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He has been diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia and is totally unaware of it. He knows his memory is bad but believes he will get better.

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KoferDofer, my husband's journey with LBD lasted ten years. Very soon after diagnosis by a neurologist his primary care physician said, "I am sorry, Coy, but I am required to report this diagnosis to the DMV. They will revoke your license." She did and they did. I sold his car. This is extremely sad but extremely necessary.

At the advice of his social worker, we got him a personal mobility scooter. That would have been perfect for going around the neighborhood looking for garage sales, but that wasn't his thing. (Don't let him loose in the Science Museum gift store with his checkbook, though!) He used it to get a haircut and to go to the library and even to go to movies.

As the others have said, what's the problem with buying things at garage sale? Money? Storage space for what he buys? Dementia takes away SO many simple pleasures that I sure would let him have this one. If $$ is the problem, agree on a garage sale allowance and see how much he can get for that. If it is storage, others have given good suggestions for having the items disappear after a while.

I am so sorry that he is totally unaware of the diagnosis. It made it so much easier that my husband and I could talk about it. As you know, one of the striking hallmarks of Lewy Body is its high variability from day to day or even within a day. (All dementias are like that, but it is especially pronounced in LBD" I could say to him, "I know you don't need a baby sitter, dear. You've been taking good care of yourself forever. But we never know what that darn Lewy is going to do, so try to be gracious to the person who will be here with you. It will give me peace of mind while I am out."

Do you think one of his doctors could help him understand his disease?
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Brilliant, GardenArtist! I save the stack because dad once called PBS to ask where his "free gift" was and I was on on the hot seat because I "forgot" to mail it.
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YogaGirl, that's the greatest method of mailing! When that happens, I remove the check and void it.
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My dad does the catalog sales. But much worse is the charity mail. He responds to all of them by enclosing a check and gives me a stack to put in the mail box.
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Like Maggie had mentioned above, let hubby enjoy the yard/rummage sales... what is fun is the "hunt" and if the items aren't bankrupting you then I see no problem. It gets hubby out the house, gives him some exercise, helps his brain negotiate prices if he does that which makes him feel good thinking he got the deal of the century :)

As for driving, if you don't mind going to these yard/rummage sales, take turns driving... like if he buys something that takes time looking at, you offer to drive so he can study whatever he bought... make it a fun day for the both of you.

I find it fun seeing items that were popular in my childhood which brings back memories, but I don't buy them, it's just window [or driveway] shopping for me. My sig other had magazines scattered on the floor so we went looking for a magazine rack, which are hard to find new now a days... sure enough we found a nice wicker one at a yard sale for $1.00 which worked out perfectly.
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1. Can you plan other activities for the times when he goes to the sales, say going to someplace you both enjoy....maybe out for lunch, go a park (if you're in an area that is still warm enough for outdoor activity), for a walk in your community....someplace where you both can relax and there's really nothing to buy? I.e., redirect his attention from buying to nature - it might provide some relaxation for him. And nature is tremendously restorative and restful.

2. Another option is to go with him and try to limit his selections, or at least help him to pick things that can be donated to family members, such as grandchildren. If he can see a definite purpose to a specific article, at least his urge to buy would be channeled toward a more definable end use, rather than just buying for buying's sake.

3. I've gone through this, not with rummage or garage sales, but with catalog sales. Eventually it's been channeled more toward gifts for the great grandchildren, so there is a purpose as well as a feeling of well being and help.

4. You might also contact specific charities, including military ones if your husband is ex-military. I've read there is always a demand for books for troops in country.

Some animal charities and especially ones like the Humane Societies have lists of what they need. He could search for those things - like blankets or rugs for the animals, etc.

Again, if you can rechannel the need to buy toward things that can be really useful, it may provide that sense of being able to contribute and help address whatever it is that prompts our elders to want to spend and buy stuff they don't need.
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If he's not spending more than you can afford, I say let him have at it. When it gets too much, donate it to charity. If he is spending too much, see if you can put him on a budget.

Aside from that, I'm very sorry you are both going through this. And I might add that it's going to be much MUCH harder on you than on him. Take care of your health and your inner spirit. Stay strong. And pick your battles. ;)
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Would you be facing a difficult battle to end the driving? My guess is that you would. Search this site for loads of info on elders and driving. Is also important that you learn all you can about handling dementia.
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