Alzheimer's Support Groups
Get practical tips and support from other caregivers in online Stage Groups.
Receive expert advice in a Steps & Stages™ newsletter customized for you.
Alzheimer's Support: Featured Caregiver Conversations
Participate in Stage Group conversations like these when you join Steps & Stages...
Living Arrangements: How to Tell Dear Husband He's Moving to a Nursing Home?
I have a question. I am sure someone can give me an idea. How to I tell my DH that he is going to be living in a NH. Do I just take him and hope for the best or do I tell him, even though he will not know what I am talking about. He is at the stage in this horrible disease that he can do nothing at all. He just sleeps, sits in front of the TV or follows me around He is not able to follow even the smallest directions. When he talks, which is seldom, I have no idea what he is talking about because the words make no sense. He told me the other day that Lum Sung came by and was teaching him to read Chinese. No such person exists, but when he does talk, it sounds like a foreign language. He takes parts of words and put them with parts of other words. I just tell him I will check on it and let him know. I can't do this anymore, and it is affecting my health. I have kidney disease and my numbers are getting worse. I am getting very close to dialysis for life support. I need to get him settled in safely before this happens.
Is it possible to go several days in a row for lunch, and then lunch and supper, and then move him in? It seems that it would be easier to transition that way. I've not had to confront that decision so anything I say is just a wild guess on my part. I do hope that it all goes smoothly for you and that your medical issues are alleviated. â™¥
So sorry to hear about your worsening health issues, Gail!! â™¥ Angels- help me out here- who spoke about this a week or two ago and had a wonderful idea of making up a scrapbook explaining the move??? It was really neat!! Arghh! I can't think of who it was! Hope they come on and give the info again!!! good luck! Doing it cold turkey might be a bit of a shock - a lot depends on where your DH is, with his memory loss. â™¥ hugs!!
Gail, have you already found a NH for your DH and the plan is to move him fairly soon? If so, how about asking the social worker at the NH how to handle telling him? Does he still know who you are? That too would make a difference on telling him or not. Need some more help here angels!! Gail, you do need to take care of your own health issues. I hope and pray your numbers improve once you have DH settled.
Don't know what to tell you Hon, but I will keep you in my prayers that everything goes good for you. HUGE HUGS
Gail, adding my love and prayers for you both.
I am praying for strength for you in the days ahead. My dad has been at the nursing home for 3 1/2 weeks now. I made him two transition books. The first theme was everything changes. The second book had pictures of the nursing home. My advice is to write a very short, simple story about the nursing home and add a few photos of it. The text should be in first person. Using I and my makes it less confusing than you and your. For example: I have a new home. I sleep in my room and eat at the table. There is a TV. People will help me and my family will come to see me. This is a big change, but I will be okay. Pictures of the home, his room, the TV, and your family would be sufficient. Print or type the story on heavier paper and add photos where they occur in the text. Use page protectors or have the story laminated. I leave the back of each page blank as it is less distracting. Unless it would be too taxing, the idea about going for a meal(s) in advance sounds like a good one. If staff members visit in your home or meet you while you eat lunch prior to the move, they might have some helpful suggestions, too. The changes will also drastically affect you. I have my good days and others that are difficult. On these days I remember... For every goodbye, God provides a hello. I also repeat, "I will be okay." Other times I get tough with myself and say..."It is what it is, so just deal with it and make the best of it." Making a mental list of all the positives about the move also helps. Stay connected to family and friends and keep posting. You have been a wondeful caregiver, but it is time to concentrate on yourself. Caregivers are not always good at accepting help from others, but be open to the opportunity. Asking for help for yourself is new territory. Try it! Others often want to assist, but are unsure about what you need. My heart aches for you. I will keep you in my prayers. HUGS! HUGS! HUGS!
JDS! of course! Thanks for posting! â™¥ Another point to add, as Tizzy and others have mentioned before - get to know the staff by name, and greet them every time you go - when they know you are a regular visitor and there is a personal connection, your loved one will benefit from that, as well. â™¥
Absolutely right, the staff, social workers, Aides and nurses are there to do exactly that, assist you with the transition. This is a necessary thing you are doing so try not to cross bridges that aren't there yet. Gat is right be very positive and act like the NH is the most fabulous place on earth, you may be surprised.
gailmb--you are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs to you
jds--what a great idea! I have printed off your idea for my "future projects" file.
Hi gailmb, Thanks for sharing this important question with our community. Thank you to everyone for the advice, support and personal experiences you've shared.
"Mom has dementia - how do we move her to a nursing home?" and "How do I move her to assisted living?" are two questions posed by a member of the Caring.com community who were in a similar situation moving their loved one to a care community.
