When Stephen Dunham noticed his wife Kay was having memory lapses and often repeating herself, he grew concerned and they eventually began visiting doctors. As Kay was still young, the couple received many diagnoses before eventually confirming she had Alzheimer’s disease. The Liahona magazine shares that Stephen cared for Kay until she passed away from complication with the disease.
Later on, Stephen met a woman named Lily who could relate to his difficult experience of caregiving: Lily is primarily responsible for her mother who struggles with dementia and cannot be left alone. Stephen and Lily decided to be married and began the journey of caring for Lily’s mother together.
“[My mother’s] experience has been a difficult road to navigate. But with the knowledge, experience, and patience Stephen has gained through caring for Kay, he and I have been able to work together to care for my mother effectively as her condition has worsened,” Lily says.
Using their combined years of experience, Stephen and Kay offer five tips in this month’s Liahona to help others who may be in similar situations. The tips give practical suggestions for how people can rely on the Savior as well as how and when to take advantage of available resources.
The final tip is for caregivers to remember to care for themselves.
“There are unfortunate statistics that show how many caregivers pass away before those they care for because their own health has been neglected,” Stephen and Lily write.
To read more about how to care for yourself while also caring for loved ones with Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease see the Liahona.
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