Are you a caretaker of a spouse with dementia? If you are, you know how exhausting that responsibility is. A study done by Maria Norton, PhD, associate professor of gerontology at Utah State University, Logan, was presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference concluding that spouses of dementia sufferers are at increased risk for dementia, too. Dr. Norton's research indicated that wives whose husbands had dementia were nearly four times more likely to also develop dementia than women whose husband's did not have dementia.
If you are a caretaker, you know that the stress of caregiving is a risk factor for dementia. So what can you do to deal with this risk factor? Seek help - get information on support groups and use them, ask for support from family and friends. Even an hour away to get your hair cut or get to your own doctor's appointment can relieve the stress you deal with. Hypnotherapy can be a great tool in dealing with stress. Many professional hypnotherapists allow a client to record the hypnosis session so it can be listened to at home as needed. Tape recorders are old technology. But tapes can still be found if you have an old recorder. Your smart phone likely has an app which will allow you to record. Or small personal recorders can be bought at an electronic store. Even a lap top could be used to record the session so you could reinforce at home. Take care of yourself, reduce the stress and your risk for developing dementia.