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He retired last year and we had plans to travel and visit friends and family. Due to the COVID-19 all those plans were canceled. He doesn’t have any hobbies or friends (I tried to get him to start a hobby but he refuses). He no longer wants to join a church and that was before the virus started. He is suppose to be doing PT due to balances issues and right sided weakness but he refuses that also. We moved to a new area to buy our forever home three years ago. I am slowly making new friends but he doesn’t have any desire to do the same. Our kids live 2 to 4 hours away which I do go and visit. He usually stays home. The doctor has put him on a antidepressant and he’s taking a memory medication. His negativeness, controlling, and nasty attitude is wearing me down. I keep myself busy around the house and do get out hiking and making crafts and that does help. I’m nervous and fearful on what my future will be like as his dementia progresses. I wish life didn’t have to be so complicated. I’m 67 yo and and I enjoy life, adventures and being with people. My faith is strong and that also has helped me in many ways. I need some advice.

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I would suggest talking to his doctor. My husband was nasty and controlling and then the doctor added meds that changed him. A couple of the meds are for people with bipolar, even though my husband does not actually have bipolar. And I also use zoom for my husband to see his family. Even if he does not participate he is able to hear and see them. At this point I have to be about my sanity. I start hobbies, read or listen to books, look at movies that make me laugh, text my family and friends, got a dog, and exercising. I tell my friends and family to please support me. So I constantly get cards in the mail and little gifts. You have to find ways that you can survive outside this absolutely unimaginable life we are living in right now.
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Reply to ParisR
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After reading your post, I had to check to make sure I didn't write it and forget. You described my husband to a T. He was forced into retirement in April of 2018. He had driven a semi since the early '70s and swore he still could. A fall broke his shoulder New Years day when he came in from work and he also had a torn rotator cuff from fighting trailer doors, gear shifts and dollies for nearly 50 years. He had to have surgery that got postponed till mid Feb of 2018 and couldn't work while waiting for it. He had sick time and vacation time but, couldn't do much till May.
My DIL is a nurse at centers for rehab, AL and MC and she and I both had noticed before his fall that he had issues with memory, attitude and anger that was not right. When he was told he could retire or be fired he was furious. He took retirement and he refuses to do anything but sit in his recliner and deteriorate. He got mean before retirement and worse afterwards. We finally got him to see a doctor (I can;t remember the exact type) my DIL made the appointment and told him he was going or else. He was diagnosed with dementia and onset alzheimers and put on several meds over the next year. The Mementine settled him down. But he will not get up and move. Now, he can barely walk. He complains about everything hurting. I do what I can to help him. I wish he would get up and just walk thru the house a few times a day. I don't see him being here at this time next year if he doesn't become more active like the doctor has instructed him to do.
I do pray your situation improves. Keep taking care of yourself and get out as often as you can. Talk to your pastor and friends. Don't let the walls close in on you. You do have a difficult time coming and we can relate to you. We're here for you.
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Reply to cherokeewaha
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I wish I could tell more promising news, but your husband’s situation is only going to get worse. There will be times when you think he has turned the corner for the best, but it will not last. Each person is different, some deteriorate faster or slower than others, but it never gets better. You will have to make hard adjustments in your life.
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Reply to Ricky6
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Imho, a medication check is in order with his physician. Prayers sent.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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He sounds bitter. He is probably not dealing well with the consequences of his stroke, COVID-19 restrictions/problems, and knowing he has dementia as a result of his stroke. I suggest you talk to his doctor about his symptoms. I agree that he has depression but he also has anger in dealing with his "losses" - especially looking at the loss of his expected retirement/future. Medication can help with the mood part of his depression, but he also needs "talk therapy" to deal with his unfulfilled expectations. Maybe he will be willing to talk to a counsellor from your church or your church can refer you to Christian counsellors in your area. If your husband is reluctant to engage with the outside world - probably due to his new limitations - ask him to watch/participate in an online worship service. Most churches are offering live streaming services for their weekend worship services now.

For yourself, you need to stay grounded in what gives you hope for your personal and combined future. Keep making and developing relationships inside and out of the church. Keep connections with your family strong. Since you are a Christian, I suggest belonging to a Bible study group (many places call them small groups or life groups). Read your Bible, pray, play upbeat music.... Our life group is starting a short Bible study about kindness - which may be helpful in your situation. We're using "Nine Fruits of the Spirit: A devotion by Robert Strand... Kindness" and The Kindness Challenge" by Shaunti Feldhahn. Both are available on Amazon. Shaunti's research in kindness and it's application report 90% change in most relationships if you follow the "kindness rules" for 30 days. In the remaining "unchanged relationships," participants claimed positive changes in other relationships. I figure it is worth the effort.
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Reply to Taarna
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I feel for you. My husband has cancer and some of his meds make him down right mean and he was anything but mean before. Its a hard one! I just try to remember who he really is, and show compassion. That's all we really can do. We also need our own time, yes we matter! Sorry you are going throw this, but you are not alone.
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Reply to dugginsjen
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pronker Sep 30, 2020
A respectful question: which meds make him downright mean? Best wishes to you.
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Most people with any of the dementias, become angry and depressed, as they are aware of the changes going on with them, and as we all know and do, we take out our anger on those we love the most,(dementia or not)so please try not to take it personal. People who are diagnosed with vascular dementia are only given a 5-7 year life expectancy(as it is the most aggressive dementia of all), so I pray that you will be able to still find some joy in spending time with your husband.

