My husband has rapidly advancing Parkinson’s. I have been his 24 hour caregiver. He recently had a severe seizure that his doctors say was related to his Parkinson’s. He is now in the hospital. He has had minor cognitive problems prior to the seizure. When I go to the hospital to sit with him he has been very mean and telling me to leave. I don’t know if his behavior is from the seizure or if it has become reality to him that he is coming to the end of his time living at home.

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I would ask for him to be tested for a UTI and for a psychiatric assessment, both while he is in the hospital.

Do not accept any "oh we can't do that here, wait til he gets home". You want a psych consult. Now.

Do not take him home if he has become verbally abusive to you.
Helpful Answer (22)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Eck1971 Jan 5, 2023
Very good answer! Def could be it
Under no circumstances is it necessary or required to sit there and be verbally abused by a loved one. Even when they have dementia or a "broken brain" or any number of other things that make such verbal abuse "justified". It isn't. A person has the right to be scared and upset and unsure of what's coming next in his life. What he doesn't have the right to do is take all that angst out on another. You didn't Cause his illness, you can't Cure it, and you can't Control it. So you have to decide how much verbal abuse you'll tolerate before you bid him farewell.

My mother suffered from dementia and was verbally abusive toward me. I'd tell her that I wasn't going to tolerate such behavior and that I'd be leaving her presence or hanging up the phone if she didn't cut it out. You'd be surprised to know she WOULD cut out the ugliness bc otherwise, I'd leave! Even w dementia at play, she knew I meant business.

Tell dh if he tells you to leave, you will. And you won't return until he calls to let you know his mood has improved. That this is stressful for BOTH of you. I love you, but I love myself too.

Best of luck.
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Reply to lealonnie1

Maybe both. Please don’t think you have to sit with him if he’s being mean. That will wear you down, and you need to take care of yourself in order to be clearheaded enough to make the best decisions for him.
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Reply to Fawnby

I'm going to speak from personal experience.

My husband's behavior changes became obvious to me in 2013. I was the only one that saw this behavior. I spent a lot of time in tears and talked too much to my youngest daughter. We had been close and I felt she was safe to share with. I drove her away -- literally. She declared we were not the kind of grandparents she wanted in her children's lives. They moved eight hours away. So, choose carefully who you talk to. Family is probably not a good choice. But counseling isn't free either.

Hubby had a seizure that put him in the hospital in 2017. Perhaps it was the brain damage from the seizure, perhaps it was the result of having been sedated, but he lost all verbal restraint. It was bad, and it was seen / heard by family, friends, and church members (he was a pastor). By the time he left the hospital, our little church removed him as pastor and closed. But it was also seen by the hospital staff and a social worker was sent to talk to me. I told her there has never been any physical abuse and that I was fully aware of the fact that I lived in a verbally, emotionally, and spiritually abusive situation. I asked her if he could be seen by a psychiatrist before being discharged.

The psychiatrist administered the MMSE and informed me he had Mild Cognitive Impairment (a form of dementia). Within hours of that, the hospitalist came in with results of his MRI and informed me he had an injury to the front-temporal lobe of the brain that did not look new, in fact it could go all the way back to his high school football days in the early 70s. He said dh had frontotemporal disorder (another form of dementia).

Before he went into the hospital, I had a plan in place for one month later to leave him. But with the dementia diagnosis, I decided to stay. I couldn't abandon him at that point. His behavior was not his choice, it was his illness speaking. It was not sin, it was sickness. Three years later he developed heart failure; I think that will take him before he gets to the place of needing Memory Care. In fact, at this point I think he may have just a few months left.

I have no regrets about not leaving him. It hasn't been easy, he is mean more often than he is nice. Had it ever become physical, I had places to go, but that has not needed to happen. We have a son living with us (the proverbial 40-year-old-son-in-the-parents'-basement scenario) which has been both a blessing (he does all the man stuff for us and he's there if I need help) and not-so-much-of-a-blessing (he's not looking for a job or contributing financially).

I guess I see some of the suggestions prior to mine and think that they might be jumping the gun a bit. If you are able to physically care for him and you are not in any physical danger, then I don't think a call to APS or placement somewhere is what you want to do at this time.