If you are still searching for the right care provider for your husband, you may find many communities to choose from (e.g. assisted living, memory care communities, nursing homes, etc.) in your area with consumer reviews from people who have had first hand experience with care providers nearby in our Senior Living Directory. You can leave a review too, if you feel so inclined, if/when you've had experience with care providers.
I hope some of these resources are helpful to you. Please keep us posted on your husbands situation. We're here for you!
Caregiver Humor: Got to Get the Garden In
this is my favorite of the week: on Wednesday I tell DH we will work in the garden on Thursday morning. Going to bed at my usual time(midnight) I am sound , sound asleep. Come out of deep sleep and there is DH in the dark saying urgently, "you need to get up" me: "huh, what?" DH: "Got to get the garden in!" Me: "it's dark out" DH: "But you said you wanted to do it first thing in the morning" Me(looking at clock): " It's three o'clock in the morning! It's still dark out" looking at him now that I am more awake I see he is dressed in his gardening clothes but no tools in hand. Me: "I don't do gardening in the dark-go back to bed" DH: "okay I thought it was a little early" Me: " Get in bed and go back to sleep" DH: "Good night". Get up in morning and find DH still in gardening clothes sound asleep in his bed. tip toe out laughing quietly to myself.
Priceless--I hope you took a picture !
And I would guess he sleep until noon?
Love it Did you get your garden work finished?
That is a lovely story. Almost worth getting woke up for!
Thanks for the story, did you get your gardening done?
So very glad you are able to laugh, 2m2c4. So important.
Loved it. He remembered what you said, dressed for it. And it WAS first thing in the morning. Oh, me.
I imagine you got lots of gardening done while he slept on!
well I worked most of the morning on it that day, then a little on Friday afternoon, then some more this morning.. DH worked several hours each of those days too. The place we want it is just filled with roots from the neighbors shrubs. For a long time we could not plant there because of too much shade from the hedge. Then we got new neighbors and they cut the hedge way back so now that part of the yard can get sun. But the roots had spread far and deep. We dig and pick out roots, dig and pick out stones, then add soil amendments then mix in top soil too. Too much clay. Then we get a chance to plant one plant and move on to the next place and do it again. So far we have hollyhocks, pincushion flowers, rudbeckcia, summer phlox, day lilies, oriental lilies, marigold, zenia, heather and shasta daisies. These are all planted next to the tulips I put in last year. also threw in some seeds: sun flower and perstemmon and poppy. Now we are worn out!
2m2c4 sounds like you have worked very hard, you really deserve a good rest. The flowers sound pretty wish I could see them. HUGS
I am sure they will be the most beutiful flowers ever but right now they only have a few little flowers, just enough to know the promise of the future.
I love perennials they are the best, in a couple years you can split them and have lots more plants. Your land reclaiming sounds exhausting, maybe DH will sleep well!
yeah that's right? DH hasn't gotten me up at three in the morning for nights now! wonder why?
Assisted Living: Should I Remind Mom of My Vacation?
My Mom has been in AL for a year and a half now. She is always happy for my husband and me when we can get away for a few days. This week he had a conf. out of town. Our kids live in the town where the conf is, so we spent the wknd with them before the conf started on Monday. When it's over tomorrow, we are going to visit other relatives in the area. Before leaving, I wrote down where we were going and my cell #. Mom started calling my brother and other family members saying she didn't know how to find me and she thought I was mad. I called and reminded her that I left everything written down for her. Yesterday she called chewing me out because she couldn't find her checkbook. Reminded her that she hadn't had a checkbook in 6 months, that she didn't write checks anymore. She was very angry. She called back and told me when I get home, she wants it back. I said OK, but I won't give it to her. She loses things too easy. This morning she has called my brother and sister-n-law about the money and then called me saying she didn't know how to find me. I reminded her that I was out of town. Now, I said all that to say this. When I get home, we will be home 4 days, then leave for 10 days for vacation. I told the director of the AL that I was wondering if I should even tell her I'm leaving this time. It seemed to get her all worked up. I always call her at least every other day when I'm out of town. The director said she agreed that maybe I shouldn't tell her. But she is used to me coming out several times a week, even tho she doesn't remember me coming. Don't know if all this is because I'm gone, or if it's just another stage. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I have the same situation with my Mom. We have come to the conclusion that it is best not to share when we are going to be gone with her. We certainly let the AL folks know where we are, how long, etc, but there is no benefit to tell Mom. She doesn't remember we told her, and in reality what is the point? We went out of town for 5 days in May and she was none the wiser and none the worse for it. When I call her when we are out of town, I don't make promises(I'll be there tomorrow or whatever), just "How are you doing" and keep it very light and SHORT. When you are in town does she make these same kinds of calls? to you to your brother? does she get upset about the check book and other money issues? If not, then absolutely don't tell her that you plan on being gone. I think we need to rethink our routines as our loved ones progress. What is the value of telling your Mom you will be gone? Normally it is to share information about your life, have her get excited for you for your trip etc. But that doesn't work anymore. It gives them one more thing that is out of their control and leaves them feeling lost. You can tell her all about it when you return. You may want to think through even calling her while you are gone. Will she try to put a "guilt trip" on you? If so, just touch base with the facility every day or so and then ENJOY yourself!!!!!!!
