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My 70 yo husband definitely has some form of (vascular?) dementia- I realised over a year ago, when he started coming out with stuff that wasnt logical, got confused driving (he'd always been really competent). He's always been difficult, but dementia makes it worse, can't see how ridiculous he is as he becomes abusive over nothing. We have long silences as the mildest comment can provoke wrath: I'd been planning day out with granddaughter. I was paying, doing it all. Invited him if he wanted. He felt she was too young. Fine..well, I'll do it and if it all goes wrong, that's my look out. But when I discussed the places I intended to take her a few days on, he became furious ("you just say it to undermine me and rub my nose in fact that you're not listening to me!") He can watch golf on TV for 12 hours straight (gazing fixedly at screen, not texting or whatever) but when I inquire "oh, what did he just say?" I usually get a blank 'oh, I must have missed that!' Having given up work a while back, and completely reliant on him to pay housekeeping (shopping is utter hell, I feel guilty for eating!) I am trying to start little job leafletting. Again, mustn't mention it too much or he'll tell me I can pay all the bills - so it's got to seem like a pocket money thing! (I currently get £5 a week pocket money- grudgingly). (He just spent £500 on new golf clubs.) Only relax when he's out (golf is WONDERFUL!) He's so unfailingly negative- ask what he thinks about something - new dress, something you've made - and he'll thoughtfully observe all the bad points. NEVER get a compliment. Might get a grudging "I suppose so" if asked "isn't this lovely?" It's a tough life; I'm only 56 and feel I'm going under some days. Would be so lovely to have a sunny smile, bit of positivity sometimes, but guess it's all downhill. I feel like one of those Victorian women, employed as paid companions to horrid irascible old people!

Why not get a job anyway? - even if you don't plan to leave! It wouldn't hurt to expand your social circle and - what the heck, why not? - have some pin money. What used you to do?

Well, you've got a fourteen year age gap. It's hard to guess from your description whether that is early stage dementia, or depression (how long retired is your husband?), or fatigue, or other illness, or if he's just not paying attention. But I do sympathise with finding your wavelength diverging from your other half's.

Do stick with this forum, please - I'm sure you'll find it really helpful. I'm in the UK too and AC has been both a breath of fresh air and a tower of strength.
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Hi Countrymouse, No, I live in UK but website insisted on a zip code, so it's just a random one.
It's a 2nd marriage (15 yrs)- we each have own grown up kids (none together.) Granddaughter lives with my son & his partner, but I have her to stay sometimes (terrible ructions over this when she was tiny, but he's fairly fond of her now as long as she doesnt whine.)
I first suspected dementia after we drove to nearby town- he forgot where carpark was, was driving miles out into country saying "it must be round here" then got really angry and said we'd go somewhere else. And many subsequent really weird conversations- when my brother was offered a top job but it entailed lengthy commute- I was talking about long drive and he gave me a long, convoluted explanation of how he could do the whole thing by bus - only about 10 changes. Walking up canal last week, stopped to admire flats. Then walked a good mile, came to a building site and he said "there's the flat we were just looking at" !! He never looks 'alive' or bright any more, there's a sort of strange distant look, constantly, like he's not quite with it. (I contrast him with my mid-80s parents, who are frail and sometimes forgetful, but bright, normal folk.)
The house belongs to me (no mortgage) but with NO income (£10.000 savings) you have to be prudent. I wouldnt get any state benefit. There's not too many fulltime jobs for my age group. You weigh up the joy of freedom with the burden of 40 hours slaving in a min wage job (or eking out your money to eat if you don't get one)...there's no easy answer right now.
And I do have a sense of duty.
The meditation post was of interest. I think, too, that religion and prayer has a big part in helping you keep going.
Many thanks for replies. xx
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ukdaffodil, the phenomenon you describe is called show-timing. In dementia, especially early dementia, the patient can make an extreme effort and appear "normal" to outsiders. They can do this for short periods, and the periods get shorter and shorter over time. It usually tires them out and after they finish the doctor appointment or the company leaves they may be very tired or cranky. Look it up. Show-timing is real!
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ikjhgfdsa, thank you for such a specific suggestion, and a resource for further instruction. It certainly won't suit everyone, but if one person gets benefit from it, it will certainly justify the time you took to share!
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I am 92 years old. When I was 68 my wife was diagnosed with dementia. For the next 10 years I was her caregiver at home until she passed. I know first-hand what you are going through. What literally saved my sanity was meditation. It is very easy to do but very difficult to manage. There are times you feel you are failing, it is not working, it is a waste of time, and you want to quit but if you continue it will make your life so much easier. I still meditate each morning for 20 minutes before I leave the bedroom. For me it was and is a life saver. It relieved the stress, comforted me, calmed me down and made me a better person. Below is the website I used to teach me.
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Hi! That doctor appointment sounds very suspicious. A new patient appointment on one day’s notice, for a doctor who is immediately going on long leave, is extremely unlikely - they are usually too busy to scratch! Turning up (and a next day appointment won’t be a Monday) and being told that the doctor is away for 6 weeks is also extremely unlikely. I’d say try it again, you make the appointment, and you go in with him at least as far as reception. Then at least you can pick outright lies.

