How do I get help for my husband that refuses to believe he has Alzheimer’s and has developed a bad spending problem?

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My husband was not diagnosed yet, but his mother has AL and he is doing the same things she did. Gets mad at the little things,I am wrong no matter what I do or say,He wants to buy exspensive things ,We can't afford.We are both on ss and I take care of everything around the house and he said I do nothing. I also have RA and in painall the time. The stress does not help. What can I do to stop his spending, and get help?

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Top Answer
If your husband does not believe he has any kind of dementia, he can easily prove that to you by going in for a thorough geriatric assessment. You will either get a diagnosis that says he is probably in early stage dementia, or that he has some other condition that is impairing his judgement, or that he is essentially fine. Whatever the results you can at least stop arguing about what he does or doesn't have. If he is so sure there is nothing wrong, he should be eager to let you make an appointment to prove it.

I know plenty of healthy people who behave as you describe, so it is hard to know if you need a doctor or a marriage counselor.

Whatever the state of his health, you need to rein in the free spending before you both wind up in serious trouble. It sounds like you take care of the finances. Can he balance the checkbook? (I mean does he have the skills to do it.) Can he understand basic financial concepts? Suppose you sit down with bankd statements and credit card statements, etc. and explain this is what we got as income last month, and this is how much we spent each month on food, housing, taxes, gas, utilities, etc. So we have $x leftover to spend on other things. But last month we spent $y. Where will that extra $230 come from? Would he understand that? If you laid this all out as simple facts and arthmetic and talk about what "we" spent (even though it is his spending that is the problem), what would his reaction be?

Can you enlist your doctor's help in getting hubby to be evaluated? Do you have children who can help you?
Potpot, I'm wondering why it's so important for your husband to admit he has this awful disease? What I mean is, can't you and he just sit down and have a heart to heart discussion? What about asking him if he's noticed that he's behaving different then he used to. Has he noticed there are changes going on that he doesn't understand? Once you get him to actually acknowledge that he himself has noticed that he's different, then maybe the two of you could calmly talk about it. I don't think it's as important to have to have him admit the official disease name, as it is for him to admit that he might need some help. The name Alzheimer's is an awful thing for someone to know they have, especially if that person is still with it enough to know what that is going to mean. Anyway, just my two cents. Sorry about your hubby. That's rotten.
Potpot - you have my sympathy. My Mom has Dementia and I know at first she was argumentative and angry. Looking back (diagnosis was 1998) I think she was scared and frightened. She knew something was wrong and used to say to me 'Anne there is something wrong with me, I can't think of things anymore'. If you come from the perspective that your husband is reacting out of fear then maybe you can be more patient with him. The spending of course has to be brought under control. Can you talk to your husband's GP and ask him to set up a cognitive test and take it from there. Good luck.
Thank you everyone that comented, it is alot to think about and hard to deal with. I need to start some place and I guess that would be the DR. I have been reading alot on this,2 yrs. ago he had major heart and annerysum surgery, and he still has another annerysum that is close to needing surgery.I wonder if this has caused this. Thanks again
Doubtlessly a continuing heartache filled with anticipated, 'What if(s)'.

Most of us wait too long before we step up to 'take the bull by the horns'. It is often not only emotionally draining to do so, but that drain continues for a fair amount of time until the loved ones digresses to a point they understand even less.

Consider this first very minor step... hide the checkbook and as long as possible avoid finding it as you help him look. Eventually, in one way or other you'll just have to keep it from him. Yes, that'll enhance difficulties so you only want to do that as a last resort.

Never forget through whatever animosity comes your way that you are doing the right thing by him... and always remember that as difficult a prospect as it is to look forward to, there will come a time when he can even look at a checkbook and not know what it is. (The time between, of course, is the difficult time - but you simply have to condition yourself that you are doing right by him.)

A hard truth, but one which in the end will solve a lot of problems.

My best to you...
I'm wondering if he would understand a budget. What if you wrote the whole budget down and you went over it with him, so he could see what money comes in and what money goes out. Maybe even get envelopes to put the money in ... one envelope for groceries, one for gas for the car, etc. Then he could see when the money is gone, it's gone. And .... I am so sorry for you that you have to deal with all of this while in constant pain from RA. It would be nice to have someone do things for you instead of the other way around. You are special!
Thanks all, I have tried to sit down with him about bills, health , ext. but he walks away and wants nothing to do with it. He has no compation for my illness or what I want. Every pain I have he has or went threw it, I am getting a spinal stimulator implant hopping it is better than a back fusion. His back is worst and spending , all these credit cards don't help. He buys and never thinks about any money in the bank. I did ask the Dr. about him but he never did anything, and now he the Dr. is leaving the practice. His drinking does not help and not good for him. If we go away and we are not home by a certain time he gets upset. I went threw all the nasty things his mom did, I was the one to do for her but she turned on me and that hurt I don't want this again with him. Life is the pits.

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