Thanks for the advice. She has only asked about the checkbook one time in the last six months. I told her she didn't need one anymore because we took care of paying all her bills. She was ok with that. I made sure she had some cash before I left for this trip, and she said she wouldn't need it because she wouldn't be going anywhere. But now it's a problem for her.
The first time we left town without specifically telling Mom we were going I felt like I was "sneaking" away like a teenager sneaking out of the house :). Is that a hold over from our youth that says don't do anything sneakiy because your Mom will find out about it? Could be. We just found that it made things a whole lot easier for Mom and then for us when we told her about the trip afterwards.
Since we all are dealing with Alzheimer's, we have to remember (since we can and they can't) that when she tells you how happy it makes her to learn about your trips, this is an in-the-moment happiness and not a reality based statement. Consider taking shorter trips and I certainly agree that it is pointless and only anxiety provoking for her to be told. My brother once told me of a thought provoking message that was tattooed on the arm of the dissection subject in the anatomy lab when he was in school. It said: as you are, so I once was; as I am so will you be. And this relates to Granny PJs reliance on the golden rule for guidance. Alzheimer's is a family disease and I don't mean that in the genetic sense. When my husband manifested Alzheimer's and finally was diagnosed, I knew that it also would change my life forever. I haven't gotten to forever yet. But one of the things I still remember from long ago is how fervently I needed to live my own life and later was able to understand see how fervently my kids need to lead their own lives. And there lies the rub for Alzheimer's care. We can arrange to keep our parents safe but we can't keep them happy.
Hi "Mojo1," Thanks for sharing this new caregiving challenge with us.
@alz2011m @dear one of mort, Thank you for the advice and information you've offered too!
I hope some of the following resources are helpful to you! Though not all of the situations mentioned in these articles are identical to yours, you may find the information to be helpful:
- How can I handle my husband's memory issues?: http://www.caring.com/questions/memory-issues
- What do I say to my mom when her Alzheimer's causes her to forget the obvious?: http://www.caring.com/questions/alzheimers-disease-memory-issues
If you haven't done so already, we also encourage you to write and rate the assisted living community your mom is in, to help caregivers who may also be looking for care providers nearby. If you feel so inclined, you may leave a review for this (or any) care provider here: http://www.caring.com/review_submissions/new?utm_source=community
I hope some of these resources are helpful to you, please don't hesitate to be in touch if we may help you find additional resources. We're here for you!
B/c we all have different but similar circumstance it's hard to say what you should do. We all can just share what has helped us or our stories. My mother hasn't had a car in over a year and still swears somedays no one told her. Or that her parents died. When I have gone away and she lived with me my sis cAme. Everyday no one told her she said. Now in the assisted living they just told me not to tell my mom if I am coming or even not to come on a regular bases. This was hard. But the last week was amazing with mom. Even the other residents told me mom is doing better. She eating with them and doing the activities. Even did a scenic drive which she never did b/c she was always waiting for me. she is very happy when I come like alway just. Ot sitting by the door. I have gone from spending 7hrs a day with her to actually taking 2 days not seeing her. Just once. I luv my mom and its hard for me but at this point I am last on the todum pole. I want mom happy.she seems now over the last week not to be talking about all the things that she doesn't have just very content with what she does. It's so hard but it is so important for you to have time and know your mom is okay. For me breaking the consistent cycle was just what she need to be more at peace. hugs and prayer Dasn
Caring for a Parent: Considering Professional Help Given Difficult Behaviors
The roller coaster ride hit some pretty steep hills this past 2-3 weeks, and I'm still reeling. Last weekend we were seriously questioning, for the first time, whether she would be better off in a facility. I was in complete breakdown, couldn't stop crying. Mom was mean as a snake for days on end. The blood and urine tests didn't show any signs of infection, and she was crying herself to sleep at night. She constantly either wants to go "home", wherever that is, or wants to go "downstairs" to see the people and find something to do. She's bereft because there are no men around ---- she's as boy crazy as a fifteen year old with raging hormones. She tells me her life is over and she might as well just die. Her own doc is out of town for a couple of weeks, so we've been going to an urgent care. Yesterday's doc had an interesting theory. It's only been 3 weeks since we took the plane trip back to Iowa to see her siblings. Besides the disorientation of being with them back in the hometown, he thinks she might have some residual inner ear/eustacian tube inflammation from the flights. 4 take-offs and landings, with ears that have been diseased all her life, could do it. So now she's got ear drops and nose spray to last a week till her own doc gets back. I'm also going to talk to him about anti-depressants. She just seems so unhappy much of the time.