Regarding the solicitor’s appointment, go on your own and get some legal advice. I would repeat that your husband’s control of your spending consists of Domestic Violence by most modern definitions. It’s certainly abuse. I didn’t specialise in Family Law, but I know that much! Don’t assume that he will charm his way out of this. If you want to follow this up, write some notes about specific instances. The solicitor will want specifics, not just ‘he always’ or ‘he never’. The property settlement may well mean that you only go back to full time work if that is what you want (and with a break and the right job you might even choose it). I also stuck with things because I didn’t want to lose my/our house/home. When forced into it, the new place rapidly became my OWN house/home, and now I have very few pleasant memories of the house I originally loved.

Don’t get stuck in this for the next 20 years, no matter what change you opt for. Good luck!
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I'm a bit puzzled - your profile says you're living in California? (Oakland, CA).

May I ask how long you and your husband have been married? Is your granddaughter also his; and what about the little girl's parents, where are they in all this?

What happened that makes you suspect vascular dementia?

As a general observation, though, I must say: this is 2018. You are a free agent. Decide whether your husband is ill and needs help (get some); or a right old sod who is making your life a misery (get packing).
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Yes, I did try the Dr thing last year- phoned & spoke to them ("Well, what do you want us to do?") Suggested they call him in to review medication & assess him at time (he's really pro-active on diet, bloodpressure etc). So he got appointment to see specific Dr, went in next day to see said person...receptionist said he's off for next 6 weeks. He came out in a huff saying it can't be important so they can get on with it. Never heard anything else... I don't think a stranger would necessarily pick up on this- he can be fairly personable in company, despite occasional odd comments. (And then you think, he must REALISE certain behaviour's 'not on' or he couldnt change. But if he CAN change, why can't he do it with me too??) So I don't think (at this point )I could get far with any solicitor etc. Honestly, I've thought all round it for a long time. I don't want to go back to fulltime work (even if I could get it); don't want to sell house; I can only see continuing like this, managing him by careful comments, never contradicting him, only telling him certain things, and getting a modicum of own income. Thanks for letting me rant!
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This is no cure for dementia, but there are treatment options for the various symptoms. That is one of the benefits of a diagnosis. Can you convince him it is time for a general checkup, to establish a baseline for the aging process? Do NOT try to tell him he needs a mental health examination. Do notify the doctor ahead of the appointment of your particular concerns.

But you say that "he's always been difficult" and that makes me wonder how much effort you should invest in this. Do try for a diagnosis as that will help you decide next steps.

If he does have dementia, letting him control the finances is a ticket to disaster.

I don't know how it works in the UK, but I think it might be a good idea to consult a Family Law attorney to find out what your options are.
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This doesn’t sound like a marriage that I would want to be in. If he is 70, there are many many years left to go. If you are 56, you are looking at this situation lasting for all of the retirement years when your health and strength are good enough to enjoy yourself. I wouldn’t rush to a divorce, but I would look at marriage counselling for yourself, as well as any intervention people can suggest to get a diagnosis for your husband. Your financial situation classes as Domestic Violence by most modern definitions.
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