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Hi there,
My common law husband is 22 years my senior. He'll be 78 in a month.
Three years ago he had a stroke, and then another one two years ago. After the first stroke he developed severe aphasia that didn't resolve and with the second stroke in 2018 he was diagnosed both with vascular and behavioural fronto-temporal dementia.
For those who are not familiar with this rarer type, this is the one where the memories are not really affected but behaviour is.
My husband, who was always thrifty, not to call him cheap, and who would drive to another store to save 50 cents on his purchase, started to send thousands of dollars to Trump! $10,500 to be exact to a billionaire. And we are in Canada! And we are barely pulling though this pandemic as my business was beyond decimated.


While his doctor is saying he has 'advanced dementia', I'm not able to live with my husband due to physical and emotional abuse, with him threatening that he will hurt himself and call the police and blame me, to blaming me that I'm stealing from him and that I'm putting something in the air to poison him.


He is so cheap that now that I live in a different residence, he heats up the place with an old gas fireplace and gas stove, and I think this is where this 'poisoning' idea might come.


However, he does not want to go for medical evaluation, and from what I saw from reading case file, nobody will declare him financially incompetent as they believe people are allowed to act financially against their own interest.


I daily worry but for all my help and support and paying all the bills I only get abuse.


Did anybody had similar issues? Any advise?

FTD is the nastiest of all the dementias, especially for the spouse/caregiver. Approximately 2% of the populace gets it and most of society doesn't know about it, much less understand its incidious nature. The medical profession is beginning to notice it, but many doctors find it easier to sweep under the rug, so the caregiver must stay alert and pro-active. I found that the "Memory Care Clinic" did more damage than good for FTD. Do take actions to protect yourself and the money.

For our situation currently the SSRI uptake inhibitors combined with Buspar help even the volatility... but it's a very volatile situation.

UCSF actually has a support group specific to FTD that is meeting this Thurs. March 11. Here is a link to register.   I hope you will attend.

To register for the meeting, call 1.800.272.3900. please indicate that you would like to register for the San Francisco UCSF FTD Support Group Meeting on March 11th, 2021. 


Also, England has a larger network and organization. This Wed. March 10 they are having an annual conference, with many informed speakers. The challenge is the time difference, but doable. The conference lectures can be replayed at your convenience; Here is the contact information for that event this Wednesday.

Upcoming FTD Annual Seminar
The FTD Annual Seminar will be taking place online on Wednesday the 10th of March from 2:30pm to 4:30pm GMT.

 
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Reply to cwinter
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Imho, he needs to be seen by a specialist. Prayers sent.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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My heart goes out to you. Contact an elder law attorney who will guide you properly. It doesn't make sense to get opinions here from anyone who doesn't live in Canada and isn't a lawyer.
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Reply to NYCmama
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Take him for a check-up with his neurologist. Explain the problems you are having. His doctor will declare him mentally incompetent. Ask for hospitalization so that he can be put on a regimen to decrease anxiety and inappropriate behavior. Then, work with the social services department to have him placed in a long term care facility that can keep him safe without creating more of the problems you need to correct.
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Reply to Taarna
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Matrix Mar 5, 2021
That's the idea. Doctor already considers him incompetent but social services are treating him as 'confused sweet old man'. The geriatrician who years ago stated his incompetency had the hospital override his and psychiatrist's opinion! The same geriatrician also fell for 'sweet old man' initially, but he came for a home visit unannounced and my hubby showed him 'what he is made of' if you know what I mean.
Everybody else is washing their hands and dumping this all on me. I can't take it alone anymore :(
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Not much you can do unless you can get a Dr to say he is incompetent to handle his own affairs and is at danger to himself or others.
If you can't get control of his affairs then you might go ahead and file for divorce so you won't get stuck with owing for things he's purchased or other bills.
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Reply to bevthegreat
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drooney Mar 5, 2021
Do you need a divorce in "common law marriage"??Most if, not all , US states to do not recognize. Canada may be very different.
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"And securing my own elder years come partially from the house that he lives in, as it is mine as well."

That's if he doesn't manage to destroy it or make such a mess that it depreciates in value.

So, he "allowed" this APS-like person to spend an hour with him, is there any chance of having this evaluation happen in the home, without elaborating to him what it's about? My mother only had dementia, but we never had any real doctor Dx. When hiring aides to start 1hr/day to get her used to them, they sent a nurse to her home to evaluate/test her. Two of us where there as well, so it was less "scary" or "threatening" to her.

I understand they told you it has to be voluntary, but at some point there must be someone with a few working brain cells that know that will never happen! The state my mother lived in had DMV rules that expected someone to self-report their dementia! How ridiculous is that? All too often those with dementia are in denial. They don't have a problem, we do. They are just fine, thank you. I never used the "D" word around my mother. The laws also state dementia patients have rights and can't be forced to do things. There are ways around that, generally coaxing and trying to get them to think it's their idea.

If you have the equivalent of Elder Law attorneys in Canada, it might be best to consult with them. There must be some way to keep a person with mental issues from harming themselves and being able to get treatment. It isn't about the money, it's about him not being competent to take care of himself.
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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Matrix Mar 5, 2021
That's actually very helpful, thank you.
The doctor said that he needs to be checked by a specialists anyway due to different meds he is taking and that he demanded competency test, so it will happen sooner or later.

Even when he gets confused and forgets my last name, or calls me his daughter or mother in law, everybody thinks this is sweet. They feel because I'm younger they can dump him on me.

