My husband (75) thinks that he is in the early stages of dementia, what should I do?

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He explained that his memory is going out, he cannot finish crossword puzzles like he use to, he forgets what books he has read, but other times he seems as sharp as a tack. His driving is perfect. He has good hygiene. He has been withdrawing from me and family over the past couple years, but he is still engaged in family life in general. I know that I should be concerned about finances as he seems to be less interested in keeping up on "things" and tends to forget what in the past he would never forget. But I fear if I step into the finances he may get upset and/or depressed or it might hurt his self-esteem. He does all the household finances.

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Get him a complete physical ASAP to rule out something else that is easily treated. He could be vitamin deficient or depressed or any number of other things that could be successfully treated. I'd approach getting him to the doctor with that idea. Once everything has been checked, you can figure out next steps. But you definitely shouldn't be putting your head in the sand, since your financial futures are at stake. If he does have dementia/alzheimers, you do NOT want him managing your finances.
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I would get a complete medical evaluation as soon as possible. Even though the results could be difficult to hear, it's better to know. And once you know you can address the issue, medically and emotionally. Is he on any medications? Sometimes mismanagement of medications can cause dementia like symptoms.

Then, once you know for sure the way in which you approach your finances and other important legal issues will be based upon fact which should make any changes more acceptable to your husband.

I wish you all the best!
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It's hard to say what is typical. You can read about hundreds of people's experiences on this site. Some may disagree but I'm not aware of any meds that help much. We tried this and that on my dad but the dementia keeps coming. I would stress again that his reasoning abilities are going to diminish drastically. If you can still convince him to tidy up money and legal issues get it done now! Wills, POA, medical directives, anything you can think of. If he becomes mentally incompetent, this stuff is impossible. Then you would have to get legal guardianship and that's difficult. I'm sorry to sound so negative but I've always be one to want to hear about the long game.
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Thank you for the advice. The way that we do books, he is in total control - I would have to ask him for the login information, which I guess that I will. He is very good at budgeting, but recently he almost made a drastic financial decision. I asked him to hold off on moving money from one investment account to another and he has agreed. I use to help with our investment portfolio - making good contributions with sound investments, but he would get mad at me, so I backed off to avoid conflict, but now our investment portfolio is down because he either does not know how to make the right decision(s), or isn't paying attention or as he stated the other day he is too timid. But at least he agreed not to move funds while we are suffering a loss - I asked him to wait until this winter and then we can analyze our position. As far as testing - I guess we should, but that will definitely be depressing for both of us, I am already having anxiety attacks and depression and not sure if I can handle this situation, but I know that I have to. I suggested that we look into meds to hedge it off, but he was not interested, that was about a year ago, he might be more receptive now. I suspect that this condition has been unfolding for the past few years as he was quite hostile about 3 or 4 years ago and now he is getting rather mello. Is that typical of dementia?
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Good advice above. Would he agree to be tested? There's not much that can be done as dementia progresses but at least you'll know. Use this site to learn all you can about dementia. do all you can to prepare for taking control of things. If it is some form of dementia he will get to the point where reasoning with him about bills etc will become impossible.
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Get down to your lawyer and update your wills and get a medical and financial POA asap!! Sit down together and make a list of accounts and assets. Sounds like it should not be put off. My mother did this before she passed, and even though the details were not complete, I am so very thankful that she did this.
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I think that you are right. You can watch the books, by signing in on-line and he won't even know, that you are watching. Every spouse needs to know where they stand financially. Maybe start slowly, by writing yourself a small check. I hope that you have your own credit and credit card. If not, that would be a good place to start.
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