My 67 year old husband was determined by his neuro last spring as being "borderline" for cognitive impairment of an unknown specific kind. His follow up is in a few weeks. Earlier this week I sent her a letter detailing his history, personality, recent losses and suspicious behaviors as I cannot say these things in front of my husband. In the letter, I asked her to please consider or rule out ADD, Depression and HF Autism when she meets with us next month. He already thinks I am "trying to have him committed" even though it was his PCP who first voiced concern and referred him to a neuro. Today, more than a few things sparked grave concern on my part concerning my husband's cognitive health, including when we stopped for lunch at a restaurant while doing errands and he forgot to turn the car off. We were heading into the restaurant when I heard a noise from the car...and it was the engine running!! Even before...and after...this incident, he seemed to have several "episodes" of cognitive problems that concerned me. It was like this happened overnight. He would have issues and episodes that concerned me in the past but usually not so many in one day. Can a change for the worse happen seemingly overnight?? I have decided that, if he has one more day like this, I will try to get him into the neuro asap, as she told me to do at the first appointment. Of course, he is in total denial. After the car incident he said, "I bet you think I am totally off my rocker now."

If you dh has had a TIA, it could lead to a abrupt decline.

You are also at a point of heightened alert with your DH and will notice more odd behaviours.

I have two kids, a brother and a father with ADHD. The 'symptoms' of ADHD are not similar to dementia, and they present at a much younger age.

The incident with the car can not be explained by ADD, HF Autism etc. It is an activity he has done hundreds of times in his life and he forgot a basic step. It may be the first sign that driving may not be safe for him sooner than later.

Neither of my parents have dementia, but Dad definitely has some mental decline. A couple months ago, he could not figure out how to answer his cordless phone. A phone he has had for years. It was a one off, but those of the sorts of things I record.
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Reply to Tothill

Okay, I am going to approach this from a different angle.

Your husband is stressed out because he is exhibiting some kind of aging decline and he is worried that you are trying to have him committed and think he is off his rocker.

Men don't think like women and he is probably so stressed and worried that it is increasing the odd behaviors.

You really need to be open with him, he is probably concerned that you are going to split if there is something wrong and that creates more stress and worry, it is a vicious cycle.

I remember when I was twenty something and under a lot of stress, i didn't put my car in park but jerked the key out of the ignition, so that was a huge problem, quite a nightmare to get it fixed, but it was not a big deal because I was 20 something, it would be massive if I was 60 something and did the same stupid maneuver. Just something to think about.

If you are planning on sticking around regardless of the diagnosis, tell him. Let him know that you are here for the long haul, better or worse. Make light of the odd behaviors and see if that doesn't release some of his stress. We call it oldtymers and joke about how much trouble we are going to be in when we get older. My 1st memories of life are being told I would misplace my head if it wasn't attached and nothing much has changed for me. I am OCD about some things and others are absent minded actions that leave me scrambling to remember what I did. Tis' life.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
Monica19815 Nov 14, 2019
Thank you for your reply. I have done exactly what you suggested...and started to do so the day his neuro told him she felt he was "borderline cognitive impairment." I have been totally open with him, patient, assured him that I would always take care of him and be here for him..and would make sure we still had fun and traveled to our favorite places. I am also the one who is making sure that the neuro diagnosis him properly and considers all possible alternative reasons for the changes in him the past year or so.
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So sorry your husband is deteriorating so quickly. I agree with getting him really checked out to try to figure out what's really going on.

Not surprising that he is in denial. Very common.

