Monday, October 01, 2007

A shorter run, then

A recent article stated that family caregivers of Alzheimer's sufferers are under so much stress that their role of caregiving actually shortens their lives by 4 - 8 years.

A friend shared this article with me and it was upsetting to say the least. Now, H doesn't have Alzheimer's, but his dementia is bad and is getting worse over time, and, his care needs are doing nothing but increasing. Minimally, his mental symptoms won't be getting any better.

I was upset and so I shared this article with H. His response was a flat, "I'm not surprised," and then he went back to reading his email. No, "I can see why you're upset, I’m sorry that this is so hard for you, I'd be afraid too…". Nada.

I'm still trying to learn not to expect support from H (part of my acceptance work), but how do you not automatically expect support from your spouse? When they expect you to provide support for them? How do you not share what you find out, experience, or feel?

While I can't claim that my life is being ruled by a crazy person (he is just sleeping more and more these days), I can now say with scientific certainty that my life is being shortened by living with a crazy person.

1 comment:

Elanor said...

This is awful and makes me glad I am not going to be caregiving much longer. I have been diagnosed with 2 illnesses, had once cancer scare and had an accident all in the last 12 months since starting caring. Scary stuff.