Follow
Share

I tell him that we can afford it. All our bills are paid. We get our social security checks and everything is fine. He still doesn't understand and won't let the subject rest. This goes on for about 2 hours periodically every week. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I should handle this. I am so frustrated with him.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
My mom once got a bill in the mail she should not have gotten, decided she could not pay it, and moved herself out to the front door of her assisted living facility to wait for the bus to take her to the indigent care facility. I don't recall exactly how we convinced her everything was OK, but I made darn sure she did not get any more bills in the mail. I think I just gave her some explanation that the bill was incorrect, the expense was covered after all, and we were absolutely OK with the finances and I guess it worked. For heaven's sake, don't move out, LOL...
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Sandwich42plus, thank you. All of your suggestions are great and I will try this.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

With any dementia patient's topic of hyperfocus/obsession, all you can do is redirect. There is no logical proof you can offer that will get him over it. There is no activity that will "satisfy" this urge and make it go away for good. The bes you can hope for is temporary relief. This is a stage he is going through, and anything you choose to do about it is really for your benefit at that moment of that day.

If it will distract him for a while, it's a good thing. Whatever that is.
If it keeps him calm, it's a good thing.

You can say WHATEVER you need to say to him, to keep him calm.
It helps to get in their head and say whatever will be reassuring - 100% honest truth or not.
Some suggestions I have:

I'm waiting on some phone calls about this, honey. Then I'll know more.
I have to wait to talk to a realtor to help us. One step at a time.
I'm so lucky to have you looking out for us! It's going to be a couple weeks before I hear back from the realtor/lawyer/tax guy/etc.
The house insurance is paid up for the year, so we don't have to do anything until next year.
The realtor told me to stay put. This isn't the right market for us to move.
The realtor said there isn't anything in our price range right now and check back in 6 weeks.

Etc. This is a new communication skill nobody teaches us ahead of time. It feels weird at first, but you can learn to do it and maybe keep him less upset. Tell us how it's going!
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Thank you jeannegibbs. You understand my situation perfectly. My husband who has dementia doesn't understand our finances at all. We can afford our home but he thinks for some strange reason that we are poor and destitute. That is not the case. I have no intention of moving.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Wow. I just cannot believe how many people are saying, in effect, "Listen to your demented husband's delusions about your finances and it might be better to do as he wants." What??

Mema is asking how she can deal with this obsession. I don't see her asking for advice about moving.

I think this is one of those cases where we have perfectly good answers we want to share, even if they aren't in response to the question asked.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

As stressful as downsizing and moving is, I sold my 40-yr residence last year (my husband had been gone for 10 years). Still have some stuff at my daughters' houses and my work; gradually selling things off on craig's list and ebay. My idea is that I'm better off doing this at an active 75 than later, with less energy and possibly poor health. At least now I know what things are and what their family history, if any, might be. My girls are actually using some "good" dishes that I rarely used and enjoying them--better than leaving them stashed. I would think that if the husband is wanting to move, take advantage of it, not waiting for an emergency situation..
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Maybe he had NO idea what other homes cost? Give him a real estate booklet (free every where ) and let him shop away..say you;ll go visit them soon. It may distract him. for awhile at least. We used to give my dad all those cruise/travel books that came and let him think we were going...later
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Twopupsmom: My thoughts exactly.
We have lived in our home for almost 40 yrs. and I wouldn't want to pack up either. When the time comes my husband will be the one moving to a NH.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I am 70 and I could not fathom packing up everything in this house, downsizing and moving. 24/7 gets old, I don't have the time nor energy, just want hubby to be content, he will be 85 soon.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I agree that it might be a good idea to consider some planning for his progression. Different people act in different ways, but if you will read about how many dementia patients progress, you'll see how very challenging it is to take care of a dementia patient in the home. It's not just forgetfulness. It's much more and it's a 24 hour job with no breaks. Even with help, it's very difficult and if he become wheelchair bound, perhaps impossible to handle it in the home without around the clock help.

I would take a look at some options, so at least you know what is available.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If he's willing to move, it might not be a bad idea. Ther will probably come a time when he will need more care than you can handle and it would be much more difficult. A place with graduated care levels where you can live together would be great
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My husband does not even know that this is his home, so your situation also will pass, I think your husband is just "stuck" on this particular subject. I would say, you are right honey and tomorrow we will go out and start looking at knew places to move to, repeat every day, even if you drive around a couple of days a week. Good luck with this, redirect is all you can do.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Very good answer, Jeanne.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Thank you jeannegibbs. Our finances are just fine and your suggestions are great. It's nice to have someone understand this crazy life we are now faced with. Hugs to you.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

It is sure easy to get frustrated with a spouse who has dementia, isn't it? I am guessing that he is still in a moderate stage. Once their symptoms are very obvious and constant their obsessions become less frustrating. It is easier then for the caregiver to remember it is the dementia talking and not the spouse. At least it was for me.

