[Not Really] In Sickness and in Health

September 16, 2011 at 5:50 PM (Uncategorized)

Before I start here, I know that Alzheimer’s has got to be one of the most physically demanding and emotionally messed up situations for a spouse who is also a caregiver to face.

And, I realize that many might make the decision to legally separate (and/or divorce) that patient, while leaving care options available to them.

If a friend or family member came to me struggling with this issue…or having made the decision and already implemented it…I would not be angry. I would try really hard not to judge…but I would hope the person might stay nearby…to catch all the good days they could, to chat with their spouse on those good days. That would give the spouse some moments where their fear and confusion and loneliness would abate for awhile. (and if I was able to visit with the spouse on good days, I’d do it as well, because isolation can really mess you up more, on top of the disease itself. )

(and, separate from that, if they were moving on, I’d imagine it would simultaneously contribute to some guilt, and a little sanity.) An awful awful situation.

But that said:

Pat Robertson, apparently, is one of those folks. that advocates separation and moving on….

Should a leader of a slice of evangelicals that forever and always is making law and having sermons, retreats, rallies, colleges and bible studies all hammering at the idea that the wives walk three steps behind their men with bowed heads, that the husbands get to make all the decisions etc….
be speaking from his (ostentible) perch as a preacher, a moral arbiter….telling spouses (and I’ll just betcha in his head he’s thinkin’ husbands,) that since alzheimers is “…a kind of death…” then it’s ok to separate and ‘move on?’

I think it’s one thing for a spouse on the ground in this battle to make that decision and act on it.

It’s quite another for a preacher to say these things to his followers.


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