When half of a married couple becomes sick with a chronic and/or degenerative illness - whether Alzheimer's or another dementia, MS, severe arthritis - you name it - the well spouse is also at risk. Caregiver stress becomes an inescapable part of their lives. They generally become the primary caregiver. Many feel guilty if they ask for outside help. They just consider it their duty to be the caregiver. Some are still working full-time jobs and have children at home. Some are aging themselves, and have their own health problems.
All caregivers need support. When that support comes from people in exactly the same circumstance, it is even more helpful. So, while general caregiver support groups can be invaluable, there is one organization just for them, called the Well Spouse Association. You will find their terrific Web site at www.wellspouse.org.
Spousal caregivers need respite. They need to reach out to their spiritual organizations. They need friends and neighbors. Hopefully, they will have all of the above. But logging on to www.wellspouse.org could be exactly what they need to do to feel totally understood.
If you are the adult child of parents in this situation, look the site over, and see if you can find some help for your folks.