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My husband, a very intelligent man of 68, thinks he has ADHD, not dementia. That's ok with me. He makes up explanations for things he doesn't remember. He never did like to take my word for things. We have a young adult daughter and cats, so we are mostly happy together except for occasional snappy fights. He is starting to have trouble remembering the next step of a job. Sometimes I hover around trying to coach without nagging, but how? I have experience dealing with much older, frailer people, and can see that they can't take care of themselves. But part of me still wants him to do his share (or at least a little) of the housework. Sometimes I'm more like a bratty sister than a loving wife.

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You sound like you are doing an excellent job. Dementia doesn't set in overnight, so people in the early stages are nearly as capable as they were before. What works for me with my mother is I let her do things by herself. Occasionally I peek at her to make sure all is well, then let her do what she is doing. She is actually more capable than I imagine her to be most of the time. One part of me wants to do everything for her. I have to keep that part of me in check. I know I wouldn't want people doing that for me.

If you see your husband is getting frustrated with a job, maybe a hint is in order. He might resent the hint, but it seems better than frustration. When it comes to housework, maybe he can do the things that don't have many steps.
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I went through a time when I felt resentment about my husband's inability to do the things we thought we'd be doing after we retired. The more I read up on his illnesses and read articles on Aging Care the more I began to think of it more from what he's going through than what I was missing out on. It brought it to a head when my sisters from Wisconsin came to visit my daughter in Texas and left me out because they didn't want to "put up" with the inconviences of me bringing my husband along. They had told me the time before that I just needed to put him in a home. He is so vulnerable right now and needs to be with what's familiar to him. We may face this decision down the road but we're not there yet. I volunteer at our community library once a week and do other volunteer work that doesn't take me away too long. We go to lunch every day at our local Nutrition Center and visit with the friends we've made there. He looks forward to it every day and I do too. We exercise 2 days a week at a church nearby and we really enjoy that too. For now I am going to concentrate on him for as long as we have while he's not too bad off. I'm much happier and at peace since I made that decision.
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I could answers to the same questions/issues. I am never right according to my husband, and I'm trying to take everything away from him that he enjoys. According to him, he just forgets things once in a while, and I'm not perfect and I don't know everything. I do know when he hasn't taken his meds, showered, shaved, changed clothes, eaten...but not according to him. I can't reason with him because he has lost all powers of reasoning. He tells me to write notes so he "remembers" what to do. I have done that over and over and over. He still doesn't do what he should. He says he didn't see the notes. I put them in 2 or 3 places where he normally sits/sleeps. So now what? Means I have to be here 24/7 to be sure he gets what he needs and does what he should, but I'm treating him like a child. Very frustrating.
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OMG. If I didn't know better, I would have thought I wrote this question. I am in the same stage with my husband. He just turned 66 and back in 09 he was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment(MIC). His neurologist has not changed the name of what he has, but it definitely is progressing. He is getting our motorhome ready to head home and I have to watch him like a hawk. He wants to put bleach in where it shouldn't go, he wants to turn switches he shouldn't touch. It's like I have to be there 24/7. And yet, he can function very well at things he enjoys, like working on wood. Is your husband on any meds? Mine is on the Excelon patch and Namenda and it doesn't seem to be helping. Is your husband driving yet? I'm planning on doing the driving home as I'm concerned with his judgement now. It's funny how they can forget and mess something up but know enought to fib to cover thier mistakes. You are the first person who is dealing with a spouse close to the age of my spouse and is in the same stages. I hope we can keep in touch for support.
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This is specifically in response to balexander9's post, but may be relevant to other spouses as well.

I can't tell you how very helpful it was that my husband knew his diagnosis and accepted it. Oh, he was not happy with it, of course, and he went through the "why me" anger and "I wish I were dead" depression, but within a few months we both settled in to deal with the here-and-now. His doctor said, "I have to report all dementia diagnoses to the DMV and they will cancel your license. I am very sorry, but it has to be done for safety." He mourned his special edition Miata for a year, but he never tried to drive again. (He drove me nuts as the passenger seat driver, but I tired to be patient about it.)