She does like her daycare, and I talked a long time with the director yesterday. We're going to start sending her on Saturdays, too. She said that her families that are really stressed and thinking about placement are often able to keep their loved one at home longer if they have daycare 6 days as week. And that her 17 years of directing nursing homes convinced her that people tend to go downhill pretty fast once they leave home.
Tomorrow, Jill and I are going to meet with the director of a caregiver's clearinghouse here in town and get all the info we can about resources and options and the financial implications. I'm afraid she'll outlive her money. I'm also going to an all day caregiver's workshop next Tuesday, and seeing my therapist on Monday. I've boosted my own depression meds, with permission from the shrink. I've talked about how overwhelmed I feel with Jill and with my siblings and some trusted friends. One day at a time.
Guess I needed to vent. I didn't think it would be this long. :)
sending hugs your way.. you sound so put together as to knowing where to go and get help.. I know it is very difficult.. just know your not alone.. there are people that do care what you are going thru..
Good luck! This is a good site to vent on.
Kathy50, hypersexuality isn't uncommon. Mort suffered with it too. It does eventually wane but there can be some unpleasant issues that arise. Opportunity to interact with men probably occurs in daycare. They probably have seen it before and know how to handle it. You are undertaking the explorations you need to take. Then you will be in a better position to make a decision for her care. Then, these decisions are not irrevocable.
Kathy50, you keep the faith, dear one. You all sound like you are working things out the best way possible. I am amazed that you live somewhere that has daycare six days a week. That is a real blessing! Here we can only count on 5 days a week from about 8:00 AM until latest 5:30 PM. That is sometimes not helpful when you are trying to work and be a caregiver. Perhaps, if the government were really interested in helping the dementia patients and their caregivers, they would supplement the daycare centers so they could reasonably hire people for the weekends as well as during the week. In this area, daycare facilities keep almost government worker hours and that's all. Of course, they don't make the money that government workers make, but the hours are similar. ;-) That sixth day would open up many opportunities to get out and alleviate some stress, don't you think? Anyway, I am proud of you and your family for doing the research you have to find out how to keep her at home as long as possible. Good Luck!
Hello kathy50, I'm sorry to hear about this difficult time of your caregiving journey. Thanks to everyone for the support and advice you've offered so far.
"A Step-by-Step Guide to Adult Daycare for Someone With Alzheimer's" discusses how adult daycare offers valuable respite to caregivers of patients who have Alzheimer's or other dementia, while also providing the patient with important cognitive and social stimulation that may slow the disease's progress.
You may also consider learning more about Memory Care providers in your area instead of nursing homes. Many nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care communities offer special care for residents with Alzheimer's or other forms of memory loss. But the quality of care -- including the ratio of staff to residents, training, activities, and safety measures -- varies widely. It's always best to look at several options to find the one that best fits your needs: http://www.caring.com/local/alzheimers-care-facilities
Caring.com Expert and geriatric psychiatrist, Ken Robbins, MD has written several articles about caregiving and depression. You can find these articles by visiting his bio page (http://www.caring.com/experts/ken-robbins-m-d).
The Caregiver Wellness Resource Center also has some information on how you can keep yourself well as you care for your loved one: http://www.caring.com/caregiver-wellness
Please continue to discuss this issues with your mom's doctor, while also caring for yourself. Kind regards, Sho of the Caring.com Community Team
Caring for a Spouse: Missing My Husband's Comforting Words & Ways
My husband has had this since 2006, and it has been so hard to deal with. He was always a loving and caring person. Always made me laugh, Now he doesn't even tell me Good-nite! This has been so hard for me, cause we always said Good-nite no matter what kind of day we had had! Somedays I don't even know if he knows who I am for sure.
Oh that's got to be hard. I think of my hubby and I too. Know matter what it's a kiss and and hug good night. Actually you can't tell which body parts are his or mine. I pray for you that somewhere in his mind he will come up with those comforting words GOOD NIGHT.
