We then turn to Sharon Shaw, a psychologist who runs support groups at the Alzheimer's Association of New York City, about the difficult decisions caregivers of spouses with Alzheimer's face.Garrett on how his children reacted to his decision to date"My kids reacted at various levels – my oldest daughter was sympathetic for my loneliness, whereas a couple of the boys didn't understand why I needed to date."And I went to my minister and talked to him about it a little bit and I said I’m being honest and open about this – but I really don’t know what’s right or wrong.The baby boomer generation is beginning to confront Alzheimer's disease, and for some people that may mean losing a spouse to a disease that robs them of their memory and ultimately their identity.What happens when your partner is no longer the person you knew — but someone you may care for at home, or who may be institutionalized — can you begin to date other people?She spent hours researching obscure treatments and suddenly announced that she was going to the US for a holistic cure costing thousands of dollars which her parents would pay for.I got time off work, our mums looked after the kids and her sister and I went with her to America to try an untested cure based on drinking herbs.' But meeting someone new in your 50s is hard enough without such a shocking admission as your opening line.'I've already ruled out dating websites because I want to be totally honest,' says an emotional Keith, from Blyth, Northumberland.'And who would give me a second glance if my online profile read: “Married, with a wife in residential care”? There will be many who believe it wrong to move on before Isobel has died.
It was a terrible shock when she was diagnosed with a very rare cancer as she’d had it so long the treatment was drastic.And he replied to me, 'Well, you know, the definition of right and wrong constantly changes but the definition of honesty never does.' And I thought that was right on."Garrett on the concept of "death do us part""That is absolutely in my mind a valid question.I think in the case of Alzheimers it’s such an insidious disease that it really takes the person away from you long before the physical death, and so in a way, you've lost your spouse — in this case — well before she physically passed away."Shaw on how she supports caregivers as they decide whether to date"As a psychotherapist, I help people to explore this issue, to arrive at something again that feels right for them.When we’d married I came out of the army into a good job so money was never an issue and we were happy.I worked long days after our first son was born but Nic was really keen to be at home with the children and she did a great job, supervising homework, taking them to sports and organising big parties or barbecues for us at the weekend.