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I'm 22 years younger than my husband and we have been together for 28 years. He retired early and bought a small house outside of the city. I had to stay because I'm still working but I was there on weekends and he would come here most days of the week.
In 2017 my husband suffered a stroke which left him with aphasia. He has also lost his driver's license. He understandably got frustrated and I tried to be there and help as much as I could.
The hospital also alarmed us about his advanced age and encouraged us to get his affairs in order. We hired a competency assessor and upon her assurance, he issued me a POA and put me on the house papers.
In 2018, I went on a two week trip to see my brother but when I got back home Jack was a completely different man. He removed most of the furniture from the house and turned into piles of stuff : Toilet paper, flyers, lots and lots of sugar, 'deals'. It looked like one of those hoarding shows. He flooded the basement fixing the furnace and broke the furnace and gas stove beyond the repair. Then the fridge. This all happened within a month and it was unexpected expense that put a big dent in my finances (he only has a basic pension).
He started to act recklessly walking around the house with the propane torch on not realizing it is on and this is how he burnt the parts of the basement and bathroom with his 'fixing'.
I thought if I say I'll renovate the floors he would look forward to it and get the stuff organized. It didn't happen. Within hours (I kid you not) there were piles and piles of garbage (even mice droppings and soiled wallpaper roll that he could not rid of). He also took back the old, 30 year old carpet from the garbage and dragged it in.
Then his car 'disappeared'. He claimed that it was stolen and that the police are after him and want to steal 'his house'. (it was found parked in Walmart five months later - after the snow cleared) Then he accused me of stealing - USB stick at first, which we found right where he left it, charging his phone. Then he start calling me kleptomaniac and started to be physically abusive with me if I did not do as he demanded. He injured my leg so I was limping for months.
I alarmed his physician and he did memory test which Jack failed. He sent him to a geriatrician who diagnosed him with frontotemporal and vascular dementia and asked for a new PT scan, and gave him anti-psychotic medication.


Since, I only came down on weekends to see how is he and buy him groceries. On Easter he called me all upset that his ex wife came down and wants to steal my ‘emergency fund’. His ex lives in a different province about 2000 km away and they have not been in contact for over 40 years, since their divorce; they have two kids, both having problems with drugs - (both using and dealing). When I arrived, a woman opened the door and told me she is his wife and called me a gold-digger and that the house should be hers and her sons. Jack was silent.
Since she used to have an old age home, I have confronted her and asked her if she is not capable of seeing that he is sick with dementia. The house still looks as if the bomb went off. Did she not notice his erratic behaviour? She was swearing at me. I have asked her to pack and leave. She refused.
I went to his physician who ordered Jack to the hospital involuntarily. They discovered that he had yet another stroke and two more physicians confirmed the diagnosis, suggesting he needs to go to long term care. I agreed.
But the hospital admin had different plans and released him. (Canada – we have issues with senior care in hospitals).
Jack is back to being abusive and calling me names. I am at my wits end. I get no help and I am quite depressed myself. Any advice?

OMG, my husband and I had such a similar experience with his father, who has FTD. He was able to talk well enough to fool police, who then felt sorry for him and refused to take him in to custody even after he'd been violent. He attracted unstable people who then tried to take advantage of him. He assaulted people. He was just completely out of control.

Thankfully he was declared incapacitated by two docs, but even so, he would fake medical conditions so he would be brought into the ER of different hospitals, where he proceeded to describe how he didn't have dementia and was being held prisoner (in the beautiful, expensive memory care units he kept getting kicked out of). He was able to temporarily convince nurses and doctors that he did not have dementia, and we got APS called on us more than once. It was a complete nightmare.

People suffering from FTD almost always have anosognosia, which means they cannot understand they are sick. They tend to blame the one(s) closest to them, and just cannot understand why anyone will want to take their freedom away. They are astounded that their destructive, illegal and dangerous behaviours are being called into question, because they cannot see that they are acting differently than they had before.

