AlzU Blog

Dealing with the Grief and Loss of Alzheimer’s Disease

Loss and grief are a normal part of dealing with having a family member with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  Whenever life changes suddenly as it does with the progression of the stages of Alzheimer’s disease, feelings of grief and loss of life as you once knew it commonly emerge. Other common emotions include anger, guilt or even abandonment. 

It’s important to share these emotions with a grief counselor and with others in your support network. 
It’s normal to feel loss when you care about someone who has Alzheimer’s disease. It’s also normal to feel guilty, abandoned and angry.

The disease of Alzheimer’s can encompass much loss as each stage brings changes in your loved one.  The decline in cognitive functioning which occurs as the stages of Alzheimer’s progress may result in many strong emotions for caregivers and family members as well as those with AD.

Phases of the grieving process may include any of the following:

Denial that your loved one is really ill
Praying for a complete recovery
Convincing oneself that the disease is not going to progress
Normalizing behaviors that are in fact problematic
Feelings of anger and resentment
Phases of denial then anger then acceptance
Attempting to normalize problematic behaviors
Resentment for all of the work involved in being a caregiver
Feeling unable to cope with the stress of being a full time caregiver
Wishing the problem would go away
Withdrawing socially
Keeping emotions bottled up
Feelings of despair or depression
Expecting too much of yourself

These feelings have all been described by other caregivers and are part of the normal process of loss and grief of dealing with all of the stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  Remember that you are not alone and that it’s important to reach out to socials workers, counselors, and other caregivers who have experienced similar emotions, and sign up for our 25 topic course for caregivers at by CLICKING HERE.

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