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His behavior is chaotic to say the least. He is just giving his money away to his ex wife to be his chauffeur. Is about to be evicted and has not paid any bills and has been hospitalized twice in the last month.

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Any kind of dementia is hideous, but early onset is particularly disturbing to me. I am so sorry for your situation.

Your basic options are to leave or to stay.

If you decide to leave, consult with a family law attorney about divorce. You thought you were marrying an equal partner and it turned out you got a dependent. Your husband will probably need someone else appointed as his guardian. A court will handle this -- you won't have to find one.

If you opt to stay married, you can become his guardian, place him in a suitable care center, advocate for him, see to it that he is getting good care, but not provide hands-on care yourself. This will have financial implications for you. Consult an attorney specializing in Elder Law to set things up as advantageously as you can.

(I know a woman who did both. She became her husband's guardian and also got a divorce. She loved him and wished him well and was willing to handle his affairs, but she also wanted full control over her own life.)

Or you can decide to be his guardian and his primary caregiver, continuing to live with him as long as that is possible. This is a huge, huge commitment. You will definitely need to become educated on dementia so you'll know what to expect and how to cope with it. Your husband's illogical and alienating behavior is part of the disease. The damage in his brain is causing it. If you blame him for it and take it personally you really can't successfully be his hands-on caregiver. But some education can overcome that if you are devoted to the idea.

None of this is your fault. None of it is you husband's fault. Dementia is a cruel, cruel disease for all touched by it. There simply is no ideal outcome. I hope you find the path for you that is as good as it can be.
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Well, as you are his wife, then all things being equal you are his next of kin and he, diagnosed with early onset dementia and with a clear recent history of erratic and irrational behaviour, appears to lack capacity.

So you can do as Pam Stegman initially suggested, and apply for guardianship of your husband. This would make you responsible for all decisions connected with his welfare - where he lives, how he is to be cared for, where the money is to come from, everything.

But, again forgive me, you left him three weeks ago because he - a sick man with dementia - told you not to touch him. His ex-wife stepped up and took him to the hospital. You are annoyed because he was out of town with her for six days and didn't trouble to call you... I know this is a crisis and you must be upset, perhaps frightened, but it doesn't sound as though you have been very understanding of how ill your husband is.

If you care about him, you need to do the stepping up. It will be very hard going. It will require great resilience and selflessness, especially during those times when he is angry or hostile and takes it out on you. You will need to find out if there are care facilities suitable for him, and organise applications for admission and for Medicaid if he is unable to pay. You will need to take charge of his finances, sort out unpaid bills, work out what his sources of income are and manage those for him... Everything that needs doing, you'll have to do.

So don't apply for guardianship unless you are very sure that you can stick with the job, because it is a serious legal burden and you will be held to a high standard of care by the courts. I don't think anyone would judge a wife of only 18 months for not feeling equal to the task.

Are you on your own, or do you have friends and family who can help and advise you?

Pam, could Franjo make an application for guardianship but ask the court to appoint a guardian?
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I am married...18 mos...I want to know what options I have..I don't want to see him taken because he has diminished capacity mentally..there are people left in this world who care about one another..the procedure was a cardiac Cath...
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Also, forgive me, but you don't say how long you've been married - are you actually married, or is it less formal than that?
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So what do you want to do, Franjo?

And what procedure was your husband in the hospital for?
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I left him about three weeks ago..he told me not to touch him..left town with the driver six days..no phone call.. no nothing...every word he uttered was a lie...I
I find out she has the car..I'm running to the hospital to check on him he is there alone....procedure done...I try to go back afterwards...he is tired and he will call...so yes he has alienated me
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He's about to be evicted, he's not paid any bills, he's paying his ex-wife to drive him around - so where do you fit in? Are you living with him? How long have you been married?

When you say he has alienated you (i.e. he has treated you so badly that you have rejected him) do you actually mean that he is excluding you (i.e. he is shutting you out)?
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Get a lawyer, NOW and work on getting a Guardian/Conservator appointed for him. Contact legal services for the elderly and disabled in your area.
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