But, whatever stage he is in your husband has dementia. That means you've taken over the financial decision making. This is a big stress factor for many of us. We'd really LIKE to have the input of our soulmate. But we certainly don't want to have meaningless conversations about some issue for hours at a time, week after week. So I hear ya, mema66. You don't need advice about where to live. You need advice on how to handle these "conversations."

I'd treat it like any delusion. Try to respect your husband's feelings. Go along as much as you can. Be patient with repetition. And try to distract him to some other topic.

Early in his disease my husband husband fretted about finances. I "went along" by giving him bank statements, which he sometimes read upside down. He'd "study" them for a while and get bored. Then he was easily distracted with a snack.

Your husband says you don't have enough money to keep your house. "Oh honey, I hope that isn't true. You did such a wonderful job planning and keeping our finances in order I think things are just fine now. But why don't I get you this year's bank statements and the household expense file and let you see how things might be arranged better?"

If that doesn't help and he still says you can't afford the house, try going along. "Where do you think we should live that would be less expensive?" "Hmm ... let's look on the computer and see what is available in that kind of housing. Will you search for a while and call me when you find something that looks really good?"

Or try to segue into a different topic. "I'm really sad thinking about moving out of this house. We have some wonderful memories here. Even that little fire on the porch turned out to be a good memory when Jem came home and helped us fix it." (Talking about memorable even is better than talking about finances.)

By going along, I DON'T mean that you agree that you can't afford the house. But that is his reality at that moment, so respect it. And don't bother with "reasoning" about the subject. This is his delusion (false belief) and it isn't subject to logic.

Spouses (or parents) who "know" there are bugs in the carpet or a defect in the stove or a financial disaster around the corner can be very frustrating indeed! There are MANY such stories on these discussion boards. Take some comfort from knowing that you are not alone, this particular obsession probably won't last forever, and the important thing is to keep showing your love and respect.

Let us know how this works out.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

At this stage of Alzheimers/Dementia, (only you know what that is), listen to what he has to say, write down some ideas on paper, have him help with some serious planning. Then, do it some more next week. Keeping the plans in a folder.
Have an assisted living plan written out, indicating the liklihood of sale proceeds from the home will go to assisted living home in bulk; then income will go to pay the home; with an approximate allowance of $30 - $60/ month given back for personal expenses.
Get some professional advice for planning, don't avoid it.
Then the facts and figures and planning will make sense make sense.

If he is of another mindset, have you considered if he is just worried, or if he just needs a little more cash to spend? Maybe you could say, we have some money, here, I've saved some for you, then give him some. He can spend it or save it.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

For many with Alzheimer's a move sooner would be better in the long run. As the disease advances, moving becomes more of an ordeal for them and the adjustment much more difficult. Then his ever increasing care needs and the fact that 40% of caregivers pass away before the one they are caring for. A big part of the reason is the unending, increasing stress on the caregiver.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Your profile says that you are caring for someone with Alzheimers/dementia. Is this your husband? If so, it could be that he does not remember the discussions about leaving your home due to finances. If he is not able to recall, then there is no way to make him remember. You might type it up in a letter and hand him the letter to read, though, when I tried things like that with my loved one, she didn't understand what I had written. I had to repeat everything verbally. Still...she would forget later about the conversation.

It could be that your husband is focusing on the move and his beliefs due to anxiety. I might discuss this with his doctor and see if an anti-anxiety medication might help.

It is frustrating, but often people with dementia repeat the same stories over and over. It can be very taxing on their caretaker. I don't know of any remedy though. You have to just endure it.

Before I considered any sale of the home, I would consult with an attorney well versed in Medicaid law.

Coming to sites like this can be helpful. It helps to know that you are not alone and others share challenges in their role as caretaker.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Mema, your hubby just might be right. Think about this, if you live in a single family home or townhome will your social security checks cover a new roof, replaced plumbing, how about a new furnace and/or air condition system, time for new windows? Those items would take a big bite out of your retirement fund. Plus property taxes are always going up, so is homeowners insurance, and utilities.

Does hubby still do the yard work and shovel the snow? I see from your profile that he has Alzheimer's/Dementia. Maybe he is feeling he can't do that any more... age decline can creep up pretty quick. And having a company come in to do those things can be costly. I give him credit for thinking ahead.

Does hubby suggest where else you could both live? Maybe a retirement community where you can meet new people of your own age group, and not have to worry about any maintenance or even utilities.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.