AGING DEMENTIA: You can care for a loved one with dementia, as well as yourself. A CAREGIVER'S GUIDE 5 tips for coping with this challenging role 20 SUMM ER 2017 "When you're caregiving for someone with dementia, there's this idea of ambiguous loss," explains Amanda Hartrey, a licensed marriage and family therapist and a family consultant with the Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA). "You might have known them as your spouse or parent. And they look the same. But they're not the same person." And that can lead to intense grief- almost as if the person had died. "You're grieving the loss of your mom, dad, husband or wife, but they're sitting in front of you," she says. "There's PHOTO BY THINKSTOCK He doesn't know who you are. She can't dress herself. He leaves the stove on while making his tea and wanders off. Where is the parent or spouse you knew? Dementia is an umbrella term that describes various conditions that result in a decline in memory and other cognitive abilities. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. It's an incredibly hard thing to witness in a loved one, and it can be challenging to care for someone with dementia. You can take a few steps that might help lighten the load. 1 Take time TO GRIEVE.