Those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia may be physically here but not mentally or emotionally present as they once were. For those who love and care for them, it is a constant, daily reminder of just how challenging the disease can be.
Banner Health’s recent article entitled “Caregiving and Dementia: Navigating Ambiguous Loss and Grief” explains that caregiver stress and burden may sometimes be misunderstood. However, the real culprit may very well be an ambiguous loss. Ambiguous loss describes the grief that a person may feel for a loved one who has dementia.
The person is physically present but psychologically absent or changed. It’s a loss that’s unclear, has no resolution, and has no predictable ending. This can be confusing and overwhelming for family caregivers and cause them to feel sad and immobilized.
While it is very common to feel ambiguous loss, recognizing these feelings and understanding and navigating it can help ease its impact.
Here are some ways to work through these feelings, begin to grieve the losses, and stay connected and present for the person you love, while also restoring your strength and resiliency.
Reference: Banner Health (June 1, 2020) “Caregiving and Dementia: Navigating Ambiguous Loss and Grief”
Suggested Key Terms: Elder Care, Caregiving, Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, Ambiguous Loss
Stay informed and updated by joining our eNewsletter.