He is still highly functional, but memory and cognitive abilities are declining rapidly. He is 80 years old. I am 65. I want to start planning now for the future, he is in total denial. He just think he is having memory loss from old age. He makes up stories. He often can't find words when speaking.

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As a caregiver of your husband, you're going to need respite for yourself. It's best that your husband go to an adult daycare. Look around for adult daycares in your area or surrounding areas and see if they accept your husband's insurance like medicaid or VA. Adult daycares are beneficial for people with dementia/alzheimers so they can get that social interaction with others and it's good for their brain. I am a caregiver of my grandpa who has dementia and I take him to adult daycare every week and his medicaid pays for it and it also covers his meals there as well, we don't have to pay for anything. When he's in daycare, I can get some rest and relaxation, do my shopping, watch tv, and spend time with my family.
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First, take care of legal matters. Does he have a will, etc? Will he run out of assets and need to apply for Medicaid in the future? Arrange your assets with the lawyer so you won't be left penniless.

If you can find an Elder Law attorney, tell your husband that you are concerned that YOU could die in a car crash, and then what would he do? If he is in denial, just refer to his little trouble with his memory. Ask him what you should do if he fell down the stairs and hit his head? You would need POA to get him the help he needs.

How do you want him to participate? You can't expect to discuss his situation with him. You need other allies - children, doctors, friends. If you don't already have one, get a cleaning lady to start coming in so he will accept outside help later.

You both should sign the forms to allow each of you to discuss things with the other one's doctor. See the theme here? You take blame for everything. You might get sick, so you want him to be able to talk to your doctor.

Tell us what specific issues you have, and we can offer more advice.
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I'm sorry that your husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. You must be extremely upset.

If his cognitive abilities are declining rapidly as you said he may not be able to acknowledge and accept his diagnosis. Call it denial or call it Alzheimer's, he just may not be capable of understanding this. I'm assuming that he's been told that he has Alzheimer's, that the name of the disease has been spoken to him. I ask because some families opt to not tell their loved one and let their loved one just think they're getting forgetful in their old age. I don't have an opinion on that either way but I'm going to assume you've told him that he has Alzheimer's.

Again, I'm so sorry that you're at the beginning of this journey. There are many people here who are traveling the same path so I hope you avail yourself of this site and their experiences often. I hope you have support at home. Siblings? Kids? Friends?

Come back often and let us help.
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