My husband's children are fighting me on his dementia diagnosis.

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My husband and I have been married for almost 45 years, in that time I think we have come to know each other pretty well. His children from his first marriage spend very little time if any with him as a matter of fact we recently moved back to our hometown where his one son lives. During the 5 months we have been here, this son has spent less than 6 hours with his father. My husband was recently hospitalized for another condition and now all of his children are soooooooo devoted and caring and they want to tell me how he should be treated, etc. Tonight when they visited in the hospital, I left early as I have been on long hospital vigils and needed to do some things at home. when they left, my husband called me and wanted to know why he had dementia as a diagnosis on his medical records because his sons told him it was there and there was obviously nothing wrong with his mind in their opinion. Yes, he was having a good night talking old hunting stories which he has no problem remembering but if I ask him tomorrow if his sons were there he will tell me no, no one was in. He has been given the diagnosis from 4 different doctors and they have discussed it with him but he does not remember nor does he accept. I am at my wit's end with these children and am about to become the proverbial wicked stepmother. I just needed to rant to people who might understand. Thanks!!


RoseyKat, I so understand. My mother has advance dementia, but she does not accept it. I don't push the issue with her. I don't mention the D word in her presence, because it would upset her. She has anosognosia -- a word I have a terrible time remembering. She does know or admit she is ill with dementia. Not knowing it makes things very hard. She can be told she has it by doctors and have it written on her reports, but she puts it out of her mind so she doesn't have it... or at least so others won't know she has it. I think that is the main thing to her, since she is concerned that others will think she is crazy.

My brothers had a very hard time realizing that Mom had dementia. She was able to showtime for them since they weren't around that much. It took 3 or 4 years for them to see that I wasn't just making it up. The people who are close to a person with dementia are the ones to see it first. His children would see it if they came around more.

I wouldn't be angry with the children. I would invite them to spend more time with you guys if everyone is open to it. You know if that would work for you or not. I was in the Second Wife's Club for many years and know relations with the children from the first marriage can be strained at times.
RoseyKat, any way each of hubby's children could take care of their Dad for the weekend once he is home, plus staying overnight? Just one child each time, not all 4 or 2 at once. They need to step into your shoes for awhile to fully understand what their Dad is going through.
Two of the children are out of state, the other is local but really showed no interest in his father until he became hospitalized. I would be concerned to leave my husband in their care unless I felt certain they accepted his condition. He has another condition called myasthenia gravis which is an auto immune disorder that weakens the muscles. You have to be on top of his symptoms for this which can sometimes be very subtle. Frankly, I don't think the local son would be interested in a 2 hour visit if he knew it would help me in any way.
I think you should go the wicked stepmother route, to a point. Everyone needs to understand dementia. There is nothing to be gained arguing with this man, as you said he will forget by the next day. His kids need to understand this. He sounds much like my Dad. We don't waste time and argue with him. We just roll with it.

You don't have to be nasty with these kids but you are the wife 24/7 and know exactly what's going on. Have an honest, stern discussion with these kids. Your life is hard enough without this uniformed meddling.
My brother once said he wouldn't believe our mother had dementia until he saw it in writting - so I gave him a copy of the geriatric psychitrist report. Evidently that's not good enough for your husbands children. I think the only way they'll accept it is if they see it for themselves - and that could require a lengthy visit. Since they seem unwilling to do that or until your husbands dementia progresses to an undeniable stage you may be stuck with their crappy attitude.
Another thought, although I think it could be seem somewhat tasteless - video one of your husband's episodes but add it into something like "a day in the life of my husband", or "an outing to the lake/picnic (whatever)" - sneak it into something innocuous and send it to the nonparticipatory relatives, to help them keep up with your husband's activities since they aren't locally present or won't come.

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