How O'Joy assisted an elderly caregiver to his wife diagnosed with dementia
Retirement is meant to be a relaxing, exciting and interesting life stage for everyone, especially for those who had been working unceasingly throughout their adult lives. Everyone looks forward to an enjoyable experience with their loved ones, living out their retirement stress-free.
Originally, 72-year-old Mr T was anticipating the ideal retirement life after he ended his business. However, when 65-year-old Mrs T was diagnosed with moderate dementia, he unexpectedly became her caretaker.
This unfortunate turn of events completely altered the couple’s retirement plans. Dementia greatly affected the couple. Mrs T exhibited evident behavioural changes, accompanied with sharp decline of her memory, resulting in a problematic living situation. While their children were willing to support their parents financially, they were reluctant to provide any physical help for Mrs T. The absence of their children’s care and love hurt Mr T most. Not only was he frustrated about the unclear future, he was also distressed. Faced with uncertainties and worries, Mr T had no notion on how to tackle this crisis by himself.
O’Joy provided various measures to alleviate the couple’s stress. First, O’Joy accompanied the couple to medical appointments with the geriatrician. Our counsellor provided regular psychoeducation sessions for Mr T as a caregiver to understand the nature and traits of dementia. As such, with assistance from the counsellors, Mr T better understood the importance of listening and had deeper understanding of how he could be more empathetic toward his wife.
To ensure better care for Mrs T, O’Joy facilitated the application for dementia day-care, so that Mrs T was being looked after during the day. O’Joy also helped Mr T to hire a foreign domestic helper to provide care for Mrs T. In case Mrs T loses her way, a safe return card was applied to provide identification and ensure safety.
Indeed, dementia may be incurable, and its symptoms are progressive. Nevertheless, with appropriate measures, treatment and care in place, the patient’s symptoms can be delayed, or even improved. With O’Joy’s interventions, Mrs T takes her medication regularly and her behavioural issues is kept under control. With adequate means of support, care and assistance from both the centre and the domestic helper, Mr T became more confident in taking care of his beloved wife. Although it can still be challenging for Mr T from time to time, he has learnt to cope with this stress and manage his emotions, enabling him to view the issue with optimism.