‘A Living Hell:’ Caregivers Of Spouses With Alzheimer’s Find Support Online When They Can’t Leave Home
Stat looks at a Facebook group that is salvation for two wives living hundred of miles apart who both care round-the-clock for their spouses, yet can always find each other or someone online to find solace. News on caregiving also looks at a twist life can take when someone dies.
For Dementia Caregivers, A Place To Share With Strangers — And Be Honest
Barbara Metcalf and Mary Smallwood live 826 miles apart. They’ve never met in person. If not for a chance interaction on Facebook, they would have stayed strangers. But for months, the two women talked nearly every day, swapping stories and venting about their husbands, who both have dementia. Their husbands’ symptoms have manifested in particularly difficult, deeply isolating ways. They blamed their wives for their conditions. They blamed their wives for losing their jobs. They blamed their wives because they couldn’t drive anymore. They accused them of having affairs with the mailman or stealing their money. They urinated all over their houses, leaving the women cleaning for hours. (Thielking, 9/18)
Caregivers Of Seriously Ill Spouses Find Life Improves More When The Partner Dies
For caregivers tending to a seriously ill spouse, quality of life may improve to a greater extent if the partner dies than if the partner recovers, a German study suggests. That paradoxical finding - that life becomes more satisfying when sick partners die than when they recover - may arise from the fact that on average, bereaved caregivers in the study had heavier caregiving burdens, with sicker spouses and more hours spent caring for their loved one until the caregiver role ended, said Laura Langner, a sociology researcher at the University of Oxford and Nuffield College in the UK who led the research. (Rapaport, 9/17)