1jdnelson Asked September 2010

I have been married to my husband with Alzheimer's for 40 years and yet he routinely asks where am I or says that he is waiting for his wife. How can I cope?

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deefer12 Sep 2010
Mom was talking about going out with the girls one afternoon. I asked her what girls and she said the ones from work. So I thought she meant the ladies at daycare. She said who? So I asked her how old she was, and she answered about 25 or 26. Then I knew she was young again. so we had a conversation about where they were going, and eventually I changed the subject. not much you can do except redirect them to a different subject. Trying to explain or calm them down only adds to their frustrations.
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Nelson, I'm so sorry you are having to go through this. It's such a heartbreaking time for you.
Julie, thanks for sharing your information. Now it makes sense to me why my dad one time thought I was a girl he went to high school with. Not having him know me sure hurt but it just brought into perspective how his mind was working at the time.
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JulieWI Sep 2010
I read a great article (can't remember from where) that explained that people with Alz may lose their memory backwards. First they forget short-term, then the last year, last 10 years etc.

it explained how one man didn't like going into the bathroom because there was a stranger in there. His family finally figured out that he saw his reflection in the mirror and thought it was someone else. In his mind he was young and didn't know that person in the mirror was him.

Maybe your husband is looking for a younger version of you. I think the idea of the badge with 2 pictures is great. Take some comfort that he remembers you, just at a different state in life.

The article said this is why some people start calling their kids by other names (like friends or siblings). They have gone back so far that in their minds they don't have kids yet.
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susanT8403 Sep 2010
Ed is for sure right! things of this nature are signs that more skill may be needed to care for him, and sounds to me that you are having a hard time dealing with this, maybe, u couldf look into assisted living if you really feel it taking a toll on you, that doesnt mean you still cant go see him all the time and be there to support him the same way you are now, I do it, and my mom is starting to accept and enjoy where she is,after battling almost more than a year of wanting to come home, begging and crying, this stuff is tough for us, I know it sucks, but this too shall pass,,,,,,good luck and keep us posted~
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deefer12 Sep 2010
Mom is the same way. Trying to remind them or arguing with them only makes it worse. Just go along with him and cherish the times he does remember you. He will at times be living in the past, and think he is much younger than he is, therefore, he would not know you. Try not to take it personally. maybe your local hospital has a support group that you can go to and discuss your feelings with people who are going through the same things and you. It can help you to understand and accept what is happening.
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hapfra Sep 2010
Perhaps this video that I found for you will be of some support~
Click here: Jan's Story: A Love Lost to Alzheimer's - CBS News Video -or check out online----another suggestion, is to try to go to the Alzheimer's Spouce-website
Last, but not least get as mush support as you can-like through the Alzheimer's Association-or call them at their hotline numver-which is (800) 272-3900.
If possible DO NOT forget to take some ME TIME---as it may help with your caregiving journey.
Best~
Hap (Please get back to us in this forum)
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faithful Sep 2010
Dealing with and loving someone with Alzheimer's can be very devastating ,especially when they get to the point where they don't recognize you anymore .However, you must rejoice in the good times (though they may be few and far between ) . There will be days when he knows exactly who you are and days when he couldn't pick you out in a crowd , but the best thing you can do is laugh , laugh ,laugh . Enjoy this time together and don't take everything so seriously . Try to see the lighter side of things . -------- My dad suffered from Alzheimer's and sometimes he didn't know who my mom ( his wife of 45 yrs.) was , but the days before she passed ( cancer) he knew exactly who she was and even remembered times from when they first met .------------Also , if you are a praying woman ,pray ,pray ,pray ,pray and pray some more . God will definitely carry you through these rough times .-------------- God Bless
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This is a tough problem and you have received many great suggestions. My main advice would be to reach out for help and keep reaching out to friends, professionals, support groups, on line support, family, church or religious organization and even strangers. Tell your story, ask for advice and do your grieving. Dementia creates horrible losses for all touched by it.

Carol
Inside Aging Parent Care
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Eddie Sep 2010
LISA:

Great suggestion!!!.
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lisahansen Sep 2010
My Brother and his wife had the same problem. He would recognize younger pictures of her, but not the present. They got her a badge with her name, old photo and recent photo on it.
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