The term ‘ambiguous loss’ puts a name to a feeling
With dementia, the person you know is there physically, but not psychologically or emotionally. The illness ‘steals’ them and it is difficult for the caregiver and family members to look at the person and find them to not ‘be there’. The loss is ambiguous and very difficult to come to terms with.
Going through this difficult process with others in the same situation (group therapy members) can be extremely helpful and validate feelings of loss the caregiver is experiencing.
Watch this compelling caregiver series: A Caregiver's experience with BPSD: Peter's Story