Follow
Share

My husband was diagnosed with beginning stages of dementia in Dec. 2015. He is currently on Namenda XR. What I am currently seeing is some repeating of questions and the fact that when I go out, how soon will you be back. He often admits he does not like to be alone. One of the biggest issues is when I tell him that I am going out with a friend for lunch or dinner, he says sure you can go. Then when I am getting ready, he will ask where I'm going and yells that I never told him, when in fact I did. I even write things on the calendar. I am trying to figure out how do I deal with the fact that I told him, but he doesn't remember. He makes me feel like I'm telling a lie, which I am not. All help and suggestions appreciated, thank you.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Yes, we are playing Qwirkle, with just a slight deviation of the rules. So far, so good. On some days he does great, other days, just a tad slower, but still gets it.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

holy cow- Quirkle??!! I cannot even figure that game out !
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

when my mom got to the point where she forgot to look at the calendar, I would tape a full page note to the kitchen table. Written in large black marker - my name, where I was and time I would be back- drawn as a clock.
Perhaps, since he doesnt believe you-as would my mother, she would think I "just" wrote it on the calendar- You could have him write it on the calendar himself (get a HUGE desk calendar) I never argued with her, I always just pointed at it.... But large sharpie on a single piece of paper succinct and to the point note so he can re-read it as needed-- taped to table- I tried the wall and she didnt see it :P
Anger is fear being expressed...
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

dearie123, are you and your sister living together?

I know how very, very painful it can be to be accused of things by a loved one who has dementia. During that period my mantra became "It is not my loved one who is saying these things. It is the disease." Repeat that to yourself as often as necessary! Don't falsely admit anything, but also don't argue with your sister over these accusations. Be sympathetic and comforting. "Oh Lucy, you can't find your embroidered tea towels? I remember how nice they were. No wonder you want to find them. I haven't seen them for a long time. I'll look in the storage boxes for them tomorrow. If we can't find them, do you want to go buy some new tea towels?"

For some people with dementia the phase of accusations does not last long. Hang in there!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Our son gave us a board game called COLORKU. It is basically sudoku played with marbles. It is a solitaire game but my husband Coy (LBD) and I did it together. Coy's biggest handicap was being a little color blind and not being able to tell two of the colors apart. I could tell within a couple minutes of play whether he was having a good day cognitively or not. I sometimes said, "You know, Coy, I don't think I can concentrate on this game now. Can we put it away for now?" But when he was having a good day he was amazingly good at it. And he was so pleased when he found the right color marble before I did!

Coy had been an engineer and he had a good mind for this kind of thing. His form of dementia does not involve as much death of brain cells as some other kinds. Cognitive abilities fluctuate greatly in LBD. So our situation would not match all dementia situations, but in general I think allowing/encouraging/assisting persons with dementia in activities that challenge the skills they have left can be very rewarding. Obviously this shouldn't be done to the point of frustration.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Sunnygirl1...thanks for the concern.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Again, I thank everyone for their help and suggestions...I am only at the beginning of a long journey ahead. I am signed up for a Care Givers class that the neurologist wants me to take for four mornings in October. He feels it will be beneficial and will provide some answers and insight. In the meantime, I try to keep him as active and engaged as possible.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

My Dad has dementia and mom and I have learned to operate "In the moment" due to his short term memory problems. Any planning ahead for the simplest things is pointless. So Mom has learned to get up, get her coat on, and Dad will ask what's up, she'll tell him about the doctors appointment, and usually, away they go.

You can't argue "Yes I told you about such and so". He does accept that his memory isn't as good as it used to be. I just tell him that at his age it's no big deal to forget something once in a while.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

What sometimes works for my husband, who has Dementia, is to have HIM write it on the calendar or white board himself. If your husband is still able to write, that might help. It doesn't seem to help him remember, but when I show him on the calendar, he recognizes his own handwriting, and he knows that what I am telling him is true, that we did talk about before.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Dearie123, you can seek support at places like this site. There are many caretakers here who know what you're going through. I find it a great place to share, get ideas and support.

I might also discuss your sister's agitation with her doctor. If she's overly anxious and/or obsessed, medication might help her mood. I know that my cousin, who has dementia, used to be easily distressed and obsessed with certain things. It caused her to get anxious and agitated. Medication really helped her and she is now normally content. Also, it may that the things she is doing right now may pass as she progresses in the dementia. There is no way to predict that though.

I don't know of any way to convince someone with dementia that they are wrong, that you did tell them something before or that they are just not remembering things correctly. Even if you write it down and they can later look at it, it may not translate for them as proof. It's not just memory that is fleeting, it's also reasoning and focus.

What worked for me was to agree with my cousin with a short explanation. So, if she said, why are we doing this? I would say, it's what the doctor said and we have to follow doctor's orders. That's what you've always told me you wanted. And then change the subject. Even if I had told her 10 times, I wouldn't bring that up, since it didn't matter. She wouldn't recall it in 5 minutes anyway.
As far as patience goes, I was not able to care for my cousin in her home due to my own commitments, but I was able to have her placed in AL (now Memory Care AL). There is still much involved in being a caretaker, but having her cared for in that way did help relieve some of the stress. I would encourage you to explore the options now, while she is still functioning. Can you get some inhome care for her? The challenges and need for patience are much greater once they become incontinent, are wheelchair bound and require assistance with every single daily activity and to which they may be resistant.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

You might want to find a different way of letting him know you have appointments. We've used a very large calendar, about 2' wide by 3' deep. My sister bought it years ago when my mother was in rehab; I don't know where she found it so I don't have any recommendations on sourcing. That was the only time we used an extra large calendar.

