When a family member is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the situation can be especially difficult if the diagnosis was made after the disease has progressed beyond comprehension. There is a stage when a loved one can no longer understand the diagnosis and often becomes angry when the disease is mentioned. The person can also be extremely defensive, feel offended and sometimes belligerent in response to suggestions or care. There are times when the caregiving spouse cannot care for the loved one and they must decide to separate in order to allow the caregiver to maintain a life and to allow the individual diagnoses to live in a community where ongoing needs for care and socialization can be met. Sometimes separation is the best alternative for both individuals.

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