Caring for my husband with Alzheimer's.

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My husband is 92 and we have only been married for 7+ years. I knew him when he was an Army officer and I worked for the Red Cross in 1956. He was my protector since he is 13 years older than me. I was only 23 then and the only young female in the area of Ft. Benning. He got transferred as we were really starting to fall in love. We wrote for several years. He married and when I was getting married I told him I was marrying a man from Poland. He advised against it as we would have different upbringing. I didn't listen, but almost 40 years later I discovered my husband was having an affair with his assistant. When I returned home from Poland, I started to look for him. (I was pretty angry) to tell him that he was right, I should not have married him. His wife had died 6 months prior to my calling. He remembered me very well. We talked for 2 years before meeting. We married 3 months later. Shortly after that I started noticing things that I did not see before. His driving!!! And of course many other things that in the excitement of finding him, I did not see.

Sorry for the long beginning, but it is what has brought me here. He had retired from the Army, but I took him to a good neurologist and the diagnosis: ALZHEIMERS. It has been extremely difficult because I didn't get to ease into this. There are times I want to run. He is so needy and wants me there in front of him 24 hours a day.

It is hard not to get angry and then I get very upset with myself. Just needed to vent, I guess. Thanks for listening.

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nicepeach, the delusional thinking is something to definitely talk to the doctor about. Many people with alz have delusional or paranoid thoughts. I am not a huge advocate of drugs, but I think there is a good place for antipsychotics when it makes the lives of people with dementia easier. You may want to try your husband on one of the drugs to see if it works.

I am concerned about your safety. Do you have a safe room you can lock to get away from your husband? Do you have an emergency plan in place if he should lose control? I had to devise one for my mother when she got crazy for a while -- call 911 and get the police and ambulance out to take her to the ER for geripsych evaluation.

If he says you are not doing what God wants you to, tell him you are still waiting for God's direction, and you will know what to do when He steers you. I wonder if that would satisfy your husband that all is well. There's truth in it, too. I think we all have the feelings when it is time to do certain things. If your husband continues to decline, there may come a time soon that he will need to live in a skilled facility. I would definitely look into getting his VA benefits lined up if he qualifies.

Please let us know what is going on. The group is quiet right now over the holiday weekend. We'll try to keep this thread toward the top so it doesn't get lost before people get back.
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You probably already know what an encouragement it is to hear from somebody who understands. Thank you so much.

We really don't have anybody here at all. My son lives part time in town, the other part is about 150 miles from here. We went to Thanksgiving dinner with him and his partner and another couple and their teenage son. My husband was recently hospitalized because we had been on a long trip to the NW, as we do every year and when we got home, he just stopped getting out of bed and sleeping all the time. The neurologist put him on the 3rd pill and then he had fecal incontinence.

Thanksgiving dinner - was awful. We went to my son's house and he simply does not understand about anything that I am going through. He kept correcting me for trying to stop hubby - then he told Bob to stop. Humiliating for me - have no idea what is in hubby's head. For nearly 8 years I have been trying to get him to talk - for the last few weeks, he has been having what I am thinking (reading about) delusions. He has said that God is telling me that I am evil because we put up a privacy fence (3 years ago). Now for 3 or 4 days he is telling me that God is telling him that he has to read Billy Graham because he has the answers to our problems. We read it and I explained I didn't think that was an answer. He said we had not read it. He followed me all over the house and I asked to go lie down. He said if I did not do what God told me to do he was going to hit me. He has always been so gentle, seldom even expressing himself. I feel as though I have awakened to an additional nightmare!! I have no one to talk to - so I am thankful for this forum. God bless you all in everything you are going through. I didn't reread what I wrote, afraid I won't post it........just rambling on..........
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nicepeach2, this is a great place to vent. My ex and I lived in the Columbus area when he was stationed at Ft Benning, so I feel a certain kinship.

I know that after having a bad ending to your first marriage that you were looking forward to having a wonderful marriage to your old boyfriend. I am sorry that he has Alz. It can be such a frustrating disease. I think anger is a very common thing for people dealing with someone with dementia. We think they should remember something, and they don't. We think they should act a certain way, and they don't. It can seem like they are doing it on purpose.

Your husband will become more needy as the dementia progresses. At his age, though, I would hope that his mind might hold out as long as his body does. That is my hope when it comes to my mother, since I don't know how I would handle things if she got worse. Tell us a little more about what your husband is doing. There is a lot of support here. I know that people will have many good recommendations to help you navigate these troubling waters.
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