I have been taking care of my wife for 5 years. She has had a stroke and doesn’t have any memory other than her early adulthood! What she had for dinner will be a mystery? She also has MDS plus is anemic and has been transfused 4 times in the last year. She doesn’t recognize what I do for her on a daily basis plus all of the appointments that are made, taking her to Drs, the list is staggering of the medical attention she requires? And guess who takes care of it all? The bad part is she is always mad at me if I make her do something she doesn’t want to do? Like take a shower. She would go two months without one if left alone! When I insist she takes one she has rage in her eyes! Of course she is a non violent person and couldn’t and wouldn’t hurt a flea, but that she feels so strongly about
not maintaining her hygiene is bothering?

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FarmerJim I am right there with you. My wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2014 although she had short term memory loss from about 2011. The most painful thing I had to do was put her in a Memory Care Facility full time. This was actually the best thing for her AND for me. She is cared for by professionals with far more training and experience than I have. She is cared for, safe and content. That is the best care I can give her at this stage.
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lealonnie1 Apr 2021
Every time I see your user name here I laugh! I truly doubt you are homely but I'll bet you're bald!🤣 You sound like a remarkable husband and a beautiful human being.
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Write down a real list of everything you do for her and see what you can delegate.

Of my five clients today...

One lives alone normally but has his daughter staying
One lives in independent living but needs help at the moment
One is recovering from serious illness and lives with his wife
One is a young adult woman with a moderate to severe learning disability whose primary caregiver has recently had a stroke
One is recently widowed, has a broken arm, and is in the process of moving house at her family's instigation (I predict a riot).

What all of these people have in common is that their families love them very much and are closely involved in their care, but they need support. They cannot do it all. One difference our service makes is that it takes us 45 minutes to get through a routine - like showering, good example - that can take a family three miserable days of nagging to accomplish.

Not having to be the bad cop the whole time might be a real relief. Worth a try?
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RedVanAnnie Apr 2021
Wonderful advice
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God Bless YOU for the care you are and have been providing.

My DH, when I had cancer, did as little as humanly possible for me. Didn't bring me meals, didn't do any housework or cooking. Never did a load of laundry or swept a floor. Took every out-of state job he possibly could. Wouldn't even take me to chemo. I still don't know WHY. He said my bald head really put him off. (Well, it was no picnic to look in the mirror for over a year and see my hairless head and face). He wouldn't even touch me. People said he was 'distraught' but all I could feel was him distancing himself as far as possible. It hurt and it still hurts.

If I were in your shoes--please look into a GOOD facility to place your sweet wife. If her memory is gone, then everything is but a sweet, fleeting memory, if that. You are a one in a million.

It took my mom areally long time to accept dad's passing and to not be angry with him for the many years she had to care for him. She had a LOT of help, and he never got any level of dementia, but they lived in tight quarters and it was hard on mom.

You will visit, of course, as you build your 'new normal' life. In time, the sadness of your wife's condition will fade and the good memories will return.

You still love her. You just don't love the person she is turning into--or rather, you don't love the disease. Big difference.
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Penelope123 Apr 2021
Hugs for you for what you went through with your cancer. I took care of my mother when she had breast cancer twice and my heart just broke when I read all you went through with no support from your husband.
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As hard as this may be to hear FarmerJim, it sounds like it might be time for you to be looking for a Memory Care facility to place your wife in. That way you can have the professionals looking after her care 24/7, and you can get back to just being her loving husband. They will make sure that she is getting showered and her hygiene taken care of.
Sounds like you've done a great job so far, but it might be time to hand over the reigns to others, so you can get your life back and rest in the knowledge that your wife is well taken care of.
I didn't really answer your initial question, but know this, if the tables were turned, and it was your wife that was looking after you in a similar situation, she would continue on out of love, and do whatever was best for you and her in the situation. So while you may not feel her love right now, you must know that it's still there, and you may even notice it more, when the 24/7 cares are not all on your shoulders. I wish you the very best. God bless you.
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To be frankly honest, you put her in an facility and you visit her and attempt to keep hold of whatever good memories of the past you have, and you go on and make yourself a life in this one and only life you have. That's putting it flat out honestly the hard facts. OR you choose to sacrifice yourself. Your poor wife has nothing left but suffering. Please discuss palliative care with her doctor, and withdrawal of treatments that cannot cure and will prolong suffering for her. I am so sorry.
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You are a good husband. But, you are tired.

Spend some time here on the forum. Do a search for “burnout”. You will find that MANY caregivers are in your boat. Also, you will find lots of different suggestions on how to go about getting some help for YOU.

God bless you.
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You have received many good observations, tips and suggestions...
I cared for my wife for 12 years and the way I did it was to pray for a
servant's heart... I looked at it as an assignment..

Reflecting upon those years, I value you them as the most satisying period of my entire lifetime..

My wife had a massive stroke and was completely paralyzed on one side. She could not speak...About one year after the stroke she began having grand mal seizures and every so often, she experienced one of them...She also had skin cancer, ingrown toenails, many UTIs, and the list goes on extensively.

Her attitude was good...she was cheerful. That was very helpful to me. We laughed a lot...We were high school sweethearts...we were married 61 years when she died in 2017.

I realize my experiences have nothing to do with you,,,I just wanted to share what it was like for me...
I wish you well..

Grace + Peace,
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gdaughter Apr 2021
And this is what makes a difference...Love. You both had it. Love make it far easier to care and do for someone. Of course you had more abilities it seems. On this end the father everyone else thinks is so "cute" is far more dependent than he realizes and his demands on ME as the present on site daughter increase to replace the losses of his demented wife. I tried to do it all and wound up with an aortic dissection having emergency surgery. I'm so glad truly that it all worked out for you. Seems like you and your wife were each others blessings in life! Obviously good souls from the greatest generation:-)
I want to thank you all for taking the time to reply? I guess I’m not as bad as I thought !
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AlvaDeer Apr 2021
You are normal, FarmerJim. You aren't a Saint. If you were we would shoot you full of arrows and send you to heaven where you could spend eternity fixing things for all of us down here. It's a terrible job description. You are a decent man doing what you can, and realizing you are losing your own life in sacrifice to a woman you cannot help. Men are by nature of a "fix it" temperament. They want to know what is busted and get it all fixed. This is something without a real fix it solution. Be easy on yourself, please.
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Homelyandbald has given you valuable advice from someone in the trenches who's "been there & done that." Why not tour some Memory Care Assisted Living places close by to scope them out? When I worked as a front desk receptionist in such a place last year, I met quite a few husband's who'd placed their wives there to live. They'd come to visit frequently and have dinner, or take them out to dinner, or out for ice cream or just sit together in the garden. When in home care becomes too overwhelming, as it often does with advanced dementia and AD, a memory care becomes the only logical, safe and rational answer for BOTH parties affected by the debilitating disease. No shame in that admission, only truth.

Wishing you the best of luck with a difficult situation
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You have to establish an extremely ridged routine. Getting up, eating, activities, and a bathing schedule. Do the schedule everyday the same time. That is how I managed my mom for 15 years. Any deviation from the schedule would cause problems. And yes I had a bathing schedule. When I had to shower mom I did it three times a week. Right after her bowel movement. Straight in the shower. Every Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. She did not resist with a schedule because it was just part of the routine. Mom's Alzheimer's was so bad I had to tear out the bathtub and replace it with a standing shower with a lot of grab bars and shower chair. A bathtub was no longer possible.

She liked the standing shower much, much better.
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klhblues Apr 2021
Excellent advice
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