Been my wife's sole caregiver for 8 years, trying to do my best for her.

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Yes I was. My wife, Luz, passed away yesterday morning. I did everything I could for her. And I mean everything. I not onlycooked for her I would feed her when necessary. I would hold her and talk to her. The subject did not matter, I would just talk to her. I would wash her, bathe her, change her underwear, wash her from top to her feet. Never got very good at doing anything for her hair but I would wash it.
I put alarms on the doors. I kept pads under her for incontinence. I would do laundry two or three times a day. I cleaned the carpet at three in the morning when she would have an accident. It got so bad I would have to stand her up and hold her while I washed and dressed her. I brushed her teeth. I would comb her hair every morning. And so much more. Toward the end i would hire companions to be with her so I could do the shipping. That was difficult leaving her in the care of complete strangers but they turned out to be good ones.
She only had one friend in the state but she was helping her disabled husband most of the time.
If you can think of anything else I probably did it. I had to keep reminding myself that her actions were the result of that damned disease.
If I or anyone else here can help you please ask. I can be a very long journey and we are here for you.
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Kimber166 Mar 2019
OldSailor - I'm sorry for the loss of your wife. You showed her so much love in the way you took care of her.
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I too am an old sailor, old cop, old man and full time caregiver to my wife of 58 years. She took care of me, our girls, our home, our everything for the first fifty two years while owning two small businesses. We are what we are because of her. We are in stage seven of ALZ and I now take care. of all her needs. Our kids and family live 1500 miles from us. The dark journey is just about six years and counting. We are still in love and I don’t want to leave her for a minute and do not know what to do when she passes. I am burnt out and sometimes depressed and will not listen to the kids nor doctors when they urge me to get help or place her in a facility. I am a Neanderthal, a thick Mick. A man still in love. I cannot nor will not abandon the love of my life. I sit here each morning and softly cry for her. Then she gets up and another difficult day faces us. So I say to you, love your spouse now, regardless the difficulty as she will soon be gone. I have said to the doctor and girls an old cliche; no surrender, no retreat. I love you Carol Ann and shall never abandon you. You have given so much to me and our family, that what I am giving is minute in comparison. I hear you stirring, about to get up. I will try my best today.
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Daughterof1930 Mar 2019
You’re amazing Darby. Your wife is blessed to have you in her corner. Do look after yourself so you can continue to look after her
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Same as Old Sailor here, 11 years and counting, except I’m an old truck driver. Not only that I’m an old sailor too. Sailboat sailor. I nearly panic at the thought of putting her into AL. What would I do without her? If I give up it will be for a medical reason (either of us) or I just get too old, feeble and unable. The pleasure of her company is worth it all. When this happens you find out what love really is. For 47 years I’ve never tired of looking at her, hearing her voice or having her near me.
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cetude Mar 2019
Wow..that's the most beautiful post I ever seen. I take care of my mum suffering end-stage Alzheimer's. Although she is incredibly difficult to care for and even has forgotten how to feed herself (and even swallowing is a chore), I have to concur.."the pleasure of her company is worth it all." And I truly never tire of looking at her, or having her near me. One only has one mum. I know painfully well when she dies I will never see her smile or hear her voice (she talks very very little but when she does it's precious).
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Yes there are, I’ve seen a number of them post here, so hoping some will soon see your message and post. My mother had a completely devastating stroke a number of years ago that took away every ability. There was no alternative but nursing home care as she lost all physical abilities. My dad was a much healthier man then and we watched him spend every day, literally never missing, with her in the nursing home. He’d go home at night for dinner and come back to make sure she was tucked in and kiss her good night. He oversaw her care daily with love and devotion we were amazed by, and the staff was amazed as well. We know his care was a reason the staff also cared more and she got such good care. It’s a special thing to see a husband care for a wife. That said, I hope you’re not so stressed and worn out by this that you can’t care for yourself. You’re no good for your wife if you can’t take good care of yourself. There is likely a point in the journey where she may have to live where there is professional care for her, if so that’s okay, it then becomes caregiving in a different way for you. You’re then her advocate. Blessings to you as you walk this road, it’s so hard. Don’t be fearful to get more help when you need it
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I applaud any husband or wife, for that manner, that cares for their spouse who has alzheimer's disease.
We all expect that someday our parents may need extra care, but no necessarily your wife/husband. In some ways you are much closer to your wife. In my case, she taught me things about life that I never would have experienced without her. We traveled, we laughed, danced, she helped raise our two kids that she wasn't the biological mother, we love dogs, and we moved to Florida to enjoy life.
All of a sudden, a year ago, she often didn't recognize me. She would go over to the neighbors and ask to get this man out of her house. This would happen almost daily. I did everything at home, cooked, cleaned, did laundry, outside work, etc. It was a full time job caring for her. I couldn't leave her, even to go into the grocery store for five minutes. She would be outside roaming the parking lot. So, when I needed to run errands, twice a week, I would have a service come to be with her. They were very nice, and very helpful for my well being.
It became more difficult to care for her, as she didn't always recognize me. It became impossible for me to give her a shower.
We moved up to Atlanta to be nearer my daughter. After 4 months of being here, she started going to the neighbors again asking to have that guy removed. One of the neighbors even called the police, thinking that there was some sort of domestic issue going on. She also started hitting me. That's when I knew what I had to do.
Well, after 9 months of taking care of her, I finally had to place her into a Memory Care Facility. It was the worst day of my life.
I go in to visit her every day. It was really hard at first, I would leave in tears. But, after five months, I know she is well taken care of, and she is in a good place. I don't know how often she recognizes me, but she often tells me she loves me.

