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How do I care for this stranger that is my husband?

My husband has become a stranger, not only does he not recognize me but sometimes I feel like I don't know him. We have been married 60 years but I feel like I'm caring for someone I've never met, almost everything that was him is gone.
Status: Open    May 12, 2015 - 06:53 AM

Caregiving, Relationships

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2 answers


May 24, 2015 - 08:49 PM

I share your feelings. My husband has been "gone" for two years, both physically and mentally. Because of advanced Parkinson's and Lewy-Body Dementia, I reluctantly had to place him in a skilled care nursing home when he could no longer walk or transfer himself. Several years prior to that, I struggled mightily to care for him at home. Even though he is now in a long-term care facility, I am with him at all meal times to help him eat and stay until he is put to bed and comfortable - I do this 24/7. Prayers, family, dedication to my marriage vows and in thanksgiving for all that my husband did for me before illness struck keep me going. And I'll always remember the words from a recent widow when she said to me after a bit of complaining on my part: "How fortunate you are - you still have your husband." We have been married for 56 years, and I've been his primary care giver for the last nine years. The article on Anticipatory Grief (available on this web site) was very helpful to me also.

Jun 07, 2015 - 11:12 AM

Callie cat I hope you are in a support group. And if you can find a Spouse Support group that would be even better.
I know exactly how you feel, as does everyone in my support group. I think there is a big difference in being a caregiver and a Spouse that is a caregiver. The entire relationshp changes. You are Married yet you are a Widdow even before he passes. Your grieving process starts much sooner than others and continues.
If you can care for him by yourself you do the best you can and when you can not care for him alone you either have someone come in that can help you or you MUST place him in a facility where he can get the care he needs and deserves. When that day comes you can still care for him, love him and be there for him it will just be someone else doing some of the work.
You are doing a wonderful job, a though job. but you have to also take care of you.

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