Memory Care for a Parent When Your Parents have been Married for over 50 years

Alzheimers Dementia Care Facilities Twin Cities MNI have worked with families when one of the parents has memory loss and one is doing well.  I am asked by the adult children, would you recommend that they stay together and move together or do you look for memory care for the parent that needs it?

In my experience it is usually best for the couple if they live separately.   It is SUCH a difficult thing to tell a couple this that has been happily married for many many years.  After all they made the promise “til death do we part” .  Yet, the caregiver of the spouse with memory loss has a great burden to bear.  The health of the spouse/caregiver suffers and often the caregiver may pass away before the person with memory loss.      If financially they can afford it, there can be the option that they live together in a community with memory care where the loved one can for the day.  This might be an appropriate option if the spouse with dementia is sleeping through the night.   However, when the individual with memory loss is up at night and/or needs help with all their activities of daily living it becomes too much for the caregiver.

Another option is to rent two apartments in the same community.  An independent living apartment for the caregiver while the spouse is in memory care.  That way the spouse can visit everyday and not feel like they have abandoned their role as caregiver.

If that is not financially possible and one spouse needs to remain in the house, then the next best option is to look for memory care that is nearby so they can still see each other on a regular basis.

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