My physician said my husband is no longer capable of complex thinking. Is there a name for this condition?


I am 75 years old, I have a serious heart condition. I take care of my 83 years old husband. A neurologist diagnosed him with memory loss, and he has refused any test. He does not seem to fit the profile for Alzheimer's , but he does not to be concerned with consequences, cannot follow a movie or TV plot, and makes poor decisions. However, superficially, he may seem fine. Since I'm trying to decide if we go to a elderly living facility, I asked my doctor about him. She mentioned this may be caused by mini strokes, his diabetes, etc. (I have no access to his own doctor). Can anyone tell me what I am dealing with? Is there a name I can look up on the Internet? I feel so sorry for him ... And I am exhausted! I'm trying to make a decision to secure him a place where he will get good care in case I die soon. He could not manage to live at our home alone. Can anyone help me? I am grateful!

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My heart bleeds for you, and you make me grateful that I have my problems and not yours.

Why do you have no access to his doctor? Because he wants his "privacy?"

What if you got two copies of the HIPPA form and made one out allowing your doctor to speak to him? Then ask him if he thinks he might ever want his doctor to tell you things so you could care for him "if he ever needs it?"

You can talk or write to his doctor all you want. He/she just can't answer you without the HIPPA form. You can let the Dr. know what is going on, and let him/her know that with your health issues, you need to make plans for his future care now. He might be willing to sign the form if the doctor tells him to.

Again, if you can get the Hippa, the neurologist might be willing to give a tentative diagnosis based on symptoms. Either your doctor or his doctor might act as a go-between. The only reason to know would be to know if certain medications would help or hurt.

Do you have a lawyer? Husbands don't listen to wives, but they sometimes listen to lawyers. Make sure the lawyer knows what the situation is before he meets with your husband.

If you have "enough" money, whatever that means, consider consulting with a geriatric case manager. They are expensive, but they often know the information you would search weeks to find.

Who would be your husband's guardian if you were to die before him? It sounds like there aren't children in the picture. I would look for a trusted friend AND a professional to keep an eye on him and on each other.

My husband and I are in good health and are young - 67 and 69. He has ALZ and I sometimes kinda sorta wish he dies before it gets too bad so I can be free and have a life before I get too old. I would hate to have to worry about him getting more and more helpless with no one to care for him. God bless you, and thanks for making me count my blessings.
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Can you make an appointment for him to see his doctor again and accompany him to the appointment? That way you can talk to the doctor and get his advice. The doctor may also arrange for home health care services to help you care for him at home,at least temporarily depending upon his medical condition. Perhaps a social worker with such home health care agencies can help you find a solution to his long term care. Seek help so you can not only look after his best interests, but keep yourself well too. God bless you and guide your decision making.
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He has dementia, but without further tests it is impossible to know the cause or the type of dementia. It could be vascular dementia, Alzheimer's, or others. Proper treatment can slow down the progression of the disease. Neither one of you can safely drive a car at this point. Start looking at Assisted Living facilities, very often they are two-bedroom with meals and transportation. Also see an elder law attorney about how to protect your assets and establish a POA for your husband. If he is a veteran, you can also contact the VA for help.
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