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Re: How to cope with spouse who has dementia

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Message 11 of 17

Have you taken him to a neurologist?  You might get better help from one of those.  I found mine to be at least 10 times more informed than an internist or shrink.  Have them do a neroquant that will measure his dementia.  Without that you are running blind.  You have no clue except for symptoms if the meds are working.  The faster you get to the right treatrment the better. Much of the symptoms are due to brain damage which can't be reversed.   

 

Take walks.  That can slow or reverse dementia by getting the blood flowing in your brain better. When they are far gone, music can excersise their brain when nothing else can. 

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Re: How to cope with spouse who has dementia

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Message 12 of 17

@JaneCares wrote:

 

>>He sounds like a handful. Do you have individual support to shore you up, for you to be totally candid with instead of keeping up a brave face? Perhaps a therapist you see occasionally for venting and problem solving?

 

What is your most immediate need?

 

Jane


Jane you have a lot of experience in this area so I have a question for you.  

 

These posts often indicate that the individual needing care, pretty much runs the show.  They determine what others will do for them.  Where they will eat, when they will go out, what they will wear, etc.  I do not understand this at all.  They are not in a position to determine much of anything so why do the caregivers not make appropriate changes?  

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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Re: How to cope with spouse who has dementia

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Message 13 of 17

Agnesrn,

We also have a very thorough guide you can use to help you on this journey. Caring for Someone with Dementia - it will walk you through the steps you need to take from clarifying the diagnosis to caring for yourself. 

Please keep us posted. 

AARPJen
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Re: How to cope with spouse who has dementia

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Message 14 of 17

You've received some great advice. I'll add my 2 cents.

 

Since you're married to him, you don't need guardianship, but, if he has grown children from another marriage, or there is anyone else who might contest your decisions, it would be a good idea. As someone suggested, take him when he's more or less logical. Although that doesn't mean he'll cooperate. In which case, you need two physicians to declare him incompetent to make his own decisions. Which is tricky. So you'd need to wait until he is more confused. 

 

Is there anyone in your social circle and kinfolk circle who can help you? One Saturday afternoon a week, take him out for a spin, to go bowling, to sit in a coffee house (and remind him to pee before you leave)?  Do you belong to a faith community?  Can you hire someone as a companion if all else fails?  Four hours once a week might give you a lot of respite. 

 

You might want to see an eldercare lawyer without him to go over finances. How to manage your money now, in view of his future, and  yours. Is he a veteran? Does he have long term care insurance? You need to protect yourself and your future, especially since you are 15 years younger. I'm 12 years younger than my partner, who has MS, so i can relate.

 

He sounds like a handful. Do you have individual support to shore you up, for you to be totally candid with instead of keeping up a brave face? Perhaps a therapist you see occasionally for venting and problem solving?

 

What is your most immediate need?

 

Jane

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Re: How to cope with spouse who has dementia

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Message 15 of 17

It is difficult to live with a spouse who has dementia. Try to find activities that you both can share. If he is mobile, let him accompany you to e.g. shopping, movies etc. based on your level of comfort. You can listen to music at home and watch televesion. It is also important to find time to enjoy some of your previously enjoyed activiites alone or with your friends. If your husband can join you with friends at social activiites that would be great. Choice friends and family members that are understanding.  It is also important to discuss his medical and financial choices when he can make cognizant decisions. 

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Re: How to cope with spouse who has dementia

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I'm sorry for the situation you & your husband are in. I think the first two steps to take would be to have him fully evaluated medically, to understand what you're dealing with. Second, meet with an estate attorney, to discuss power of attorney & any other precautions you should take, while your husband still does have his faculties. If you notice that he's better one time or the day than another (i.e. mornings), schedule the appointment when he'll be at his best with the attorney.


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How to cope with spouse who has dementia

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Message 17 of 17

My husband has start of dementia. He appears to be alert and oriented but always manages to recall his past. He tells others that his family doesn't want to be bothered with him. He sleeps all day and watches tv all through the night till morning.(6am) while I'm trying to sleep. He doesn't want to eat at the kitchen table, just in bed. One minute he says he can't walk, but then wants me to dress him so he can drive to his favorite place for a cup of coffee. To get to his car he has 16 steps to climb. He doesn't want to exercise, or do anything for himself, when I've seen him dress himself. I try to encourage him to do as much as he can. He likes to be the center of attention, which I can't do cause I do everything in the house, and work part time . He is 83, and I'm 68. I just feel overwhelmed at times, and don't know how to handle this situation . He's also has accidents in his pants, when he comes home from having his coffee, juice. I know he's embarrassed, but wear a pull up then, which sometimes he does. Do I need to get a power of attorney, or is there another form to obtain due to his memory?

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