As for your question about how to deal with his words -- remember that it is his illness talking, the filters aren't working, and that you can't reason with a broken brain. I know the words hurt and you may need to step away and collect yourself. I don't have much of a social life but I do go to Weight Watchers weekly and I make a morning of it. I come home with lunch for dh just so he knows I was thinking about him. Give yourself a break when you can. And realize he probably doesn't mean all the things he says -- if his filters were still working, those words wouldn't be coming out.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to graygrammie
bundleofjoy Jan 14, 2023
please do lots and lots of nice things for YOU graygrammie.

1: Best thing in any emotional situation is to step back, waaaaaay back, so you can THINK!
2: When your calm inside, look at the situation like watching another family thru a window but stay emotionally a viewer, not a victim inside the narrative.
3: If you were watching another woman with her husband with all the exact same storylines word for word, emotion for emotion, hurt for hurt etc, for the last year up to now, what would you advise her?
4: If it helps imagine it was your best friend, giving her advice not just to protect her but to protect both her & her husband if possible. But if not possible to protect both do the husbands disposition, you have to advise on who you would choose to protect. Generally we all would choose the wife because she has a lifetime left and his is close to its end, he is also the one needing while being nasty.
5: What you would tell another wife having watched her last year like a soap opera on TV, is no less valuable to your situation. No one is more in the loop of your story/life than you. Just step back and view it mentally, with super calm emotional control in place. Your guidance for another is also your guidance for you, is it not?
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Eck1971
iameli Jan 14, 2023
Along these lines, what about taking a friend or relative with you when you go to visit him? Both to get their perspective, and also to record the visit if you decide to share what's happening with his medical team.
Also, please video his words and actions to help the Geriatric Psychiatrist see what you're seeing, with the intention of getting medications and proper placement.

Your happiness, your mental health and your safety are at stake.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to ConnieCaretaker

It's so hard to really understand what goes on in our minds but your Husband is scared. I'm sure he is feeling like the world has stolen his life the he knew it! The world he made with you wasn't supposed to be you watching him in the Hospital or with Parkinson' are also scared.
Just take one day at a time. Express your thoughts and feelings to him. And tell him you are there for him. Reach out to your family and friends be kind to yourself. You are human.
My heart goes out to you.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Antonieta67

The unsupportive words . . . "Don't take it personally." As if that is easy to do.

We all go through this to degrees.
This is what I do (although not w a spouse):
1. Be quiet.
2. Understand it is their medical issue / health issue that is 'talking,' not the husband you know / knew.
3. Then, step away for as long as you need to.
4. Find ways to get your equanimity back (your center, your emotional balance). It could take an hour, a day, etc.
4a. Find ways to heal yourself: do a meditation to support yourself emotionally / psychologically. Self-affirmations of how / what a good person / wife you are.
- Ask the universe or God to forgive him and to heal your fragile heart.

I BELIEVE FORGIVENESS IS KEY to (you) getting unstruck.

5. Go for a walk. Even a short shift from the situation may help.
6. It isn't easy being on the receiving end of 'hurting the one you love" or the person closest to you.
7. Realize he is venting his anger toward what is happening to him and you are there to vent to -
7a. Visualize a beautiful non-penetrate-able bubble around you. When these words come at you, see them float away as they turn around and disappear. In other words, learn to deflect. Perhaps these words turn into flowers as they drift away.

These situations are certainly hurtful and not easy. He is miserable and you are there and he feels closest to you, understandably. He is scared, confused, and more / other. All difficult for him.

I would give him some space and try out how long he needs. A few minutes (return and see how he is). If still the same, leave for a few hours . . . repeat. If it goes on for day(s), give yourself a rest and do not visit.

Or bring him flowers and leave.
Or give him a kiss and leave.

Gena / Touch Matters
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Reply to TouchMatters

Video his toxic behavior and request Adult Protective Services to evaluate for appropriate placement. You do not have to accept verbal abuse. Perhaps ask his doctor for light sedation or get a consult with a Geriatric Psychiatrist to see if he can mellow out.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to ConnieCaretaker

Hi, this might be for both reasons you mentioned. I do agree about him having a psychological evaluation while in the hospital. My mother’s husband had an evaluation done while in the hospital for same behavior and it really helped. The psychiatrist ordered medication that is really helping him. Very helpful.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Shayna1964

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