Managing Grief: Here’s How to with Dementia and Alzheimer’s Individuals

Managing grief seems to be a part of managing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. We most often think about grief when we lose someone who has passed away. Part of what makes dementia so difficult is that it feels like you’re losing your loved ones while they are still with you.

Dementia creates changes in a person that can alter their personality, demeanor, and behaviors.

A person may grieve losing the dreams they had planned with their life partner, as their role turns into Caregiver instead. A person may grieve seeing their father need assistance with basic skills when that same man used to seem superhuman.

Our Loved Ones diagnosed with dementia are also managing grief as these changes are happening to them. They may grieve the loss of independence, as they arrive at the point when they can no longer drive, or struggle to dress themselves and others are making decisions for them.

What does grief look like? Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler are authors of the book, On Grief and Grieving, which establishes five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The book is intended for managing grief after death but the emotions created
by any kind of loss are the same.

It can be helpful to know and understand your grief because it can bring comfort and validation knowing your feelings aren’t wrong or bad. They are what they are. Grief doesn’t occur and then go away, it’s a process. The task is managing and continuing to move through your grief.


The Day Place is a community-engaged organization that understands and supports the needs of Individuals with Memory Disorders and their Caregivers! We provide respite, education, resources, and tools that help you live your best life. Let’s chat to see how we can help, 205-285-9245.

Angela Hammond

As seen in: Gardendale Health
Written by Angela Hammond

Licensed Masters Social Worker & The Day Place/Owner
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