The only thing that saved his dad from destruction is that we did not give up. It was the worst, most difficult time of my adult life. :( He was kicked out of 6 facilities for egregious behaviour, and is now in his 7th. We just kept informing people over and over what FTD means. People hear 'dementia' and think 'Alzheimer's', and they assume you're lying when the afflicted patient can still remember their name, address, location, etc. This happened so many times with medical professionals. I thought we were living in the twilight zone a few times.

I understand completely what you're going through. I wish I had different or more meaningful advice for you, but the only thing I can say is don't give up--at some time no one will be able to deny that he's sick and belongs in institutional care.
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AlvaDeer Sep 18, 2019
Such good information from you here RedCrush.
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Matrix, another Canadian here, but in BC.

It does not matter if it is the disease that is causing him to be violent towards you, you call 911 and have him taken to the hospital with a police escort if needed.

Then you stand your ground with copies of the doctor's reports that say he has dementia and tell them in no uncertain terms that they cannot discharge him to home, as you are working in another city. Keep saying unsafe discharge. It may take time, but they will find a place for him in care.

When my step dad was in the hospital last fall we refused to have him brought home. There was no way my Mum could provide 24/7 care and we knew he was dying.

For those in the US, a Common Law relationship in Canada has the same rights and responsibilities as a marriage.
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Matrix Sep 18, 2019
I called 911 and neighbours called both the police and ambulance, and we were told that 'he is just fine'. My hubby is extremely manipulative (was always and now it is almost cunning) and he turns on the charm that turns into violence toward us the moment the services are gone.

He let his mask slip a few times - once in front of the geriatrician when he was swearing at him and calling him crook. He also does not want to recognize that he had a stroke and that this could be affecting him.

When he looks from the inside, he feels that the world is against him, but he is not able to see his own deficiencies.
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Wow Matrix, it sounds like things are very different in Canada than here.

I would talk to a different lawyer. The thing is, you have to protect your money if he is allowed to give it away and you can't do anything. That is not okay.

Please call the police next time he becomes physically abusive. He needs to have these things recorded to protect you from accusations of neglect and other things, as well as getting him treatment. It may be the only way to get him into long term care.

I can't imagine how heartbreaking all of this is, but if the medical system is so screwed up, well, you are going to have to do the hard things to get him into care.

Be persistent and this will eventually get sorted out.
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Matrix, is it possible to call the police when he becomes violent? He would go to jail and probably a mental hospital in the USA.

Is it possible to seek legal counsel and protect yourself financially? I would do that asap.

He is gone in his disease and he will never return, please do everything possible to take care of yourself and let the fornicating old abuser live with his choices.

Physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse and no help. You leaving sounds like the only solution to him getting the help he needs.

Hugs! What an awful way to end a 28 year marriage.
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Matrix Sep 17, 2019
I guess I could have called the police but I've chosen not doing so. Call me silly but I spoke to his doctor about it and asked him if this is him being abusive or the disease and he assured me (and he thinks my hubby is a complete jerk that needs to be under supervision 24/7) that it is disease.

That is what makes me so sad. I envision us holding hands and laughing in these golden years. Instead this.

The lawyer told me that we all chose our mates and that it is what it is or that I can start property separation which can get messy and expensive.

I insured the house and informed them that he has dementia (just in case).

I feel cornered :(

Thank you so much!
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I'm really sorry to hear this and I can just imagine what you're going though to put your heart on line.

Your safety comes first. He does not want your help and if he is 'competent' you can't make decisions for him. I think it is very nice of you to come by and still look over him.

If I were you, I would get lawyer's advice. There is lots of ageism that will be revealed because of your age difference, so be ready for that.
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I have to have misunderstood much of this. Did you leave him ALONE while you were working somewhere else after knowing he had dementia? If the answer is yes, then it is not surprising what you found on your return. I am relieved he did not kill himself with burning down the house or something else drastic.
You say you are "common law". I am uncertain where you are writing for and what legal authority that gives you?
I believe you will have to file for guardianship over your husband and place him in care. It sounds as though his dementia is at this time very advanced. He is of course not in control of himself and not responsible for his name calling, hoarding and irratic behavior.
Who drives your husband for groceries, and etc. when you were gone?
I know what you wrote is long, but I think I just cannot be getting the picture; I feel quite confused!
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Matrix Sep 17, 2019
He did not have dementia when I left. He was fully functioning and lively.
It was after his second stroke that he developed it as the stroke was massive. BTW did you miss that the hospital deemed him ok to be on his own?
I unfortunately am neither rich nor strong enough to overpower him. I need to go to work and this is where the issues happen. And he does not do things when I asked him too. That was then and this is now. We now live in different cities.

