Bringing a spouse with Alzheimer's to your workplace

Is it a good idea to bring a spouse (age 57) to my workplace? I could set up a room with a TV for her to stay in and I feel my employees would embrace her. It would ease my worries about leaving her at home alone or depending too much on friends to look after her.

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I think socialization is great for Alzheimer's patients so, by all means, bring your wife to your workplace if you are able. My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's almost 20 years ago, and we owe her longevity and good spirits to daily interaction with family and friends. I have sadly obeserved others who declined very quickly without social interaction. People with Alzheimer's should not be shut away. I applaud you for your innovative thinking; your spouse is very lucky to have you as a caregiver.

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I have to agree. My husband has been dealing with AD since 2006-7. Likely had it years before this. At first I kept him to myself, thinking I was protecting him. Once some friends from church asked about taking him to coffee hour with the guys, he started laughing more and seemed to be in better spirits through out the days. When I look back at the amount of time I kept him isolated, I was doing him more harm then good. We have been keeping active together, going to ball games, even thou he can't follow along, he enjoys the fact that we are getting out. Is it hard to do this, YES. I have to make plans for bathrooms, eating and making sure the activity is going to fit the mood we are in that day. But I believe keeping active as long as you can and being able to be out in public is so important. Best wishes to you.

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I think the key words are "my employees" . . . . . If it is your business and you are the boss then 'your employees' will endorse and accept her.
Socialization for AD folks is GREAT!!! Being with other people is GREAT!! However . . . .
How would you feel about one of your employees bringing THEIR AD spouse (or children) to the workplace?
My AD wife is 61, I am 53, There is NO WAY my wife would fit in at work. (of course in the AD world EVERYTHING revolves around what stage they are at)

What will you do when she doesn't just sit quietly and watch TV?
What will you do when she starts crying uncontrollably? What about when the obscenities begin?
Are your employees ready to have items taken from their desks and work areas and then 'hidden' somewhere? Are you ready for her to get into and rearrange your files?
Is your workplace prepared/equipped for incontinence?

I GUARANTEE that at least some of your employees WILL NOT be accepting of her! They might tell you they are but then suddenly quit to work elsewhere. Every AD spouse knows how all their pre-AD friends eventually leave and avoid social interactions because it takes lots of energy to put up with AD behaviors and if you do not have to endure it, you wont.

No, I say a workplace is no place for an AD person. It is not fair to them and not fair to your staff. If you want to bring her in sporadically so other folks can see what AD really looks like maybe, but on a daily basis NO WAY!
Send her to a ALZ day care situation instead it will the best thing for all involved.

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What a kind and loving spouse you are.

I certainly do agree with the comments about socialization. My husband was diagnosed with AD more than 6 years ago (and was showing signs a couple of years prior) and is actually doing quite well. I believe this is in part due to his love of people and his continuing to use his social skills as long as possible. One of the most positive things we did was to have him participate in an adult day care program (two and then three days a week). The activities there were structured for folks with dementia and he really enjoyed bringing home the crafts he had made, telling me what he could remember of the van rides, etc. He reached a point two years ago where his wandering and other unsafe behavior required his moving to an assisted living memory care facility, but the adult day care program was wonderful at the time. I believe the type of socialization is critical.

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I was able to bring my wife to work with me and it was ok til my supervisors found out and put an end to that. I was sore and resentful but managed to find a good daycare setting where she is able to spend the day. This works out much better. The staff at this one are wonderful and I am very comfortable with my wife going there. It would be good to visit several day care sites to see which seems to be the best match; they can be quite different from each other. I understand your wanting to keep her close to you. I too couldn't imagine someone else caring for my wife as well as I could myself. I have since learned that there are some really kind and loving caretakers if you look around.

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Thank you very much for your thoughtful responses. I'm still struggling on what to do. Most people tell me it's not a good idea for the most part. It's fine to bring her once in a while, but not on a daily basis.
I'm having trouble letting go and giving her up to outside care. I'm not ready yet, emotionally.

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I replied a couple of weeks ago and since then things have taken a whole new path in our lives. I was called back to work so had to hurry and make arrangements for my husband. Our Agency on Aging has been wonderful. They helped me find a day care for him and the ladies there are wonderful to him. He likes being there, but I was fighting back tears all the way to work that first day I left him. If felt like leaving a child for the first time. Matter of fact, I called a couple of times, just like you would if it were your child. So I do understand how you feel about leaving. It was a little easier the second day, and perhaps tomorrow will be even better. It has been a blessing for me to be back to work too. We are both exhausted at the end of the day.
If I was in a work place and my boss wanted to bring his/her spouse I would not have a problem with it at all, If I did, then I would start looking for another place of employment. Best wishes to you, and remember her contentment is your first priority.

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FYI - Having a AD parent or grandparent is a difficult sitation but having an AD SPOUSE if entirely different. "Our Issues are Unique"

For people who would like to deeply explore the experience of living with an Alzheimer's SPOUSE, I invite you drop in at the website www.thealzheimerspouse.com There is a wonderful community of other folks who are dealing daily with the SPOUSE situation. The depth of discussion and understanding in this unique area is unmatched. Non judgemental folks who 'get it' are are not afraid to discuss the most sensitive and personal aspects of trying to hold together an AD MARRIAGE. The advice is priceless. If you have a SPOUSE with dementia join us.

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