I guess I just thought my husband was a distant person since his family is kind of stiff and distant. He just crawls into bed and does not say good night. I used to kiss him and tell him good night telling him that I could not understand how a human being could just get in bed like an animal and fail to say goodnight to their mate. He would say it as if forced to do it a few times then stop so I let him alone. I am learning so much from this site because I just thought he was weird. His mother told me I brought so much love to the family as none of them ever hugged their mother or father even when their grandmother was over 100 and was trying to pull my husband (her only grandson down to hug her, he was pulling back) I had to insist that he lean into her not away.
Today, we were shopping for a thunder nba shirt for our grandson and were up to the counter to pay for it. He thought the price quoted was incorrect so he took the shirt and said he was going to look for another with the tag. Well, this hurt, but I saw him give the shirt to another woman and said I couldn't find another one to compare and when I asked why he gave her the shirt he said, "Oh I thought you said we were going to Dillards." I reminded them that the end of that conversation was Before we went to the counter to pay for the shirt else why was at the cash out counter waiting for him to return with the shirt. He did apologize which he is doing soooooooo much later. He just cannot reason anymore. We went all over town before we found the exact shirt he gave to another customer but I refused to fuss. The other day I reminded him to fax and ad to the newspaper but he failed to tell them how long to run the ad. I have to either Do everything that requires thinking or else, do it myself to ensure that it correct. He called himself balancing one the bank accounts when I told him that he was 300 short. He said, "Oh, I understand why, because a check has not come in yet so it is almost 300." I informed him that he has already deducted the check in the book so it is included in his "book balance" sooooo any other deductions would cause the balance to be short not longer. I could not make him understand so I just told him that he and I both were going to do the books together from now on. I do think he is advancing faster this year than last year to more memory loss and also reasoning skills are worse. Keep on writting your comments all of you as it helps us who are new to realize that we are experiencing the same almost exact things but now we can make some sense of the reason for the behavior.
Sorry you are on this journey, but this is a great site to get information as well as just vent. You will need to find your own ways of coping with each new situation, but there is a lot of good advice here that comes from having been there done that. There have been a couple of other conversations that last few days over handling finances. I would urge you to make sure you have all power of attorney documents in place. both for the finances and health considerations. It is so much easier to get that done early on. If your husband can not do the "figuring" anymore, make sure that you check on it frequently. You don't want to have your finances in a mess on top of everything else. the other thing is that as I am sure your are already discovering, there is no reasoning with someone with AD. It's not that they don't want to, they simply CANNOT do it any longer. Gentle suggestions and redirection is the key. If that doesn't work, leave it be and come back to it later. I am sure many of us are wondering how we survive having bit our tongue so many times....:) Hugs and prayers to you.
It is only by the grace of God that I have been enlightened more from the site than any medical doctor gave me. I shared a log of aberrant behavior, (more bizarre than I have shared with the site) with 3 of his doctors including his primary care phy. they ignore me and say they cannot find anything wrong with him, (brain scan indicated mini strokes). they tell me he is still functioning at work so it is nothing to worry about.
I discovered only last week that he was past due a lot with our utilities so I took that seriously and put payment time lines on calendar, we will pay them together. He lashes out with so much anger that he will NEVER give me or the kids POWER of attorney even over health as I just want to put him away. (wrong) Learning from the group, I have learned ways to protect both of us (his ego and my concern) but implementing the advice learned on this very site. When I told him that we were going to balance check books together, he heatedly asked me what I was LOOKING for? Was I thinking that he is stealing? I calmly supplied that he could not steal what was already both of ours. I told him with his having one over a 5 million dollar work budget, surely checks and balances are in order.
Need to understand, you are suffering with the early stage of Alzheimer's before either you or your husband have "signed on" to this diagnosis. And as I have previously mentioned, Mort didn't sign on for years. But you have reached the point when you must take over these responsibilities whether he gets it or not. Your going on with your life demands this. The bills need to be paid. Taxes must be paid. It does no good to confront him with the evidence. And I know this from personal experience trying to get through his denial. Taking these tasks over from one who is in denial is not easy. He will resist this. One of the things I did was to divert the mail to a new, lockable mail box and only I had a key. I would skim off the important stuff and take care of it. He didn't realize that something was missing. The sooner you take control, the better you will feel. It won't make him any better. It will make you feel better. These suggestions can be extrapolated to other situations.
