Loves to travel, but only upon returning to home, goes into "another" zone--also, hair fixing fetish. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

Loves to travel, but only upon returning to home, goes into "another" zone--also, hair fixing fetish. Any advice?

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1) Spouse with moderate Alzheimer's loves to take rides. ONLY upon driving close to returning home, does she continually believe our home is just mine, or just hers, that her family is indeed living there (reverts to teenager age), gets very upset if I enter our home. This lasts for about one hour of torment, then recedes and is forgotten.
2) Spouse has constant "fetish-compulsion" with working unnecessarily on her hair while in bathroom...averages 4/6 hours daily. Any suggestions on either or both situations?

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Mary, did he have a lot of headaches before he developed dementia? Did they increase when he started Namenda or any other drug? Have there been other changes in his activities since the dementia? For example, does he drink fewer liquids, is he often constipated, is he exercising less (or more)? Have his eating habits changed? Have non-dementia drugs been changed? Does he sometimes fall? Has he hit his head?

My husband, with Lewy Body Dementia, did not have headaches. I don't know if it is more common with Alzheimer's -- I'm sure someone here will know that. But I think it would be good to track his current activities and the headaches and also to think about what has changed since before the headaches started, and then discuss this with his doctor.
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My husband has a lot of headaches....Is this a common situation with Alzheimers? He takes a daily aspirin....could it be a side effect of medications?
There are so many side effects of so many medications...Aricept and Namenda are the two he takes for Alzheimers. It is possible that Namenda might be the reason? But without Namenda, the memory function will decrease more rapidly. Marymember
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My Dad can shave 5 times a day, I feel for you
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i agree with all the advice given you ! this is a great site , they make me feel not so alone. i am sending you hugs , prayers and a beam of white light comfort
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One of the caregivers in my support group has a spouse who arranges and sorts out and rearranges her jewelry for hours on end. Playing with jewelry or fixing one's hair seem pretty safe pastimes, compared to other things they could be doing. Go on about your business while she is safely occupied.

Since you know that her confusion over the house is temporary, I wonder if it would work to just go along with. If she insists it is her house and her brothers are home, say, "Do you think it would be all right if I come in and get a drink of water?" You don't necessarily have to agree that it is her childhood home, but don't argue about it, either. Just figure out a way to get in it with her! How are you handling this now?

Having a spouse with dementia is very, very painful. If she still likes to drive around, that is wonderful. Get every pleasure out of it you can. There are many frustrating moments to endure. Celebrate all the moments that are still good, and try not to dwell on what you can't fix. Hugs to you!
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Thank you, Eyerishlass for your reply and thoughtfulness. (1) Have tried from a to z ploys to re-direct attention. None work. Such ploys can work up until just driving into our home, then she still insists on it being occupied by her non-existent family of over 55 yrs ago. (2) The hair thing: no physical issues/restrictions. Have tried all you suggest plus watching old home movies, but when the compulsion strikes, with regularity, she "fusses" with her hair for hours on end. She won't accept "looking beautiful the way she is". She sees through all these ploys like a sly fox. Not earthshaking on either issue; which are merely two of many others. Again, thank you for your time and suggestions. "Elgarose"...
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As far as coming home goes, as you get closer to home and you anticipate the spouse becoming agitated try to get her on another topic. Completely redirect her attention. "Oh look! The Smith's have their flowers out already. Do you think it's too early to put flowers out?" Or, "Look at the Miller kid riding his bike. Wouldn't it be fun to be able to hop on a bike and ride around again?" Just come up with things to divert her attention. Sometimes redirecting works and sometimes it doesn't but it's worth a shot.

As for the hair thing, that's a symptoms of the Alzheimer's. Is she in danger while she's fixing her hair? Is she standing up when she shouldn't be? Does she tire easily while standing/sitting in front of the mirror? If she's not in any danger while fussing with her hair let her fuss. She wants to look nice. A lot of women spend a long time on their hair throughout their lives and maybe she's just going back to that behavior from before she had Alzheimer's. But if she is in danger while working on her hair try redirecting her. Tell her there's a great movie on tv or that it's time for lunch. Tell her she looks beautiful just the way she is.
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