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Both of us 80 years old. She takes no medication. She can recall minute details from way back when, but continually asks what day it is. She also describe events that never happened or takes info from two separate stories and makes as one. She will get angry when I tell her something I already did, but she thinks not and will get belligerent about it.


She is additionally crippled with osteoarthritis which curtails her daily activities and gets angry when she can't do things like she used too. Somewhat of a neat person who has a place for every thing and a little bit of a germophobe.


I must admit that I can be a little (grin) testy at times and have been seeing a therapist from time to time to help me deal with this situation. Suggestions appreciated.

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Tom; I'm glad that you're going to talk to your (mutual) PCP about your concerns about your wife's issues. Many doctors can be quite skilled at getting a reluctant patient to see a neuropsych for testing.

The other thing I can suggest is that perhaps you BOTH go for testing; posit it as a baseline exam so that you'll know down the road if either of you is starting to have memory issues.

Good luck with dealing with this difficult situation.
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EngineerTom Feb 1, 2020
Good idea thanks
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I think you've gotten some great answers here so I just wanted to add that I purchased my mother an Alzheimer's clock which shows the day of the week, the time and whether it's day or night and the date. It says nothing about 'Alzheimer's or dementia' on the clock, and it's a GREAT aid for people like your wife who have no idea what day of the week it is. It's helped my mother tremendously.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=alzheimers+clock+calendar&crid=2CWSY5UWIC9NT&sprefix=alzheimers+clock+%2Caps%2C1077&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_17

Sorry you are going through this.............the argumentativeness is the worst, in my opinion, and something that never gets easier. I always agree with whatever my mother says, and then she will change her mind so she can continue the argument. That's when distraction comes in handy............a snack, a photo album, a change of subject in general sometimes help.

Wishing you the best of luck getting her tested & moving forward
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EngineerTom Feb 1, 2020
Clock is a great idea, thanks
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My husband resisted testing for years. I even tried slipping a note to his doctor, asking for dementia screening, but the doc office said "we can't". But I found out his insurance would pay for a "comprehensive health assessment" (CHA) that INCLUDED memory function, performed right at that same doctor's office. Now husband has seen a neurologist, is getting meds that help. Check out CHA. Good luck!
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tf110862 Feb 2, 2020
Impressive! Great job with your research!! Glad the meds are helping! Good for you!
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Mm.

What do you hope any testing might achieve, just at this point?

It won't convince your wife that there is anything the matter with her, you know, especially not if she is determined not to know. You could hand her a triple-signed certificate from world-famous specialists saying "your memory has been assessed at 67% of normal function" and she STILL wouldn't accept the verdict.

Inside her head she is carrying on as normal; but her husband is not paying attention, or is making things up, and the world at large has stopped being as comprehensible and as manageable as it should be. It's not HER. It's everyone/everything else.

Plus she's in pain. Is she taking any pain relief medications, or any other types?

From what you describe, she is showing almost text-book signs of the early stages of dementia. Whether or not investigating, diagnosing and potentially treating it, though, would succeed in slowing its progression or in improving her and your future quality of life is a very complicated subject.

Do you and she share a good PCP or gerontologist? Is there a medical practitioner you (both) trust with whom you (yourself) could discuss the situation?
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EngineerTom Jan 31, 2020
Yes we both share same doctor. I have an upcoming appointment so will talk to him . Thanks for the reply
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My step mother was very resistant to going to a Neurologist, finally got her to go 5 years ago, she went twice and never did find out what was wrong.

Last July we moved her here in Fl. Last month I took her to a local Neurologist, they gave her the "Who's the President test" , she had no clue, we then had an MRI, it showed that she has Front Temporal Dementia, her brain is shrinking.

The reason we want to know as her husband wants us to go for guardianship, as she has a criminal for a son and is concerned that once he is gone, her son will try and take her out of AL or get money from her. We have her DPOA, but that will not stop him from taking her out, guardianship will.

I convinced her by telling her that we wanted to keep them out of memory care as long as possible, and that the doctor wanted to support this, thus the testing was critical, so she agreed.

There is no cure for this, no meds to help her, as soon as her husband dies she will be placed in memory care, he is 90 and in very poor physical health but mostly of sound mind.

I am wondering if you can get her doctor on board, recommending some further testing, sometimes people will agree when the doctor says so. My step mother also has the OCD and germ thing, the doctor said it is all part of the disease.

Honestly, finding out was a relief to us, no more guessing, and now we have a plan. I hope that she can be convinced to go. Good Luck!
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EngineerTom, maybe this care topic will help you:
https://www.agingcare.com/topics/295/anosognosia

Do you and your wife have all your legal ducks in a row for the time when you may need more help? Do you have your PoAs designated? I'm hoping it's not each other...
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Welcome, Tom

I am married to an engineer, 41 years! We are a bit younger than you and your wife. We are in our 60’s. I think about when we are together at your age and if we will still have our facilities.

This has to be very difficult for you to see in your wife. It would terrify me if I started seeing changes in my husband. It would upset me horribly if he noticed changes in me.

These things are beyond our control and I feel it’s a subject we tend to avoid in our younger days. It shouldn’t be avoided because people are developing cognitive issues at earlier ages than your wife.

When did you first notice changes? Do others see it too? Do you feel she won’t accept hearing this unsettling news from you? Do you think it would be taken more seriously from someone else? Is it off and on, or becoming more frequent?

Could you ask her doctor if he/she could approach the topic in a medical setting so it would be easier, perhaps less personal for her, therefore easier to consider? All couples work on each other’s nerves at times.

What about children? Do you have children? Could they approach the subject? It’s the elephant in the room.

I love that you have been open to therapy. Is she the same? Is her compulsion with order and cleanliness something new or a personality trait?

I wish that I could be of more help. Other people on the forum have spouses and parents with cognitive issues so stick around.

Best wishes to you and your wife.
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Hello! I had a similar situation, my grandmother did not want to admit that she had problems, she did not believe in it. I tried to take her to the doctor, but she said that everything was fine with her. I decided to show her that she had a memory problem and did a little check so she could see for herself. After some time, she accepted her problem and agreed to see a doctor. Good luck!
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Yes we have all our documents in order. Thanks
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In retirement, we often forget what day it is and even what year sometimes.
HomeHealthCare suggested I use a calendar and have my DH cross off the days. He was 96.

However, I'm only 68 and every morning when I awaken, I ask myself what day it is. Most of the time I'm good to go - but sometimes I will feel like it's Sunday when it's Tuesday. It's normal and you need to stop harping on it. Without a job to go to, what need is there to know what day of the week it is? For me, every day is like Sunday; I have 7 days of weekend, 52 weeks out of the year - and I love it!

We All regret that we can no longer do the things we did 40 years ago!

If you're really that concerned, you need to focus on the nutritional needs of both of you. Seniors are probably the most malnutritioned group in the nation! We choose fast and easy over nutritional meals. We embrace "fast foods" and need to get back to the basics of "starting from scratch" again. You can start small with fresh fruits which you carefully wash.

Being a little testy is also normal.
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