To Jeanne Absher: I date my husband's diagnosis to about 2006 also. Our road of caregiving is long and mostly thankless. Not everyone is able to do it. We who do manage it learn to separate the big things from the small things and the word on these pages is that you just let the small things go. It's not that they don't make it tougher for you, it's that you can't fix them. You can't really fix any of them. You just learn to manage them and to find ways to make your own job easier. Managing incontinence is a stumbling block for some that cannot be overcome. Others of us are able to overcome our difficulty of how much our mate has deteriorated that they cannot do what needs to be done. And it seems to me that the worst stumbling blocks always occurred first at night when I was least able to accommodate to them. But I found that a way to deal with it occurred to me the next morning. It's important that you take care of yourself so that you can maintain this edge. Get help using home care agencies. Look for periods of respite care and keep coming back to this site to talk about it.
Don't know what kind of job he has, but if he is displaying this type of behavior at home he will be exhibiting it at work as well. Having been a manager for 35 years I can gurantee they will also be building a "case" on his behaviors that could ultimately lead to termination for cause. I don't want to worry you, but the sooner you can get an accurate diagnoses, the better protection you will have. You indicated 3 different doctors have seen him and can't find anything wrong? I don't reccomend doctor shopping, but maybe there is a geriatric doctor that can help you. Have you contacted the local Alz organization? They have a wealth of information.
My husband continued to work during his early stages of Alzheimer's. No one noticed until one of the support staff noticed that he wasn't responding the way he used to. About a year after that,he made a pass at a secretary. That was it! And he didn't have a definite diagnosis at that time. They called it minimal cognitive impairment (MCI) at an Alzheimer's disease research center because his test scores were good.The diagnosis didn't occur until a year after that.
we live in a very small town but it is an hour away from a much larger town. Have any of you experienced a person who can do their job on "rote" I had a distant cousin who had been a minister before he suffered from alz. He could quote correctly large portions of the bible but he could not even remember his family members.
He is in administration but he can rattle off solutions about his job when simple things around her that he cannot seem to make a decison, or rather an appropriate decision. This behavior is presenting itself more and more.
He has a large sore on his hip that I observed, questioned him about and he told me that he didn't know what it was but his whole leg pains. I told him that he needed to see his doctor, soooooooooo he did as if he was unable to make that decision, saying it had bothered him for a long time.
This is a huge relief with my assisting to pay the bills and he finally agreed to this. A neurologist did tell us that he might need to see a psychiatrist, but of course my husband was adamant that he WOULD not see another doctor. I am just waiting since I can see daily that he is not functioning normally.
I would welcome his job releasing him as it perhaps would cause him to finally seek help. This position is a newly created department, however, he is one with the most experience in the field so they depend upon him, even his supervisor is limited in his job related experiences. He could fully retire at this point, glad for that.
Please believe that I am listening and acting on a lot of your advice and do appreciate your comfort, advice, directives and all.
To your original question: Yes they can and in early Alzheimer's, they are first class at faking it. Mort remained a college professor until he started going after a woman.
I would imagine his secretary (long time with the business) has noticed some odd behavior. He arrives home angry with her telling me of his ire and his telling her that she had BETTER locate files he gave her. I know he found them someplace he left them because he never share that SHE found them just drops it.
Dear one: That give me hope that your husband worked for several years without a diagnosis. WEre he the knowledge and driven man in his field as he used to be, several would seek him out for employment. The last job interview in May 109 miles away from home shocked me when he told me how he acted in the interview. He said he told them he knew how to do HIS JOB, HE was EDUCATED AND TRAINED TO DO HIS JOB and not One of them could tell him how to do it. He told them he didn't care if they called him back or not because he has a job. I don't expect them to bother calling him for a 2nd interview. I'm certain he could rattle off rote answers but this position required being able to relate to people and being able to reason with them and help them to understand what your decisons are based upon. He is getting worse today we were riding in the car and I put a stick of gum in my mouth, he glared at me and asked if I was trying to tell him that his breath is bad? I told him no, I love the flavor of my gum-----I know you see what I am going through
Yes. I knew. This is a tough phase. I had been warned how tough it would be. I rode it out, doing what I could when I could. I suspect that you will be able to do the same. Also, in his advanced dementia he is wonderfully sweet as he had been most of our married life. But in this bad period, he was often rude to me in public. That I didn't end up in jail is a testimony to my own fortitude.
Dear one, you added a belly laugh to my day. I am glad to have to ride down the river with me along with others who have endured the cross. I know he needs me so I have no choice but to stick it out, rude behavior or not. He will not soften his remarks some of them used on other folk who look shocked. I so look forward to the peaceful stage after weathering the storm of this one.
