My husband just stares at me all day, and goes to bed at 4:45. He used to be the joker, and always laughing and social. Now he just sits and stares at me. The change is getting harder to take, and I am getting really discouraged. It's hard to think of my life this way.

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Having a spouse with dementia is heart-breaking. The change from having an equal partner to having a dependent, the changes in personality, in energy levels, in comprehension and memory are all terrible burdens on the caregiver spouse. It is discouraging indeed.

The only practical advice I can give you is to bring in some help and establish some life apart from the role of caregiver-wife. While someone else stays in the house with him, join a bowling league or book club or take a community ed class in something that interests you. Meet a friend for dinner in a restaurant. It is very, very sad to lose the companionship of a marriage and yet still be married. Don't also lose your social life. Keep in touch with friends and family.

My heart goes out to you. This is a very cruel disease!
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