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My wife's confusion has become more pronounced lately. For example, putting cloths on backwards, inside out, etc. I took her shopping for clothing, sometimes I have to help her in the dressing room. On this particular occasion there was a sale thus there were a lot of girls/women going in and out of the dressing room area. Since some of them were young girls I was uncomfortable helping my wife in the dressing room so I decided not to go in the dressing area, I explained to my wife what she needed to try on and sent her in and waited outside. She came out and all was good so I told her to go back in and change back into her street clothes. This is where she usually gets confused. It usually takes a few trips back and forth before she gets it right. This time after a few tries she came out with the new top on and her street clothes top on around her waist, I quickly sent her back in to correct the situation. The whole time I was getting anxious as to what she would do this time, About five minutes later she came out the same way, so I decided I had to go in and help her regardless of the traffic going in and out of the dressing area, After I got her dressed I told her we would come back later in the week when the store was less busy,


Activities like this are stressful and stress always makes things more difficult for her.


The last few times we traveled the stress has made her agitated. Going through security is so difficult for me to handle that we may not fly anymore. On this particular trip she got cold in the plane and was so upset that she tensed up, she was very angry. She started rocking back and forth in her seat, I tried to calm her to no avail. On top of that there were no blankets on board. I began to think we may have to cancel our plans and return home after we landed. Finally I set up the phone so she could watch TV, then everything was ok as if the previous incident had not occurred.


She has begun to get confused about a place where she used to work. She was convinced that she used to work at Hobby Lobby. Reluctantly, I explained to her that she never worked there, that she worked at a similar store. Naturally she became very defensive. With evidence I convinced her. I am learning that this probably was not the thing to do.


She has a friend, that she used to work with, this friend works at the movie theater. Now she is convinced that she worked at the same theater, since her friend works there. We go to the theater about once a week. Now she is telling people at the theater that she used to work there. She told this to the person that handled our ticket purchase. The girl thought it was nice that my wife worked there so she asked her details and all my could say was, 'How do you expect me to remember'. I need to try and discuss this with my wife before someone at the theater challenges her.


I read the article on Validation Therapy and believe it makes sense so I am torn on how to handle the situation.


Sometimes I am not as patient as I need to be and lose my temper and this worries me since the dementia is not nearly as bad as it is going to be.


This is just me venting.


Thanks,


Tim

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How about online shopping? She could still enjoy looking at things on the computer screen and choosing that way. Most places make things very easy to return if something does not work. As far as traveling, it could still be wonderfully satisfying to take car journeys where you can make stops, and change plans if and when you need to . You don’t have to stop doing the things you love, just do them differently. Lastly, regarding how upset she gets… I find that it helps tremendously when I tell my mom that it’s OK for her to get confused, that it’s normal and that I’m right here to help clear up the confusion. That seems to calm her down a lot.
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Timyom Sep 3, 2018
We are trying the online thing.....but she picks everything...ha!
Part of it is...she enjoys getting out of the house...so I try to accommodate her..gives her something to do..she just can’t do it by herself anymore.
We are taking a road trip to the beach for a week and it will interesting to see what happens.
Thanks
Tim
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Your wife is entering another stage. Its only going to get worse. Does she really need a new outfit? Does she really understand how she looks? Or are u just trying to do something nice for her. If traveling is confusing, then you may not be able to do it anymore. I guess she is continent at this point but there will come a time she is not. You cannot explain things to a Dementia patient. I found my Mom lost the ability to reason and to process what was being said to her early on. I would be thru a sentence and she was still on the first word. She was in the hospital once and these two student nurses were trying to tell her what was going on with her care. One was talking very fast. I could tell by my Moms face she had no idea what the girl was saying. I told the girl she lost Mom on the first word. Then explained she had Dementia and could not process what they were saying.

Your wife is in her own little world now. TV, dreams and reality are going to be one and the same. Her memories are all jumbled up. She is going to see things that aren't there. Her brain is dying. As someone else says here, her brain is broken.
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Timyom Aug 26, 2018
Thanks for your feedback.....
I think my wife is still aware of her appearance......at least most of the time...I think she is at a stage where she is not sure and needs guidance....and assurance.
A change of scenery is when the stress sometimes kicks in..and matters get worse....but with time she adjusts...thus airline travel is difficult because everything happens fast and the scenery changes quickly.
Car travel seems easier and less stressful.