My "common law" (as well as capitalized ALONE) as you put it to demean me, means something. I also have the POA so I don't need guardianship, nor do I want to force him into anything. Since the hospital stated he is ok, I will leave it at that.

Keep in mind that he brought another woman in our bed. This is not something I can forget.

Your response felt really harsh, almost guilting me and demanding I do things for him even after his physical and emotional abuse.

Maybe I should remove my heart wrenching sob story as it seems to attract people that have mean streak in them. I was hoping for a soft place to fall and maybe someone would have a constructive advice.
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No, his ex left, not before she stole my 'emergency fund' which the police did not care to investigate saying that my husband probably gave it to her. Also she never called him, nor his kids called after.

His ex and her children were calling the hospital and telling horrible things about me, and maybe this is why the hospital didn't care to help me. In addition, hospitals are packed in Ontario and they don't want people to wait for long term care there (see this: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/bad-hospital-discharges-among-top-complaints-ontario-watchdog-finds/article34963271/), so they force you into discharge. They wanted me to be a caretaker which I refused to do. So basically they released him saying he is ok.

They even called capacity assessor who apparently said he is ok, basically saying to me, and three doctors that we don't know what we are talking about. The person did not visit our home, or cared to look at the photographs I supplied.

After today's accussations I am starting to think that I don't even want to be there. I know it is a disease but I have nobody to take care of me and I can't take the punches anymore :(

Am I a bad person for leaving him to his own devices? We are common law and I wonder if this is only a sign of the times, not only not having a support but instead being called names and being abused, and then later sued and maybe the house I lived in, invested and exclusively supported gone. My entire life just wiped away. It worked so far :(

BTW - his GP is fully aware of the situation and also thinks that he should be in LTC, but because Jack 'passed' capacity assessment it is up to him to make this decision, which he clearly does not want.

I am also affraid that he will do some harm and that I will be left to deal with consequences - emotional and financial.
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Is the woman who called you a gold digger still there too? I’m afraid I have no idea re Canada’s care - but if 2 physicians agreed he needed long term care how is the admin able to overrule their professional opinion and release him?

If you are in fear of him re his abusive nature and injuries from before you shouldn’t go and do his shopping. His doctor should be informed that you cannot do this due to risk of injury and he is incapable. That should mean he gets long term placement surely?

Im so sorry you are having yo go through this , my thoughts are with you for what they are worth. Keep us informed - please.
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AlvaDeer Sep 18, 2019
Dare Differ, I think Matrix might be up against the Canadian Health Care system which is different from ours in being more socialized medicine. When we think to change our own laws, leaning more toward a single payer system and so on we need to know we won't get the care we are used to. Matrix has listed several things above that we can't in the States imagine. They are clearly essentially discharging people who should not be, saying they are more well than they really are.
Matrix, it might be costly but I would go ahead with trying to separate out your financial life from his and save what you can of what you have invested. I have NO idea how common law works; for me I am "domestic partner" and it works different all the way around in that State wise I considered a "wife" of sorts even for taxes, but Federally I am NOT, but the Feds still want the proof that we file together by the State sent to them, and overall it is kind of a tangle. But in many ways it works to make me "wife" more or less. Do try to save what you can financially of yours; you will need it in future. And I mean even if you mean to stay in his life and provide him support. If you are already POA you have the power for some things, and not for others. But he isn't going to get better; try to save what you can for yourself. Your system is counting on you to care for him; there is no way you can do that and work and you have to work. I don't see what choices you have. And as I said, the awful thing is that there is almost nothing left of the man you chose to spend your life with. So sorry.
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