Even though I tried keeping him safe, taking care of him and of course, drive everywhere we need to go. We have 50 plus years of marriage. He unlocks windows, climbs out of windows, placed a small piece of paper in the windows so he can open the windows when the alarm system is on. There is a younger woman who lives down the street and he tries to be with her every chance he can. His personality has definitely changed. He has been diagnosed about a year and his health is going downhill. To me, he is cheating. I am highly stressed! I tried talking with friends and some family members but they don't understand. One of my family members told me that I was the one with dementia but I am not. My faith in God is keeping me grounded.

Tell me what you think and what I should do.

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If your husband is escaping and wandering around the neighborhood, he needs more care than he is getting. I am not saying you are not doing your best, but he is getting away from you, and could get into some real trouble. One of my friends father was a retired police chief,, he used to wander around and look into the neighbors windows. Police were called, they "blew it off" because even with ALZ he was "one of them". Until one night a neighbor took pictures of him looking in their 14 YO daughter's window. The Chit hit the fan,, and that was tough to "blow off" Action had to be taken, and he ended up in a home where he could not wander. You say the neighbor lady is in her 20s or her 50s? He 'tries to be with her",, but is she trying to be with him, or just being nice and a good neighbor. His wanting to be with her does not equal her feeling the same way.. she may be creeped out, and then he will be in some trouble. My father with ALZ was always thinking my niece as will as my nephews GF were "after him" , they would have been horrified if they ever knew about this.
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My smart aleck side says move him in with the family member who said you are the one with dementia. Or the young woman down the street. Take advantage of the break. People can be so annoying when they don’t have the full picture.
I know this is very painful for you and I’m sorry you are going through this.
You must understand that your husband in many regards is gone. He has slipped back in some ways to a younger version of himself. Sneaking out and wanting to visit with the young girl sounds like a teenager. His brain is broken and while you may not have dementia, your brain is trying to make sense of what has happened to your life!

Very understandably you are confused and looking to right this fiasco. If only we could figure out who to blame?!!

I suspect your family member who is responding so flippantly doesn’t have a clue. Few of us do until it happens to us. You are the one trying to get everyone’s attention that things aren’t right so that makes them uncomfortable. They might have to actually do something.

Lets start with the basics.
Do you have a POA? Has he been declared incompetent?
Have you been to a certified elder attorney to make sure all of your paperwork is in order? Have you contacted the Area Agency on Aging to see what services are available in your area?
What are your plans for his care? Can he afford private pay or is Medicaid in his future? He may need memory care now or he may need a doctors visit to make sure he doesn’t have a UTI, or a reaction to one of his meds.
Is he violet?
Have you found a support group for yourself?
Don’t waste your time expecting family to step up. You can let them know what help you need but so many caretakers waste precious time and energy trying to make others want to help. The ones who can or will have probably shown up by now.

Its very important to get the right legal help. Especially as a “community spouse” so that you can protect your own financial future should he have to go into care.

It may seem that I have glossed over your two timing man. You don’t have time to worry about that other than to make sure he has no ability to give away valuables or cash to one who might try to exploit him. Of course he shouldn’t be wandering. That may be what is going on with him slipping out. Not all, but many with dementia wander for a stage and then he may stop as the disease progresses.

The man you lived with and loved for 50 years is fading away.

I’m sorry you are going through this. Come here to vent and join in with the other caretakers. Recognize that you will need help and plan for it now. You will never be more able to set things in order. Don’t put it off.
Also if you haven’t please read “Being Mortal, Medicine and what matters in the end” by Atul Gawande.
Since he can possibly still sign needed paperwork at this level of his disease that he might not be able to sign in the future see a certified elder attorney soon. Filing for guardianship is much more expensive.
Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day OConner who would visit her husband in his care facility would find him with his “girlfriend” who also had Alzheimer’s. She was happy that he was happy. He had it for twenty years. She has it now.
Here is a link to read more about it.
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jjmummert Jan 2019
Terrific response.
He sneaks out to see this younger woman? Does she encourage this or is she freaking out at his attentions? I ask because this is a perfect elder financial exploitation scenario waiting to happen.

Of course you feel like he's cheating on you, he's actively pursuing another woman, whether physical or emotional infidelity it hurts your heart.

I would protect your finances and then try to get him a psych evaluation, they may be able to calm him down. Escaping and wandering are a part of Alzheimer's and dementia.

Hugs, this has to be so hard. Could it be time for professional care for him?
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