Just a vent.

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My wife is 75 and has advanced dementia. I just want to vent a little. No idea what kind of dementia she has, and don't know that it matters. She is on the max dose of Seroquel that the doc is willing to prescribe. She is also on a couple of other meds. I am lucky that I can keep her at home with the help of a live in caregiver who is a godsend. My wife is sometimes content, but is always paranoid. She can't leave the house any longer because people are going to kill her, sometimes not even to take her beloved dogs into the back yard for play. The thing that I am having a hard time with is the 20 or so times each day she asks how I am going to kill her. She said that her "friend" (imaginary) tells her about my plans. I tell her I have no such plans, and that her friend doesn't exist. Sometimes she asks "is this my dementia" and cries about it. Other times when I challenge her reality she tells me I am crazy.. It is a blessing that 10 minutes later she doesn't remember of it. She is in pretty good heath other than dementia, so I guess I will have to deal with this for several years. I refuse to move her into a nursing home just for this, but when she forgets who I am and I can't calm her down, I guess it will be time.

4 Comments

Vent away! On this board we understand that acknowledging or complaining about the burdens of caregiving does NOT mean you have any less love or compassion. It is an extremely difficult role. Caregiving a spouse who has dementia is especially tough.

I am SO glad you have a live-in helper. That, plus your own knowledge and compassion, may allow you to keep your dear wife home with you for the entire journey. Each case of dementia develops differently but in most cases some kind of care center is necessary in the end. If that happens in your wife's case, know that it is NOT a failure on your part. It is the disease.
andrewr, play her favorite music, the happy kind. Often this will block out the paranoia. For heaven's sake don't let her watch gory news on TV. Find a classic movie channel.
Music is a good idea.
It doesn't sound like her mental distress is being properly treated. I'd get her accessed by a geriatric psychiatrist or some doctor to review her medications. She sounds terrified and I would think that something could be done to help her more with that and the anxiety. Does her current doctor understand how she is doing on these meds? I'd ask for review or get a second opinion.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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