Take care of each other, you never know when it is going to be the end of your world together.
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Cherrysoda Mar 2019
Good question. Yes, I am one of them. It has been over ten years since the doctor said my wife had Alzheimer's. She was then only 64 years old. It has been a rough road to walk for both of us. Up until February 2018, she was home with me. We have two sons, out of state. So, I was and am her caretaker, though for a far these day, She in in a memory unit, The journey to that place is another story. We have been married since age 21, 53 years.

I visit the AL, memory care, just about every day. It is painful when I go and hurts when I leave, She wants to come with me. I wash her clothes and bed sheets. Good point, that staff care more if I am there often. Never thought, the 'golden years' would be like this. But, you have to adjust to what you are faced with. I am stressed and worn out. That is the reality of dealing with a loved one with this condition. Yes, I am still and always will be her advocate. Just, do your best for your wife! It is not your fault or hers.
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So sorry for your loss OS. From what ive read since i came here looking for advice when my mom was sick, you have been so tboughtful and caring to everyone here and to your wife. Please take time for you. That would be the best way to honor your wife. Again my thoughts are with you and im so sorry. Deb
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I am sole caregiver for my wife of 52 years, she having 15 years with Parkinson’s and Lewy body dementia for the last 2 years. She can not stand. I do all showers, dressing, washing, shopping and the cooking which (the cooking) I actually enjoy. Periodically I explode, yelling at her when she cannot make the transfer from toilet to wheelchair with my assistance. I am good for about 7 days and then under my breathe, sometimes not so under, I hear myself saying “I have no life.” I can destroy an entire day of good work, a shower, dressing, two loads of wash, three meals on a tray....with just a 60 second outburst of nasty words. Then depression of course. We both believe in suicide.
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mmcmahon12000 Mar 2019
What do you mean? You both believe in suicide.....what does that mean? I know this is none of my business but please talk with someone. If your sad, I know you can reach for some help. Call the Alzheimer's Association. They have a helpline with some really good people that can help you. You won't feel so overwhelmed or angry bc they listen without any judgement. I battle depression every day. But I always "keep moving forward". That mantra has kept me going. I hope things get better for you. Feel free to holler if you need to vent. We're here for ya!
Yes, I too have been looking after my wife at home during the past eight years in the midst of Alzheimer's. It's great that you are so caring; and after 56 years of a beautiful marriage with 5 children and 14 grandchildren, I understand your love and care. However, do see that you need help to come in at times, rather than do everything yourself. In fact, the best way to keep your wife at home with you is to have help/companions come in, too.

Also, you can learn from this website and from other caregivers many tips about how to care better. As you will already have learned, Alzheimer's is progressive; and you need to learn how to deal with its progression. There are many technical aids that can be brought into the home--hospital beds, ceiling hoists, toilet aids--as well as advice from social workers, physiotherapists, doctors and nurses. Don't try to do everything yourself. Prayers and encouragement.
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OldSailor is one who takes care of his wife.
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