My wife and I have been married for almost 21 years. We are 15 years apart in age, I am 59 and she is 74 as of last month. Age was never a problem between us and honestly my wife was one of those people who looked and acted much younger than she was. She was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia a little over 5 years ago but had been showing symptoms 2-3 years before that. In the beginning the situation was complicated by the fact that my dad was in the middle stages of Alzheimer's. He was in assisted living and later memory care until he died in his sleep in early 2014. As I promised her I would, I have cared for my wife myself until 5 months ago when it became clear that it was beyond my abilities to care for her adequately. She is now in memory-care in an out of town skilled nursing home (1.5 hours away) where her daughter is Director Of Rehabilitation. By placing her there, she see's one daughter multiple times a day, her other daughter (who is an RN) see's her three or four times a week and I also commute 3 days a week and spend several hours there with her. That way the girls as well as the grand kids can see her often. I am retired so I can commute easily. Had I placed her here close to our home I would be able to go but the girl's jobs would not allow them to visit nearly as much. I pay for her care 100% out of pocket.
She has progressed steadily the last couple of years and has lost most of her motor skills as well as control of her bodily functions. She has not recognized the kids or grand kids for a couple of years and she now no longer seems sure who I am. She has not been able to really talk or retain any of a conversation for a year or more. Her emotions are constantly changing, laughing then suddenly crying and sort of gibbering for lack of a better term. Sometimes she appears to be seeing people who are not there also. She colors in coloring books, snuggles a baby doll most of the day now. When I try to talk she seems totally disconnected to what I am saying so most days I just sit and hold her hand or help her eat her meals.
My problem is that I have been caring for one or two dementia patients for 12 years. Intimacy with my wife ended years ago because she no longer seemed to understand what was happening. Have not been to the movies or had a vacation in years. I have spent weeks with little conversation, could not really enjoy a hobby or visit with friends. For the last 5 months I do everything alone including eating, taking my walks, watching TV etc. I do not plan to abandon my wife nor do I plan to change my visitation habits or stop paying for her care but I am lonely, bored and concerned for my own well being. For my own health both physically and mentally I think it is time that I make an effort to get my life back and try to find a compatible female companion who I can discreetly spend some time with, but I have some guilt issues to deal with. I was hoping to find out how others deal with this situation ?