My husband has dementia. We will lose everything we have if he goes to a nursing home. How can I handle him? What kind of help can I get

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Frenchy, yes, yes, it is a TERRIBLE thing to lose your mind and your independence. And it is an equally terrible thing to have a loved one in that condition!

The behaviors you describe are all typical of dementia. I'm not sure how much of a consolation it is but many (most?) people with dementia go through periods of paranoia and think someone is stealing from them, and that their spouse is unfaithful.

Who is managing your husband's treatment plan? Is that person very knowledgeable about dementia? There are medications that can be tried for some of the symptoms, even though there is no cure. Has hubby been seen by a geriatric psychiatrist?

Have things worsened since that 6 hours of help was allocated? Ask for a needs review. And also start exploring the options for long-term care. Even if medications can reduce your husband's agitation and improve his state of mind and behavior, he is still a dead weight that poses physical challenges for one person taking care of him at home.

I know a woman whose husband had LBD (pretty much what your husband has) and was bedbound. She intended to care for him at home forever. She had to have back surgery and she placed him temporarily in a nursing home for respite care. When she saw that they transferred him using 2 people and a lift device she realized why her back went out, and that she could not bring him home. She visited him a couple times of day. He assumed that when she kissed him goodnight she was going down the hall to her own room. Placement was better for both of them, and actually improved their relationship.
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MY husband has . Parkinson's and dementia. He also has frequent and very painful bowel movements. He recently took 2 bad falls and injured his hip and has been pretty much bed bound. Lately he has been directing very mean and hateful words toward me. He tells me I am keeping him as a prisoner, that I do not love him and wish that he was dead. He hollers "HELP ME" when there is nothing that he needs. He is agitated and resentful if I speak with anyone on the phone or if they stop by the house and I talk to them. He says that I am belittling him and making him look bad. That I am the perfect caregiver. He has visions of people stealing from him and says that nobody likes him I am wondering how long I can care for him as he is 5'10 and he is down from 195 lbs to about 115. but is dead weight to help get him standing up and to the commode or to eat. I have injured myself trying to help him as I am 5'2 and about 135 lbs. I have 6 hrs of care help from the VA but is proving to be not near the help that I need. I have a daughter here but she works full time and has helped when she can. It took 2 people to get him to a Dr. apt, yesterday as he can not walk on his own. What a terrible thing it is to lose your mind and your independence.
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Bradywine, short answer = yes. All the time. They may not understand what is happening and may think it is someone else trying to hurt and confuse them, despite what we would consider to be plenty of evidence to the contrary.
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I don't mean to hijack this thread. But I just need to ask, so do dementia patients say a lot of mean things? My husband says a lot of mean things.
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Bon...This is a huge adjustment for you to realize the relationship you had is gone... you did nothing to cause it, and there is probably nothing you can do to mend it now, and nothing your husband can do to begin to understand any of what he has done due to his dementia. You will have to let others help him now, and not try to bring him home unless a real miracle occurs. He is absolutely where he needs to be and you did the right thing to get him there. Bonnie, stand fast that you can't care for him because he does not understand when you try to set limits and keep him safe, or help him, and he is still strong enough to injure you severely. Consider visiting with an eldercare attorney, social worker, and/or someone from a local agency for aging to find out what need to happen next. You will find out that many loving wives have been exactly where you are today and with help can and do go on with the next phase of their lives with their heads held high. I am hoping you find out that the finances are not going to hold things back - you are the "community spouse" and entitled to significant protections if you need Medicaid to cover his care.
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Babalou, My Alzheimer's husband has been home with me for only three days, and had to be taken (in handcuffs) to the Hospital. He got aggressive with me when I asked him to get off the computer after I saw he had about five websites opened over another, and had unplugged the printer, mouse was not working etc. He got very angry when I took his arm, and grabbed my arm and twisted it and pushed my fingers back til I thought they would break. I cried, and he didn't even let go then. I called the Police and they took him to the local psych hospital. I feel so horrible and guilty about having him taken away like that. I know now that I can most likely never care for him at home again. It is breaking my heart. How can I go on and live my life? I am not even sure he will get placed anywhere. He was rejected (for behavior) by all the local Nursing Homes, even with lock down units. Hard to believe there is so little help for this disease, without piles of money. I am about as low as I have ever been. Please answer. Bonnie O.
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Oh, Bonnie! How sad. You must be so torn up inside.

One of my Uncles had Alzheimers and was quite combative, until the right drug cocktail was found. He lived out his last years in a VA home, singing along with the piano and occasionally revisited the battles of the Pacific Theater with other Vets, and by that I mean that they thought they were actaully back on the Burma Road. Butbthey DID find the right combo and he WAS able to go to a NH. Take heart dear, and let us know how this goes. Godspeed!
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Babalou, I wanted to write you this. Today when I was with Bill in the hospital, he turned to me and said, "We need to make a sign on a stick that says "LET'S BEAT ALZHEIMER'S". Then he cried and I cried with him and held him. So very sad how much he is suffering inside. He knows he is going to this dreadful disease. The Doctpr on his case is now looking to place him in a Gerry-psych hospital for further psychiatric treatment and help getting him on meds for the behavior. He is talking to the administrators of two that may be able to take him in the area. Then the plan is that he could go to a nursing home for rehab and possibly home. No nursing homes would even take him because he had been on one-on-one. In other words, there is no place for a combative Alzheimer's person - just out them out to pasture. Pray for us. Bonnie O.
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Oh, Bonnie. This is so sad! I'm sure your apartment feels empty and different without him, but I'm so glad that he's getting help in the geri- psych placement.

Dementia is a terrible disease; it robs us of our loved ones twice over!
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I visited my husband today in the hospital, and he was so confused and upset. He has elevated creatine levels and was dehydrated, so that might have contributed to his aggression. He kept crying and asking me to call his Mother( who had passed twenty years ago). When I kept telling him I couldn't get her on the phone, and that she was in a better place now and that she was with him in spirit, he just got more upset with me and kept asking over and over for me to call her. He went to the bathroom (with an aide helping) and when he came out, he grabbed a pair of scissors from the sink area, and said he wanted to go to jail. Then I went to get help, and he said "If you leave, I'll stab you 16 times". The Nurse called in a code green and Police Guards came up to get the scissors from him. II now know that it will never be safe to bring him home again, and I do not want to live without him. This apartment is foreign without him in his chair beside me. I cannot go on much longer. Please Help! Bonnie O.
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