistance, administration, and management
  • Dressing, bathing, and grooming assistance
  • Help traveling around the community
  • Continual monitoring of health and behavior tracking

What are the first steps to Alzheimer’s care for my spouse?

Supporting the independence of your spouse and yourself is not something you should do alone. Accept help and take care of yourself so that you can continue to share and enjoy time with the person you love the most. Stay as informed as you can about what your husband or wife is going through so you both have the opportunity to live well.


To see if the smaller family-like atmosphere of Elk Grove Park is the right choice for you and your loved one, contact us or call (916) 683-1881 to set up a tour of our community.

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