My husband has dementia. We have been married for 50 years. It has truly been an up and down relationship. I need insight... - AgingCare.com

My husband has dementia. We have been married for 50 years. It has truly been an up and down relationship. I need insight...

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But we have made it work and raised 4 great kids. I have been his caregiver now since his stoke 13 years ago, vascular dementia diagnosed two years ago. I am committed to taking care of him as long as I am able. Learning a lot about this disease and strategies on how to handle some issues. Even though he is my husband, I find it easy to handle his mood swings if I emotionally detach from him. Need insight on this one. Thanks

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I’ve cared for hubby since his stroke in 2003 so I understand how you feel. What we have to do for our husband’s (I do everything but feed mine as he is bedridden) requires a certain amount of emotional detachment. We absolutely must detach from what we’re doing. People who don’t, write to us and ask how to deal with an unreasonable, demanding and sometimes abusive loved one. Detach. Do what you need to do, don’t engage and get it done with. If we spend to much time thinking about what we’re doing and the unfairness of it all, it just makes it that much more difficult.

50 years is a long time (44 for us). We didn’t get to be old married people by accident. We’ve been with these guys longer than we were with our birth families. It’s ok to put it on auto pilot once in a while. Really.
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Hi Donvee
congrats on 50 years of marriage to the same man. Lol
Im sure over those 50 years you’ve learned many skills that are helpful now. Emotional detachment being one. I consider that a life skill very necessary for dealing with many of the soul sucking chores of life of which there are many. Otherwise I don’t think we could survive mentally and many don’t.
Im not sure what your question is?
Are you looking to be more detached or are you concerned that you are too detached? Or something else?
I suppose our own mental health depends on that balance.
Study the Activities of Daily Living and where you and your dear husband are on the spectrum. This has always been a touchstone for me. I also would look at the ratings of NHs to see what they were measured against on the Medicare.gov website or Medicaid.gov for your state. Sometimes when I would get overwhelmed in caretaking I would feel better that we were doing a good enough job. Good enough was never my goal. Excellence was. But sometimes I had to accept somethings are beyond my control and accepting that is important.
Read the book “Being Mortal, Medication and What Matters in the End” by Atul Gawande. It’s not about dementia but about how care taking facilities came to be and aging in America and when to recognize that continuing medical treatment isn’t always the answer. As Wally suggested watch Teepa Snow on YouTube for techniques on dealing with a person with dementia.
This site has been very helpful to many as a resource for support and dealing with care taking issues. Come back often and ask your questions. It’s sure to be helpful to others as well.
The more feedback you give, the more tailored your responses will be. I’m sure you also have good advice to offer.
Take good care of yourself. Let those four great kids in on what’s going on with their parents. Chances are these are life skills they will need themselves.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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hello, I don't have any experience with vascular, just alz/dementia. but I hear a lot about teepa snow videos(from posters on this website) on youtube, if you have ever been on youtube, you should try to check it out.
she also has her own website. Ive heard she is very helpful.
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