Social worker told me that he said that he doesn't want to be evaluated and that is it - and he was there to check if he has competency for making a decision about the long term care!

This is why now I tell everyone I'm permanently living away so that I put liability on their shoulders. And hopefully I / or someone else manages to get him to the geriatrician.

This is very sad because he lives like a rat now. I feel for him, and understand that it must be a mayhem in his head. But if the specialists ask him about it he would tell them the same things he's telling me - but no! He does not pass any of the memory tests but they attribute this to his aphasia.

I don't know. Maybe my hubby is a mastermind.
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You were never legally married as I understand it? I am uncertain how that works in Canada, and even in the USA common law varies, some states not allowing it. You also don't live together any longer, and I would imagine this man is no longer the man who was your loved partner. I am uncertain why you feel such strong obligation to him. For myself I would be now more worried about securing my own elder years. I also don't know how the law works for someone who has memory, but has behavioral incompetency. I would get this clarified by an attorney if you indeed intend on remaining somewhat/somehow/somewhere involved with this gentleman. So sorry for what you are both enduring.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Matrix Mar 4, 2021
We have been together for 30 years. Yes, he's abusive but he also needs help more than ever. I do not subscribe to a school of 'dump them when they become a problem'.
Common law in Canada has equal rights to the marriage. As a spouse I get certain rights that I would not have as a single - even if we live in the separate residences.
And securing my own elder years come partially from the house that he lives in, as it is mine as well.
The situation really sucks :(
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Apparently, your significant other is not incompetent if you can't manage to get anyone to declare him incompetent, financially or otherwise. As long as he has money and is considered financially competent, he can send his money to whomever he chooses, even a billionaire, whether you agree with him or not.

Why would he have to go for a medical evaluation, by the way, if you're saying "in 2018 he was diagnosed both with vascular and behavioural fronto-temporal dementia" and "his doctor is saying he has 'advanced dementia'". Those ARE medical evaluations, aren't they? Are those diagnoses insufficient to deem him incompetent in some way?

It's sad you're going through such a thing & that your business was decimated, and that you didn't get married to this man a long time ago so you'd have some joint accounts right now. A consult with an elder care attorney would probably be your best bet at this point.

Wishing you the very best of luck getting a resolution to your issue.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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Matrix Mar 4, 2021
Yes, these are standing diagnosis. He also had two massive strokes and has heart issues.

His GP considers him incompetent, however the assessment has to be done by a Geriatrician. My hubby does not want to go to that meeting. In Canada, even competency assessment has to be done on voluntary basis.
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Wow! I am so sorry to hear that the pandemic decimated your business. Are you able to recover at all? I hope so.

In reading your responses, you seem to be looking for some way to declare your husband incompetent or not able to make rational decisions. Having been diagnosed already with these progressive degenerative diseases, you may have to wait until they affect more of his day to day living before the drs agree that he's “not there”. The VaD may eventually cause memory loss but the FTD may not. Anyone with advanced dementia is already close to being “not there”, they already have compromised cognitive function. Telling you he has the right to act against his own interest isn't very helpful for someone with his diseases. I would create a journal and document all those instances where he says he'll hurt himself or when he accuses you of theft, anything at all that suggests unusual behavior, like writing large checks if he's never done it before or can't really afford it. Take that information to his dr.
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Reply to sjplegacy
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Contact the Assoc for FTD for advice. I know that there have been Canadians on their website.
When someone has a specific diagnosed illness try their websites as those folks have usually seen it all as it relates to them.
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Reply to vegaslady
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What kind of advice are you seeking? To protect yourself from his financial excesses in a Canadian common-law marriage? Or what your moral/ethical responsibilities are if you wish to leave the situation? I don't know if they have elder law attorneys in Canada but I would invest in a 1-hr consult to at least know for certain what (if anything) can be done to protect yourself financially, I'm so sorry for the distressing situation you are in. May you get productive answers to your questions and receive peace in your heart.
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Reply to Geaton777
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Matrix Mar 3, 2021
My question is more how to show authorities that he is 'not there'.
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Not sure what your province determines “common law” or recognizes you as married. Especially since you are no longer living in the same home.

He has dementia, not “poisoning”. He’d be dead by now if that was the case. I’d be more worried about him blowing up the house.

I know nothing about Canada’s laws, but you should see an elder attorney. You need to separate your finances, because with his dementia-fueled spending he will drain you dry.

He’s old enough to be your father. Your situation is very similar to people on here who are worried for their parents. And it sounds like he treated you like a child even before his mental decline.

Is there an Adult Protective Services in your area? They can do a home check.

The abusive behavior won’t improve. Do not even think of going back to him. You’re still young and can find love again when you are ready.
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Reply to LoopyLoo
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Matrix Mar 3, 2021
I have separated our finances and because we are common law, other than house which we both own, we have the rest separated.

As of recently, I've told him he needs to pay all bills for the residence he lives in, just as I pay for mine.

In Canada, you can be common law even if you don't live in the same residence.

I consider legal separation however this would be a financial hit for me.

I wish to help him, but from a distance.

My question is more how to show authorities that he is 'not there'. I called something like APS and the guy said on his one hour visit that he didn't notice anything weird. (he must have been blind as the house is a mess, food everywhere, my hubby not wearing clean clothes or washing himself).

I would like to declare him incompetent. At this stage he can't remember my last name, or my birthday, but he knows his name, his birthday and his address, and apparently this is enough to declare him 'competent'.

The worst part, because of the age difference that I'm being called a gold digger. Nobody cares that we are 30 years together.
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