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My husband is the love of my life. The last 4-5 years have slowly uncovered memory loss that has him frequently not remembering things I've told him in the last 24 hours. He writes things down a lot, but if he doesn't he can't hold on to things like what I am doing. Last night I told him I was walking with my friend Jacq this afternoon. This morning I reminded him, he said he remembered. Then an hour or so later he asked where I was going again. I told him. Then as I was getting ready to go he said, "I can't remember what you're doing, tell me again." I admit, I got upset. That made him mad. He stayed mad all day and went to bed mad. This happens more and more. I just can't get used to losing him so slowly like this. He's 76, I'm 69. Will I ever get used to this?

Just keep reminding yourself that it is not his fault that he can not remember things. That he is not doing it on purpose and when you get upset with him, yes he gets mad...why? Because it upsets him and it makes him sad. It really intensifies it. With this disease they can not learn, so don’t even try.

Now he has difficulty remembering from 24 hours prior. Then that too will close in to something that was said or took place only minutes prior. The person with Alzheimers can not learn, only we as loved ones/family/caregivers can learn and change as needed. No it is not easy but it can be a bit easier for you once you learn how to accept/handle it.

Years ago as my mother’s caregiver I learned in order for me to keep my sanity, I needed to adjust and not be surprised by anything. Training for taking care of my hubby now. My favorite saying is “That’s OK”.
Keep things calm. Get into their world. Take one day at a time. Stay calm. When asked the same question 10 times in a row, just make believe 10 different people walked into the room one by one and asked the same question, so you would think nothing of answering each one of them. Adapt. I do everything I can to keep everything simple. Conversation is next to nil, but what I say to my dear sweet husband of 60 years is simple. Amazing how we enjoy conversation about the birds, trees, sun, etc. That’s OK. Try to enjoy simple things together. Try not to be sad.

I look for blessings. So many things that we did together over the years. Things that we enjoyed together, even though he does not remember any of it. That’s OK. We live as if everything is normal, he seldom knows other than that and if he does, I calm him by saying, “That’s OK”. But also, Remember to take care of yourself.

I have found that my Mom and now my husband felt/feel my love for them. By my voice, holding their hand, etc. So don’t ever hesitate to give that love and kind words.
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Bethmh Jan 5, 2021
Thank you, so helpful...
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How about getting a large dry erase board to put up in the kitchen? You can put notes on there, like "Walking with Jacq on Tuesday from 1-2pm"; dinner with kids Thursday 6 pm. Whatever. Little reminders for your husband so YOU don't have to be his full-time memory. You can jot new notes on there daily, and it's not something SO intrusive or SO dementia-like in nature that he'd likely take offense to it. In fact, it can be a helpful tool for ALL of us as we age in place at home and tend to forget things in general.

My mother has full blown dementia & lives in Memory Care. I find her forgetfulness to be frustrating, to tell you the truth. When my own DH forgets things I've told him, it drives me up the wall too. I keep my thoughts private, but I FEEL them nevertheless. My mother drives me nuts in general, so my frustration with her is nothing new. With my DH, it's FEAR that drives me to feel frustrated. Fear can make us act in ways we're not proud of.

I don't know that you'll ever 'get used to this', but you'll find work arounds. Ways of doing things that take his compromised cognizance into account. Learn all you can about cognitive decline and what to expect moving forward. I think we can often learn more from boards such as this than we can from the 'best Neurologists' in the world. Once they do the testing and write the prescriptions (if there are any to write), that's when their part is over with. But that's when WE are left with the daily grind of everyday life with a person who's lost his memory and ability to function normally. The tips we get here are more valuable than gold. There's nothing like talking to people who walk the walk to get the best ideas and information about how to cope with your new life.

Wishing you the best of luck. Sending you a hug and a prayer for peace.
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Bethmh Jan 5, 2021
Thanks so much. I also was advocate as my mom spent her 88-91 years in assisted then memory care. I learned a lot, but it's been so different with my husband. Much slower, and harder to figure out.

This forum has been great, these last few days were really tough. Thanks again.
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Yes, you'll get ured to it, because you have to. One day he won't ask you anything, and you don't want that to happen anytime soon.

You need to adapt to his reality. Don't tell him you already told him something -- he really don't remember. Just treat it like it's the first time he asked.

Few things will make you crazier than trying to force him back into "normal." It won't ever work, so try to relax and go with his flow.