It is amazing how well they can "fake it" with someone that is not around them all the time. I had begun picking up the signs at least 3-4 years before my husband would even agree to see a neurologist. In early 2009 he received a diagnosis of "mild cognitive impairment" - the catch-all phrase that starts this monstrous journey. In July 2010, his MRI showed signs that would support a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimers. My husband is still stuck on "mild cognitive impairment" and according to him he has a few short-term memory problems. It is easier and calmer to just let him stay stuck there while I assume all of the responsibility for our life. I always handled the finances so that was no problem. Once I accepted the fact that my husband had Alzheimers, I began to do as much research as I could on just what I was looking at down the road. My sister's husband died from this disease 2 years ago so as I watched her and we talked during her journey I had a preview of what was in store. My greatest sadness is that I am losing my best friend - and in many ways have already lost him. Every once in a while he will shine thru and it can make my day. I found this site in March of this year and I have learned so much and been inspired by so many. I feel so fortunate to have all of you in my life.
Mort found all kinds of ways to work around his impairment and just refused to acknowledge that anything was wrong. I really think he knew because he decided to stop accepting new graduate students right around his 60th birthday. His Alzheimer's diagnosis didn't get out of MCI until he was about 72. Mort always had been sort of quite and hadn't seemed very introspective. He had been a math and science type deeply in the concrete and provable section of the universe. I can only imagine how lost he must have felt in those early days.
My husband had it for 7 to 10 years faking well with doctors and telling other people what to do .He had notes everywhere and voice recorders to get by .He lost his job after hitting someone with a walkie talkie then blamed them...It was another couple of years after that a doctor finally aggreed to test him .They actually did it to prove me wroug were they surprised because he could talk so well and he was so young 67.hugs to you all on this road.Dear one of Mort I hope Mort is doing o.k.at hospice
John also is a man of science and sometimes when confronted with the results of one of his actions he has such a lost look - like he has been dropped down in someone else's life. These are becoming further apart as he gets further down this long road. It is sad for everyone involved so you do live for those special moments when you connect.
Trying to convince a doctor there was something wrong with your husband when you see him disintegrating right in front of your eyes is probably one of the hardest things you had to do, langdon.. Glad they finally agreed to prove you wrong - even tho the diagnosis was not one you wanted to confirm. Caregiver was definitely not an occupation I wanted to show on my resume - and I am sure none of us did. I went into this role kicking and screaming. Now that I have somewhat accepted my role as caregiver (most of the time) my life is a little calmer. I do still have my moments, tho. Am learning to save my "kicking and screaming" for all of you here.
Mattie, we are thankful that you are here to guide us also. Only folk who are going through these issues can truly understand how we feel and yet realize that they have feelings also and depend upon us.
I am positive the doctors turn a deaf ear because of age. My husband is 58, will be 59 this month but I have noticed problems with mood and anger and poor decisions for more than 5 years along with memory problems. IT is just like being pregnant, time will tell if we are right or not but it is sad that perhaps they could be helped during this denial stage by doctor and patient
These comments seem to have been written for me! My DH had a wonderful day last week when he talked to the man who is going to finish an apartment in his house. I was amazed at all the details he talked about. He seemed like a new person. The work is finally going to be done. He's been talking about it since 2000 but couldn't let go of the idea of doing the work himself. A number of trash barrels filled with lath and plaster were the stumbling block as well as junky old furniture, multiple appliances and things he couldn't bear to get rid of. The solution to getting rid of these things seemed beyond him. Last week a dump truck took everything to the dump. Well... not everything. There's another half load.
The next day he couldn't remember which of the two apartments had the power on when it should have been off, and that was a potential hazard.
Since that time, he's mainly stayed in bed. Yesterday he didn't get up until dinner time. He had gotten dressed to go out to get the mail which he sat and read while dinner got cold.
DH was an electrical engineer. He retains lots of knowledge, but the daily foibles could drive me nuts. The doctor doesn't seem to think it's necessary to do testing. Another doctor we both see said he would be happy to arrange for an appointment with a neurologist. He can see what's happening.
I don't really care about a diagnosis anymore. It sounds like it would be MCI for now. I'm living with this man on this journey, and it's not one I chose to be on. I'm not a caregiver, but that is my role for a second time since I retired.. My late DH died of metastatic colon cancer that found its way to his brain (thirteen tumors).
If I had a choice, I would not have chosen dementia and whatever follows for this round. Some days there is humor. He is more in denial about things than he was a year ago. He's 80.
I read a lot and have taught myself to crochet, so I have things I can do while he watches the same TV programs over and over. He really doesn't remember having seen many of them.
We just have to continue to pray, show love , compassion, share tips and support each other during these trying times..