Might not be a bad idea to try to get in earlier with neuro. I guess you'll have your hands full until then. I guess just try to roll with the situation and don't get too upset about the odd things that he is doing. Wait and see what neuro determines.
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Reply to againx100
Monica19815 Nov 14, 2019
Thanks so much for your reply. The hardest part is staying silent during these "episodes" until the neuro can figure out what is happening. If she determines this is NOT declining cognitive impairment, then I can address these issues with my husband. This waiting time...with no definite terribly difficult. If it IS dementia, etc. I will know the correct way to interact with him and I can start planning our future. Watching....and waiting for now.
One day my wife and I were both reading in the living room when out of the blue she asked , "Did you teach in the Geology Dept. at XYZ University?" WTF? I said, "Of course I did, for 36 years before I retired." The she asked, "Did you know Professor John Doe?" "I AM Professor John Doe!" "No, no, the OTHER Professor John Doe." It's been downhill since then. So many things appear to her as multiples. She believes other people are in the house. One person is two people. She refuses to believe we jointly own the house free and clear. Our wonderful son is a brother and sister. She works at the hospital taking care of babies, NOT. I'm not her husband most of the time. Her short term memory is basically non-existent. She constantly wants to go see her family, especially her mother who's been dead for twenty years. She only has a sister 2500 miles away who also has memory troubles. Life is basically a fantasy where she'll believe crazy things but refuses the simple truths of her life. She also has a very rare neuropathy and possibly Parkinsons with terrible tremors, lousy balance, and extreme difficulty walking. She's legally blind with macular degeneration. Of course she's taken some very bad falls. Too top it off, frequent episodes of IBS. For her, and for me, we're proof that getting old ain't for sissies. Thank God, I'm in excellent health for being 80.
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Reply to Allencic
Allencic Nov 16, 2019
I want to add that my wife was a Registered Nurse, worked in the Operating Room as a surgical nurse for many years. Earned a Bachelors Degree in Business from a local university while still working full time. Became the Director of the OR for a local community hospital. She also was in charge of a very successful women's health clinic and program and also recruited doctors for area surgical clinics. And now it's all gone as if it never happened.
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its been while now but what stood out for me was literally overnight, he stopped showering and began washing up at the sink. I actually think he forgot how to operate the controls, and multiple other "little" things. He began to lower the speed when driving, and began to bring in the outgoing mail. He also stopped mowing the lawn, and when I pressed him to show me how to operate the rider, became angry. He was a skilled cook, too and began forgetting essential ingredients like scampi without garlic, and so on. And from there more.....forgot how to use the computer, the TV remote, telephone, and more. About a 13 year run, he eventually no longer wanted to eat which resulted in life threatening weightloss, it was a long and difficult run. You need all the support you can get, so take good care of you.
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Reply to nursejen007
Monica19815 Nov 16, 2019
Thank you SO much for the reply. You mentioned something that I fear....his anger when he can no longer do certain things and I ask him to show me how to do those things, or when I have to stop him from doing things for his own and others' safety. I dread that time when it comes. We are waiting to talk with his kids until after his neuro appt. in a couple of weeks in case the neuro determines something else is causing his symptoms. My kids do know but they live 8 and 11 hours away. Thank you for confirming that things very well can happen seemingly overnight.
My husband was a firefighter for 25 years-after 4 years in the Marines. Very physically fit and an excellent driver. We were on the highway and I noticed he was breaking wayyyy to early from the car in front of him. His depth perception was severely altered. That was my first clue, and when it happened again, I started to worry. Yes, come to find out, early onset dementia at 53 years old. Passed at 61. Way too early
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Reply to Katmar

Yes, I had an aha! moment too. My husband had a new task at work and had trouble following the steps. It was simple for me so I made him a step by step with pictures to follow. Still couldn’t do it. Other parts of his job he did without a problem and I couldn’t figure out the steps. Asked primary care for a neurology appt and was told “he doesn’t need one.” That’s all my husband needed (although he admitted later he knew something was wrong.) Was let go from that job about a month later. A year later we finally got a referral and he was diagnosed with MCI at age 60. Progressed rapidly to an early onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Early on he saw a speech pathologist to help with memory strategies (mnemonics, etc). Early on we had lots of time to make memories and he was even able to work a retail job at the local mall. That helped his self esteem. Good luck.
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Reply to Franklin2011

My husband started having issues about that age. He's 80 now. We found out he has complex sleep apnea. A sleep machine helped imensly. About 10 years later he began having more serious issues sleeping too often and not taking interest in anything but eating and sleeping. He had a psyche test and was determined to have moderate to severe dementia. He was put on a drug called mementin. He gradually got back to his old self. The drug is very expensive if you don't have insurance. My recommendation is just keep trying different things. Don't give up on him. Join a gym and do age appropriate exercise classes. Many insurance companies will pay your dues. His last psyche exam said he didn't have dementia only mild cognitive disorder. He turns 81 in February. I'm so thankful I didn't give up on him.
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Reply to marystidham

About 6 months ago my husband started raising his fist as if to hit me. Not often, but enough to make me wonder if he was going into Alzheimer's. The doctor has confirmed it, and given him medication to slow it down. Sure hope it works. At that same time, my mother had a stroke and spent 3 months in a nursing home 500+ miles away, and we were driving back and forth taking care of selling her home and then getting her moved into our home. Having her here has helped my husband focus on something other than himself. He has been a big help with her.
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Reply to Alee123

Maybe mini strokes. TIA’s. Get him checked out for those because they are a forerunner of a major stroke. My husband would have one and be really weird, saying and doing things out of character then he would improve. Until his major stroke a few months later when we found out he’d had these earlier ones.
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Reply to Karen51

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