Thanks
Tim
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I just looked up Validation Therapy. Looks like pros and cons but basically its validating what some says. Just go along with them. Because, that is what they think and you aren't going to chang it. Your wife telling the girl she worked at the theater is not hurting anybody. So don't argue with her. And there is no conditioning with a Dementia person. You can't tell them something over and over hoping it will finally stick. They forget a few minutes or seconds after you tell them. This is the frustrating part.
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Kudos, Tim for trying to be such as supportive husband! Wow. Regarding the shopping, I just have a suggestion that you select a few things she may like in her size, or a couple of sizes if you’re not sure, bring them home to let her try on, and return the rejects. People (including me) do this all the time! Even if it means 2 trips to the store, it would be so much easier on the both of you. I would not be comfortable with a man running in an out of the ladies fitting room, and my DH sure wouldn’t be happy doing it either.
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Timyom Aug 25, 2018
I have been fortunate that the dressing rooms have been nearly empty when I have taken her shopping. This instance caught me off guard, she has never come out of the dressing room wearing her top as a dress.
Lately I have had to be more actively involved in clothing selection.
I look for the correct size and coordinate the selection.
I will take you up on your suggestion.
Thanks,
Tim
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i know its hard, but its better to just agree with her statements even if they are not true. just agree and move on to something else. theres a lot of things I don't like doing with my mother(dementia) anymore because we just go around in circles. and that includes shopping for clothes. I cant let my mom make any decisions on her own because she isn't able to "think things through". This must be very hard for you since you are with her all day and nite.  I wouldn't focus on any incorrect/confused statements she making. you can listen and 'weed out' what she says from the nonsense to something you feel is true. just focus that she is not in harms way/safe.

and its always ok to vent and/or complain!
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Timyom Aug 27, 2018
Well...I hate to complain.....what she is going through is far more disruptive than anything I have experienced.....but nonetheless it gets taxing sometimes...
Seems like we are always looking for things..
If she would use nouns....how easy it would be.
I have gotten better at guessing....
The other day she asked me ...’How can you forget....we talked about it yesterday?’
Usually this is in reference to something she can’t find. Of course there are no nouns in her description...like...’Where is IT?’
This last time...I told her that she can blame it on me....that it is my fault that I don’t remember what she is talking about, which calmed her down... Then... she found what she was looking for....
She is always reminding me how good her memory is...
It is especially hard...since she has a very high IQ....the way she could process numbers was amazing....Now she can’t even write a check....She wrote a check for over a thousand dollars to hair stylist..he fixed it...And she was a speed reader...I use to tell her that we could not afford to purchase books at the rate she could ‘consume’ them.
Now she stumbles with words when she reads.
It breaks my heart.
If I could take this from her and give it to myself....I would do it in a heart beat...

Thanks
Tim
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These might be helpful to you. https://www.alzstore.com/please-be-patient-alzheimers-cards-p/0187.htm

In most dressing rooms there are rooms that are larger to accommodate wheelchairs. I don't think anyone would think twice about you going into one of those stalls with your wife. If they approach you with concern, hand them one of the cards.

I see the caregiver for the person in my life with Alzheimer's slowly making his own life smaller because he's afraid to ask people to accommodate her symptoms.
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Timyom Aug 26, 2018
Thanks for the link.....that would be very helpful....
Thanks
Tim
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Tim, it must be so incredibly hard and painful to see this. I can't imagine it with a spouse. My LO's (cousin, not a spouse) behavior was unusual at times, but, she was one that never liked shopping, so that was something that we never had to deal with after the dementia. I just shop for her and get her what she needs.

I know that the behavior and seeing them struggle, can be exhausting. I think that getting away and taking breaks replenishes your patience and energy. I'd encourage more of that. I also learned to adjust my expectations. I no longer expected her to provide correct information, recall names of objects, understand me or process information. If she did, it was great, but, normally she didn't and I just didn't dwell on it. If she was remembering things wrong, what did he really matter? I just tried to get into her world of all things new.
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Tim, your love for your wife is what will carry you through this process. You are realizing that you can't communicate with her the way you used to. I am experiencing the same thing with my mother. It's so hard to modify your own behavior when habits of a lifetime no longer work.