Snowbells, it sounds as if your life could be mine. Especially the constant reruns of TV movies - think I know all of the dialogue from every John Wayne movie there is (including those from 1935!). John (DH) seems to be in more denial now than he was a year ago, also. We just had a "discussion" on the way home - one of my moments!! He said he has no more problems than any other 80 year old man. I said "Yes, you do". He asked me "How do you know - are you asking other 80 year old men what their problems are?" I said "No, I talk to their wives!" He didn't think that was funny. Everything calmed down and then when we got home our neighbor asked him to go fishing tomorrow morning. My neighbor had checked with me earlier to see if it was okay - I told him it would be great. They used to go fishing together all the time. In thinking back, I realized that John has not had out boat out in over 5 years - when he broke both his legs and was in the hospital for about 8 weeks then rehab for 3 months. That seemed to be the beginning of this journey. He hasn't even run the engine in over a year. Something else I have to add to my never-ending list. Then that reminded me that I have to get the generator started. We just began hurricane season!! This is all part of accepting the responsibility for our lives. This has really been rambling but I do feel so much better. Thanks for being there. It helps me so much. God bless all of you.
Mattie and snow bells, shows what I really know about this. I always asked my husband how he could stand to watch those re runs over and over and laugh just as hard as if he had never seen them before. Now, I see it is a part of the journey. I am becoming more enlightened by each sharing of symptoms or actions.
Dear needs2 ... When your husband watches that movie for the 15th time, he really is watching it for the first time. With short-term memory loss, he has no memory of seeing that same movie last night. That really took me a while to comprehend. I am only causing distress for both of us if I give him a hard time about it.
You are right and I am still learning, thank you
But watching movies was a good time, relatively speaking. Now TV, movies etc don't interest him. It's harder to keep him "gainfully employed" during the day giving him more time to feel sad, confused, angry, afraid than if he had been watching John Wayne again.
I agree with you Sandy .Boy do I miss the days when t.v. kept him busy...It was hear one day and then gone.It is so hard to keep him busy now .All of a sudden he can,t sit still.Collects leaves and hides them in odd places and sweeps the gravel in driveway and trys to hide it in the plants.Most of the time sad and not happy.So much changed so fast.I thank all of you for letting me know this is part of it all....
I so much dread the day when TV doesn't keep him entertained and interested. Last football season we only watched a couple of the Miami Dolphin games and he was a season ticket holder for many years. I think he was not really able to follow the play. Who would have thought that 33 years after his death, I would be using John Wayne as one way to connect with my husband.
This morning is the morning our neighbor is taking him fishing. He got up in the middle of the night last night to check his gear again - making sure he had everything together. Like a child before a trip to DisneyWorld. I cried after he left this morning - it was soooo different from the last time I sent him on a fishing trip. I miss him so much. I'll cry on your shoulders and be okay when he returns around 11:00. Thanks for being there.
Don't cry, you know that he is happy today and that is a consolation to you. He will have many exciting things to share with you about the trip upon his return. Mattie, go out and do something today Just for you
If only TV could entertain Ray..he does like Matlock but only at night after our supper. I don't know why. He is doing more sleeping in his chair during the day and is beginning to look more frail. Watching the birds in the backyard was one of his favorite things to do but he doesn't even do that now. I hope the fishing trip went well. Caryl
Caryl, I am certain he is out there having a great time. I hope you enjoyed your day, doing just what you wanted to do.
His fishing trip was really good. He and his friend caught 10 small "keepers" - think he had 3.. They gave them to another friend who had gone along. He said he didn't enjoy it nearly as much as he used to but he did enjoy being out on the water. It was a good day. He came in and slept about 4 hours and I think he will sleep tonight. Thanks for all of your good wishes - I had a special day, also.
we are all happy for you
Hello Jeanne, Thank you for starting this conversation. Thank you to everyone for sharing your challenges, experiences and caregiving support! Here are a few resources on Caring.com that were mentioned throughout this thread and may be helpful for some:
- In-Home Care providers: http://www.caring.com/local/in-home-care
- Adult Day Care: http://www.caring.com/local/adult-day-care
- Caregiver Wellness Solution Center: http://www.caring.com/caregiver-wellness
- The Importance of Respite for Family Caregivers: http://www.caring.com/articles/family-caregiver-respite
- Respite Care: How to Arrange Breaks From Caregiving: http://www.caring.com/articles/respite-care
If any of you are looking to connect with other caregivers who are caring for a spouse, feel free to visit the Caring for a Spouse support group as well: http://www.caring.com/support-groups/caring-for-a-spouse