Check out the Alzheimer's Assn. website, too, for useful info. They deal with all types of dementia, not just Alzheimer's.
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Bethmh Jan 5, 2021
Thanks, I know you're right.
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No unfortunately you really never get used to it, but it is now important for you to start educating yourself on cognitive decline and all that goes along with that. If your husband is open to it, I would certainly get him scheduled for an appt. with a neurologist, so you and he both know what exactly you're dealing with. And I can tell you from experience that getting mad at him over this is really a no win situation. Your husband can't help that he's not remembering things, and when you get mad at him, it just makes him feel worse. He already feels bad that he's not remembering things, as he is more than aware of what's going on, and it can be quite scary for him, so instead of getting mad, you will need to show more patience, and understanding, which I know is much easier said than done, but trust me when I tell you, that it will make your life so much easier if you do. So do your homework, and get yourself educated. That will help you so much as you continue on this journey with the "love of your life". God bless you.
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Bethmh Jan 5, 2021
Thanks, very helpful.
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You will get used to it in time. I like the movie "50 First Dates" as a way of understanding what your hubby is going through. Might be time to install lots of visible reminders around the house: dry erase board in the wall, something on the refrigerator... The visible reminders will help your hubby to have easy to see information.
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No, you won't get used to it. But you will come to accept it more when you DO accept it. Has your husband been in for some initial assessments? It's a good idea just to get the early assessment. And do educate yourself as much as you can once there is some diagnosis, so that you understand that this is NORMAL. And if there is some dementia it will be more and more and more and more the norm. I am 78 and my partner is 80. We frequently discuss the ways in which we are losing it! So far it is forgetfulness, time moving faster, and occ. odd things we do. Yesterday we laughed a lot over the doorbell going off when I had one sneaker on and tied. When the package unveiling was done I was still in one sneaker, preparing for my walk. But now the other one was missing. I actually ended up going down the stairs and out the door to see if I picked up the package and set down the sneaker. Finally found it in front room where I had looked out the window in response to the doorbell before retrieving the package. Wouldn't have happened to me in the past. Does all the time now, and often when I reread a post here I realize I SHOULD be proofreading everything now before I press "send".
Try to come to peace with this. Argument or losing it won't win the day. But accepting, talking about it, trying hard and approaching with humor the best we can may not help, but may make it a tiny bit easier. A tiny bit.
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Bethmh Jan 5, 2021
Terrific, thank you so much for writing. Really helpful.
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Delay telling him some things.
For example if you plan on meeting friends tomorrow at 2 PM for a walk don't mention it today. Tomorrow you can mention that you are going for a walk but just say "I am going to go for a walk today" if he asks when just say "after lunch" After lunch say you are going for a walk at 2.
If you wrote things down on a white board would that help him? Place the white board next to a clock. Either set the white board up like a weekly calendar or just make it for the day if 5 days would be more than he could handle.
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Has he had an evaluation by a neurologist? I think getting some clarity and professional advice might make you both more at ease. I’ve always felt that even bad news is better than no news and would rather know exactly what I’m dealing with. A friend once told me that acceptance comes over time, it’s very true
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Bethmh Jan 5, 2021
Thank you for your good words.
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My wife has Alzheimer's with mixed vascular dementia. The first few years were difficult for me, and I'm sure her as well, I would lose my temper at times. I have learned to adjust to the present day, Iim now thankful for the small things that remain of her once vibrant self knowing well that I won't have them as the disease progresses. This new understanding has helped me considerably to enjoy our time together. I hope you can learn to enjoy your time together and be thankful you still have a loved one you can hug, hold hands with and share a kiss. I wish you well.
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Oh my.....I can so identify! Looking back the past 6 years, I realize my husband, now 68 years old, had started getting dementia. I didn't suspect that at the time, just thought he was inconsiderate about forgetting things. I had learned only a couple years after his retirement at age 62 that he was advised by his company to retire early because of memory issues. (Why didn't this employer notify me?!!!). Anyway, we went to his primary doctor who suggested him to see a neurologist for testing. Sure enough, the MRI/PET scans confirmed Alzheimers. It's been 4 years now since he's been on meds and vitamins, but they eventually wear off. The caregiving has put so much stress on me that I had to place him in memory care 4 months ago. We were both getting so agitated, and was advised to place him in memory care, since he did hit me once and threatened a few times as well. Anger is part of Alzheimers for some. I'm going through this guilt stage now, with not being able to care for him at home. I've tried in home care service companies, but they failed me with inexperienced employees who couldn't meet my requirements. Also, Covid hasn't helped with visitation, etc. Hard part, too, is when family or friends don't understand my decision to place him in memory care.....well, they weren't here 24/7!! You have to let go of others who are judgmental with their opinions and thoughts. Meantime, my husband is adjusting to his new home, but still expecting to "come home" sometime. Every day is difficult for me more than him.....living alone, both families living out of town/state, no visitations due to Covid. Alzheimers has no cure.....and still hard to accept that it will get worse. Thank God he still remembers me, but I'm preparing for the day when he won't. The hardest part is thinking about how long this will "drag" out.....2 months, years, 5 more years??? Paying now out of pocket is very expensive, and sadly our retirement money will run out eventually. I suggest you start a person savings account in your name only, to protact the state or Medicaid from taking "your" money when they start paying for his care.
Good luck to you. I hope you can find an Alzheimers support group, because our county here in Ohio offers none. Just depending on a few friends to talk to for helping me get through this.
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joelfmi118 Jan 8, 2021
I put my wife in memory care in assisted living facility in Babylon NY were she then caught covid 19 after being their 3 months. This was the worst decession I ever made. I am now breving for her may she rest in peace. She was the love of my live for 54 years. They treated her and myself terribley and she died horrible. the AARP made report on Nursing Homes and the report tell you how bad their care is and how they cut cost for profit.
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