My husband was diagnosed with vascular dementia in July of 2018,(even though I know he had it for a while before), and thankfully he was pleasant the majority of the time, but when he wasn't, I would just leave the room, or house and usually when I would return, he would apologize for his behaviour. I too kept myself busy with outside things, best I could to keep my sanity. It's hard, and I hate to tell you that it's only going to get harder(although I know you already know that). So keep your faith, that is so important, and don't be afraid to ask for help.
My husband passed away 2 weeks ago today, and although I'm glad he doesn't have to suffer anymore, I miss him. So I would say, just try and make the best of what you're going through and know that you are not alone.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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499HopeFloats Sep 28, 2020
I am so very sorry for your loss. It sounds like you have had a very rough go of it... there are no words...
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Sorry that you are going through this. Try not to take his anger personally. It's not your fault. You are only 67 and have many things that keep you busy. Do not give them up because you matter.

Being around negativity is unhealthy. There are things that you can do to help you manage his negativity and not get sucked into the vortex of negativity. For example, stop asking questions you know you're going to get a negative response to.

Vascular dementia is very unpredictable, and can progress quickly. Make sure that your husband's doctor documented the diagnosis in his Medicare billings - you can setup an online account at mymedicare.gov - and track his bills and make sure charges are accurate. Medicare will help with home health services and durable medical equipment, which a doctor can prescribe as necessary.

If he doesn't already have, make an appointment for your husband with an attorney and get his important paperwork done - durable power of attorney both medical and financial, living will, will, etc. - ASAP. Get his affairs in order while he still can help you. Start planning now before a crisis happens.

Your profile states that you are also caring for your mother who lives in her home with your brother. Is that still the case?
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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In dealing with my mother's dementia, I find that she's extremely argumentative and difficult to deal with in general. Her normal personality has been magnified with dementia...........so what she once was, she now is in SPADES. Dementia is a horrible and very complicated issue to deal with, especially for the care giver. My mother lives in a Memory Care Assisted Living, and even so, the daily phone calls and weekly visits give me lots of anxiety, so I can't imagine dealing with it 24/7, truthfully.

Visit Alzheimers.org to read up on the subject at length (Alz and dementia both share many of the same issues/traits/behaviors); read The 36 Hour Day by Nancy Mace & Peter Rabins, watch Teepa Snow videos on YouTube to learn tips and techniques from her, she's remarkable. Get and ask for help, join a support group, and don't ever rule out placing him in a Memory Care ALF if/when the time comes that he becomes unmanageable at home. It's not a 'sin' or a 'crime' to do that; it's called reality. When I was a receptionist at such a place before the plague hit, there were LOTS of wives who'd come to visit their husbands several times a week.

If your DH becomes violent towards you, it's NOT OKAY. Call 911 and have him taken to the hospital for a psch evaluation. Dementia sometimes brings with it violent behavior. While it's 'not their fault', it's also not something that YOU should have to put up with. Not to scare you, just to let you know.

Hopefully your DH has a good doctor who's familiar with all the myriad issues that accompany vascular dementia. Don't hesitate to call him or her if you need to, or feel that he needs a med adjustment or a new med to treat new and ugly behaviors that crop up. Don't expect him to 'get better'..........dementia is progressive, although he will have good days and bad days. Some days my mother is perfectly lucid (moderate dementia) and other days she's on another planet entirely, cussing and carrying on like mad.

Take one day at a time and never rule anything out. Remember that YOUR life is just as important as HIS life. Care givers often get SO caught up in caring for their loved one that they get to thinking 'his' life is more important than 'her' life because 'he's sick'. That's not true; all humans are created equal and deserve love and care. Care for YOURSELF and do not neglect your own health in the process of caring for HIM. Go for a walk, join a book club, a gym.........do whatever you can while you can still leave him alone for a while at home. When you can no longer leave him alone at home, that's when it's time to hire in-home help and/or consider placement.

Wishing you the best of luck with a very tough diagnosis. Sending you a hug and a prayer for strength.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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I think that you are doing remarkably well in the circumstances. What was your relationship before the vascular dementia? The best that can happen now is just managing going forward. I would not encourage hobbies or friends or church if this is not what your husband wants. This will not get better. You are correct in that. And eventually there will have to be placement simply for management. Anger issues are common with this type of dementia. Medications can be used but will be more and less successful. So sorry you are dealing with this but in honestly you are doing all you can. I would consider seeing a Licensed Social Worker who is very adept at dealing with life passage changes to help you get firmly in your mind what you are looking at, what your choice will be ongoing, and to know that there is nothing of Guilt in this. If there is a G-Word then the word is GRIEF. You need to know this isn't your fault, and you will be unlikely to fix it. You have still a life to live, and should continue to live it. I am so sorry. This is so very difficult ongoing. Be easy on yourself.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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