Use graphics and pictures as much as you can; they're more alluring and could be more tempting for your husband to check the calendar regularly.

You can also color code events - a certain color for going out to meet your friends, a different color for activities the two of you plan, and different colors for your husband's workouts. You might even pick up a men's weight lifting magazine and cut out photos from there, gluing them onto the calendar.

You might blue on a "pocket", similar to the calendars with fold over portions at the bottom. Put in slips of things he likes to do, places you can go, whether it's for a walk or out to eat. Cut out from magazines photos of parks, meals, etc.

He can pick out what he wants and tack it to the calendar. It will give him a sense of some control over his own schedule.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My older sister is 75 and I am 69. She started showing signs of dementia several years ago. It has gotten so much worse in the past few months. She forgets what we talk about from minute to minute. We have always been very close and it is painful for me to see her struggle with words, etc. She has now gotten to the point of becoming argumentative on a regular basis. For instance...we make plans to do something at a certain time but she forgets and swears that we agreed to a different time. I love her so much and usually just let it go because I know it is the dementia taking over. If I say anything to her about the time we agreed on she gets mad at me and I just bite my tongue. She is rapidly getting worse and any suggestions on how to deal with this would be greatly appreciated. Up to now, I have just constantly repeated things we discussed only minutes before because I know she must be frightened and confused and I try to abide by the golden rule...

It's sad because our visits are becoming increasingly difficult as her dementia escalates...I have a lot of patience, normally, but sometimes it wears thin when she accuses me of things that she imagines...what should I do?
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Thank you for some answers to my concerns. I do understand that we are just at the beginning and this is going to be a difficult journey that we are bothed faced with. The funny thing is that he has no issue with me going out with some girlfriends for lunch or dinner, quite often he says go, you deserve it. He just can't remember that he told me all this. He never has been a social butterfly, we are so opposite. I am the one that is driven and wants to keep him busy. Let's go for a bike ride, let's go to the pool or a museum. He does a word find puzzle daily as well as lifts weights. We just started playing a game called Qwirkle. I am just trying to keep him busy and the mind going. He never was a reader, but I encourage him to read just one article from a magazine daily. He no longer drives due to the fact that his spacial relations/judgement is what is affected according to the neurologist. That did not go over well, but he has accepted it. If you were in his company for a length of time you would not realize there is an issue, but I know this will change down the line. Yes, we do have long term care insurance. Someone mentioned a support group...I will be attending a 4 day event that the neurologist told me about at the local hospital in October.
All advise is appreciated.....thank you.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Oops, sorry to ask about the physician. I see you're up on that!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My Hubby has had dementia for well over 2 years. And things, sorry, don't get any better. Depending on your finances, I suggest that you find a someone to stay with your Hubby so you can have "me" time.
And his memory will get worse. My Hubby can't remember when he ate. He also gets the late afternoon confused with the morning. And he can't help it. It's the disease.
Continue to ask questions here at agingcare.com. Even if the question sounds stupid. We're here!
Do you have Long Term Care Insurance? If so, start the ball rolling.
Lainer, you have my prayers. The coming journey for you two will be difficult; but, honesty and patience will reign 99% of the time.
Has a physician documented he has dementia?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This is really tough. Been there. Hurt also.

I suspect the real issue isn't whether you told him or not. It is that you are going out and going to have fun and he is not. For him to put it that way would sound selfish, apparently even to him. So he finds another way to express his displeasure. Maybe you need to address both the "tell me" and "why can't I have fun" issues.

I wouldn't tell him very far in advance. He won't remember. Perhaps as you are getting ready is soon enough. "I'll be going to lunch with Alice and Greta. We are going to look at a puppy Alice is considering getting on the way home. I'll be back by 3:00 at the latest. I'll call you after lunch to make sure all is well here. And I'll write it on the white board." ... I really like spending time with my girlfriends. I'm so glad you understand! And I love spending time with you! Should we have lunch date tomorrow? Maybe see a movie afterward?"

He may need some things to do that don't involve you. My husband was able to bowl with a senior league well into his dementia. A neighbor picked him up and brought him home. It was his event and he didn't depend on me for it. He loved it! And the other seniors understood his impairments and were very helpful to him. He also golfed with a league for handicapped people sponsored by a local rehab center. You need fun things to do without him. He needs independent fun, too.

My husband went to an adult day health program a few days a week. This provided respite for me and social interaction for him. He wasn't too crazy about the whole idea but I could see it was really good for him.

You are at the beginning of this journey. (Ours lasted 10 years.) Before too long your dear husband will not be able to stay alone while you go out. Enjoy it while it lasts, even if there are some uncomfortable moments! Then plan to arrange for someone to stay with him, or for him to be in some safe and supervised environment while you do your things for fun and need. Don't stop going to the dentist or doctor or out to lunch ... but you will have to plan for hubby's needs as well.

If you haven't already, I urge you to find a local support group for persons whose loved ones have dementia. And come here often, too.

Lainer, this is not a journey any of wants to take. But it can be a very fulfilling and meaningful experience. I wish you both good things.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

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