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Discussion:
spouse with Dementia
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My husband was diagnosed with Dementia about 1 year ago. We both retired, in part, because he couldn't do his job any more. Now I am so angry. How do you deal with this? Isn't this supposed to be the best part of your life when you retire and do all the things you've been working for? How do you deal with the anger? I am so lost as we have no children and no relatives close by to help. I am alone with this and am trying to deal with it.
Posted on 02/24/11, 01:04 pm
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Reply #1 - 02/24/11  1:18pm
" I understand. Is there a day care in your area? Your husband could go there and you can do something for yourself. You may be able to find a support group in your area also. I'm sorry, this disease is very hard to deal with. You do need to have some kind of break for yourself though. Please do that, it makes it a bit easier to deal with.Take care. "
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Reply #2 - 02/25/11  12:47pm
" Even though your husband has dementia does not mean you have to be housebound. I take my 77-year-old father all over the place.
We have taken plane trips and car trips.
He may not always remember where we are or where we have been but I make sure not to overtire him.
I point things out to him and make him think & speak.
At home we have picture signs on doorways so he knows what room is what. I carry an extra set of these signs with us and put them on doors so he knows where the bathroom is and what doors not to go through.
Activity can slow dementia. "
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Reply #3 - 02/27/11  12:59pm
" Thank all for the comments. I would even like to hear from someone whose spouse has dementia to learn coping strategies. My husband is only 64 years old so this has really hit me hard. "
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Reply #4 - 02/27/11  11:28pm
" I think you need a strategy. Once you get over the shock and start to accept the situation, you will find it easier if you have a separate life from the illness and the duty of caregiving. Do you have friends? You may need to cultivate single friends now, if your socializing has been couples. There will be some coiuples you can still be close to. I would suggest psending quality time with your husband, and it will not all be bad, and getting paid help for him enough of the time so that you can also have a social life of your own, and friends.
I know this must be hard to swallow. So many of us are coping with a life we did not expect, deserve, nor prepare for. "
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Reply #5 - 03/12/11  4:22pm
" My husband is only 60 years old and has just been diagnosed with Binsheimer's Dementia. Like you, we have no children together and no families for support. I was angry *before* the diagnosis because I thought his odd behaviors meant he didn't love me anymore. The love your husband had/has for you is now forever.

I'm just plain scared: Binsheimer's patients usually live only about 5 years from onset, and he's been affected for a few years already.

Maybe you're actually more frightened than angry (?)

< HUG! > "
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Reply #6 - 03/17/11  8:30pm
" i understand. i married my husband after being with him for 26 years. he's 81 now and i see a big change in the last few months. i noticed he forgets things and where he puts things, that you told him something only moments before and he don't remember, blames people for moving his stuff and taking his stuff. mostly one person in particular my grandson. he's on him regularly. argues with him regularly like two kids. drives me nuts. i loose my patience very easily "
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Reply #7 - 03/21/11  8:27pm
" I understand your anger, my wife has had dementia for 14 years, due to meningitis. Everytime I interact with her she cries. Today I found she had wet her underwear, and the bathroom floor,( at least not in bed) I was angry because I stepped into it with my bear feet. Somehow I controled my anger, handed her clean underwear and pajama bottoms, and went into the other room for a soad. When I returned, she had put her pajamas on, with the underwear on top of them. So I just helped her change. I'm trying to find a connection to her. One idea for you, does your husband do better in public? Get Out! "
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Reply #8 - 03/23/11  9:28am
" 2cat my parents are in a situation similar to yours. There are three kids but we are 2,000 miles away. Dad has been having symptoms for several years but was finally diagnosed last Fall.

I think what most of us experience is grief. Knowing that this is bringing a major change to our lives, effectively ending life as we know it and signaling the eventual death of a loved one. You should read about the stages of grieving, it can help you understand what you are feeling.

What has been hardest for my parents is the good days/bad days and never knowing what today will be. I call them several times a week. Some days I will hear how bad he is doing and my mom and I will talk about making changes like him not driving or not being able to attend my nieces wedding. But then there are days when mom will say something, I will suggest a change and she will vehemently refuse saying that he is OK. I think she is having a hard time accepting how this will change her life as well.

It may sound corny but AA has what they call the Serenity Prayer.

God give me the strength to change the things I can,
the courage to accept the things that I can't change,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

There are things that you can do, things you can't do. The trick is to understand where things fall and to accept that there are things that you can't control. Many times in the beginning (and still today) I found myself making complex plans for them. Then I would realize that I can't make this illness or my parents fit in the little boxes that I made.

If you can come to accept that this is your life for now you will be so much happier. Get some counciling and speak to your doctor. OFten the caregiver forgets to take care of themselves plus there are anxiety and anti-depressants that might help you. I also found that it has helped my mom to make some general plans..vacation, short trip, house project..but keep the details flexible. You don't need to sit at home waiting for him to get worse and die. Live life just on different terms. "
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Reply #9 - 03/26/11  9:52am
" Greetings,
I do extend my deepest sympathy for your losses in relationship to all the changes that have happened due to your husbands' dementia. First, the anger comes from not liking this new situation at all and also being angry at NOT being able to change it. You are experiencing several losses which one needs to process through as you adjust to this new reality. First, the interactional quality of your relationship with your husband has declined. He does not contribute his support to you like he used to by doing tasks or by encouraging you. Second, you have lost your dreams and expectations of what the future would look like. The hopes have died and now you need to come up with a new picture of the future. While you still have him, it will need to be a dual track picture, part of what your being with him looks like and the other part being how you relate to the rest of the world. I call it being "half a widow". Also, do develop some goals of what your life will have in it later, after he passes away. Be sure you make some dreams of a life you will enjoy. Most women outlive their husbands. Life will go on. Get counseling and support to help you develop goods things to come for you. "
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Reply #10 - 03/29/11  9:15pm
" My husband has dementia, he is so paranoid. He is older and we have a pre teen daughter. It is devastating to her. I am so tired angry. How do I do it? I often feel unable to give u conditional love "

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