My husband is not late stage yet, but horrible to live with. Yesterday he took pictures off the wall in master bedroom and wanted to put up snapshots of pics and he had them stuck up there. He is functioning and knows it doesnt look good, but he just wants his way about everything. Its been about 3 years with the outbursts over nothing, then I can't calm down and he is ok. But daily it's something, hoarding stuff, and just easily upset. Not good days at all, and future looks dim.

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Do you know what condition is causing his dementia, such as, Alzheimers, Vascular, Lewy Bodies, etc.? It's really difficult to say how long a patient will exhibit certain symptoms.

I do recall when my LO was in the phase of being so very difficult. She also had hoarding certain things, incessantly repeating things, crying, worrying, obsessing over her cat and she also loved to tape things on the walls. Eventually, those traits left her, however, they are replaced with other issues, like loss of mobility (wheelchair), incontinence, loss of speech, etc. So, when one thing leaves, a more dire issue replaces it. I hate to sound negative.

One of the things that helped my LO the most, was medication for anxiety and depression. It was like a miracle for her. It helped with her overall anxiety and obessions and totally stopped the frequent crying. I'd explore medications with his doctor and if possible, ask for a referral to a geriatric psychiatrist. Sometimes, it takes time to get the right med or combination of meds. My LO took a daily med that did not make her drowsy at all.

I'd also try to get respite time to take time for yourself. Caregiving by yourself is very stressful and may really impact your heath. Try to get help.
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My mother has dementia and sometimes has anxiety and crying spells. I try to comfort her, usually helps. When I ask about what is bothering her, it is usually worry about her children, or she is thinking about tragic events that occurred in the past, some of which I don't think she completely grieved through.

My mom also makes up wild stories, which have found best not to dispute her or argue.

She tells me my two brothers are pilots and cardiologists and fly all over the world helping others. They also "fixed" my deceased brother's heart (he died when he was 18 in an accident). She says he is not a pastor somewhere.

My mom says that Van Gogh painted her portrait and it hangs in a museum.

She has lots of stories, and I just tell her they are very interesting. We actually laugh a lot.

My mom also had behavior issues, some very distressing and embarrassing to family to witness. I found that she was experiencing a lot of anxiety, and also did not understand what was happening to her. She was living with a son and his wife at the time. The wife developed cancer and could not take care of my mom, and my mom was very distressed and anxious about her daughter-in-law, who she loved dearly. For both of their sakes, I moved my mom to an elder care foster home. Her anxiety improved and her behavior problems resolved.

If you decide that you can no longer care for your husband, enlist the help of a senior living specialist to help you find the right place. If your husband is a veteran, he also may qualify for certain benefits which will help pay for his care.
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So, what do you think needs to be done? Does he need to visit his doctor and be checked out for a possible Med change, or do you think he’s ready for a facility? Dementia is a disease wrought with delusions, hallucinations, paranoia and confusion. This happens in all stages and just gets worse and more frequent as this awful disease progresses. There is no reverse gear. You say “I can’t calm down and he is ok.” If you’re having difficulty coping, it’s time to call in close friends and family to give you a break. Don’t discount home health aides either. I know from being my husband’s caregiver 24/7, when my babysitting day with my grandsons comes around, I’m off like a shot.

If all he’s doing is rearranging pictures, he’s not endangering himself or anyone else other than your interior decorating. Keep boxes handy for his hoarding, pack it up and put it in the garage or basement. If he doesn’t ask where it is after a few days, dump it.

If he still has many clear-minded days, chances are he knows what’s happening to him. It’s scary and emasculating. And unfortunately, you are readily available for his outbursts. Don’t engage. Leave the room.

And do take time for yourself.
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