My mother exhibits all the behaviors you described. It's been so hard for me to learn NOT to try to explain things or help her understand when things aren't as she thinks they are (i.e., when she's wrong). She has a pathological need to be right about everything. I chalk this up to a need to have some control over something in her life.

No matter how much we can intellectually understand all of this, it doesn't make the day to day dealing with it any easier. Don't be hard on yourself as you navigate this new phase of your relationship. It is damn hard.
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Timyom Sep 3, 2018
Hard...yes...and confusing... not just for her.
My wife is similar when it comes to the desire to be right all the time....I was used to that....but before we could discuss her being wrong (not that I won)...but now...well it is just different.
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Tim
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Dear Tim,
Remember that to your wife, it is either easier, or it is real. For easier, grab a red scarf to tie on the handle to her changing room, or have her hand a bright dress from the racks on the outside of the door. Be sure to tell staff Not To clear it away. Simply say it is a Reasonable Accommodation.

As you so clearly understand, some memory errors just feel right... working at a similar store...her friend working there.
In the movie theater, be ready to jump in with a phrase like, Oh, it would have been before you started...or, when ____ worked here.
Think about it, you are sure of your reality. Anything or Anyone that might make you question your competancy, would be upsetting! No one wants to be challenged on what they believe is right.
Go with the flow! Be open to her providing details, or if someone else is interested in details, take what you understand, and be supportive. Ex: " Honey, was that before _____ started working here to? Or just, thank the woman for her interest, but the two of you want to find a good seat. This deflection, like the TV show, verses correction, works well.

You have a great grasp on what is going on, so this adjustment will be pretty easy for you. Just remembered, perception is reality. No one wants their grasp on reality questioned, even if they know they are I'll.
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Timyom Sep 3, 2018
Thanks for the advice....you make some excellent points. I will try your suggestions.
No one except close family knows her diagnosis...not even friends.
I am not sure she remembers what was said during that Doctors visit.
I have desperately tried to protect her from the outside world...I know I cannot do that forever.
Sometimes I have been better at ‘going with the flow’ and sometimes not.
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Tim
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You are a good guy for trying to go shopping with her...but I can only imagine the strength and patience it would take not to mention the delicacy of dealing with all those other women and girls...two thoughts on that are to just select a few things that she likes/has interest in, charge it, and take it home to try on and then return without her if you can to bring the rejects back. I find that shopping on line saves so much energy...a favorite of mine is Lands End because of their good sales, array of sizes, and ability to find comfy stuff...love the sport knit pants with elastic waist that can be worn with a variety of tops...but of course it depends on what you need.

For someone with dementia the stress of travel, change of environment, layers of security and following the rules and procedures is totally overwhelming. It was a trip a few years ago that made us realize mom had an issue and it was their last trip. A sad reality as it was also my last staycation and sliding deeper and deeper into the caregiver role.

You will learn over time that there is no one answer, and that the easiest path is one that is not contradictory or corrective. You cannot win this game. And to be sure, no matter all that I know and have learned, no matter all the best guidance here and elsewhere, we are human, and the demands on our patience are great. Remember that as much as they forget, if you lose yours, they will not remember for long if at all.

I think validation is a technique you can learn, but in the end I think it helps to try to take things in stride and just be easy-going about all the issues. Check out the local Alzheimer's Assn and see if there is a support group you might want to attend...or join an on-line one. You also might want to check into other resources so you can have a bit of time off. It is an impossible task to do 24/7.
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Timyom Sep 3, 2018
It is interesting that you would mention Lands End...since I ordered shorts and a bathing suite for her last week....I got the size right on the shorts...but missed the bathing suit...
Apparently bathing suites are sized completely different that shorts.
A Support group would be nice...but I am not in a position...yet... to go somewhere for the evening without her knowing where I am going..since, as I mentioned in another response....I am not sure she knows her diagnosis.
I know I cannot put this off forever... her not knowing.
I am waiting until she is ready to see a specialist again.
The last time was a disaster.
Thanks
Tim
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