He had Lewy Body Dementia, which involves Parkinson's symptoms, high fall risks, and extreme variability of cognitive skills.

He didn't think he needed as much supervision as I knew he needed. But it was extremely useful to be able to say, "I know you can stay alone for a while. You are intelligent and have good judgment. The problem is that we never know when ol' Lewy will take over and Lewy does not have a good memory or good judgment. So we'll just play it safe, and someone will be here while I am out."

When he was discouraged because he couldn't do something I could hug him and say, "You are just having a Lewy day, Hon. Maybe tomorrow or even later today you'll be doing better. Just relax here and watch this video about bird migration. Don't worry about anything. I'll handle it."

And we he could remember something that I didn't I'd say, "Hey, wait a minute! Which one of us has dementia?" and he'd laugh. He liked that.

Before he got on the best combination of drugs (which took about a year) and he was falling so often he hated the walker, and I didn't blame him. He would just fall down with the walker! But getting a wheelchair was a huge improvement. He felt safe. He could scoot all around the house in it. His doctor warned that he should do enough standing and walking so as not to lose the strength to transfer. Ha! As his health improved he only used the wheelchair for long excursions, and he went on to bowl with the senior league and golf with a league for persons with handicaps.

My mother has dementia and no one is telling her that. I believe that one size does not fit all on this issue. But when it comes to living with a spouse, I cannot imagine how much harder it would be if you both don't have a clear idea of the diagnosis and the limitations that imposes.

It is good when the two of you together can fight against the enemy, dementia, and not fight with each other.
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Right there with you on this one...my husband is the same. We have an ongoing struggle with a hot and cold issue...he is hot..turns the ac colder...he is cold...he turns heat on. I have a paper over the thermostats control saying to not touch it.....he just pushes it aside and changes it to his whim anyway..then says "I was hot or cold"
I agree it seems like dealing with a child....however one can usually reason with a child...so this is much more challenging because some part of their psych has them believing they are still the capable person of " BD" before dementia.
He thinks he can do the sames things he used to/he tries but gets frustrated when it doesent go right....gets annoyed if I attempt to coach him (as he has always thought and acted like he knew better than me. This dementia is an ugly disease for everyone near to Cope with. Rational seems out the door at times....
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My husband's dementia isn't in the early stages and is complicated by Parkinsonism which makes it dangerous for him to walk unless he has someone with him since he is at high risk for falling. He therefore cannot be left unattended for even a short period of time, although he thinks he doesn't need this level of care and accuses me of "micromanaging" him. Since he has a very poor short term memory, he often can't remember things that happened only a few minutes before, making it very difficult for him to learn new skills or remember the sequence of steps necessary to complete many self care activities. He also doesn't remember to look at notes that remind him of what he needs to do. My husband is also a highly intelligent, well educated person who acknowledge that his memory isn't so good and that he has some difficulty walking but doesn't think these things are that serious, such that he can be left alone without the need for a caregiver. He is related to person and place but not to time and can still discuss many subjects so intelligently that people often don't realize he has dementia initially. This is very frustrating for me and the caregivers at the adult day care program he attends a few times a week so that I can work part-time since he doesn't resents being told what to do and constantly puts himself at risk but getting up and walking by himself when he think no-one is looking. He has fallen often but doesn't tend to remember the falls later and therefore doesn't think that it is necessary for him to ask for assistance when he wants to walk somewhere. He lost 20 pounds before I began to take over his care full time because he used to forget to eat and never remembered to bathe, shave or put on clean clothes. My husband is constantly really angry with me for providing the care that he doesn't believe he needs and sometimes flies into a rage where he gets verbally and sometimes even physically aggressive. I am not able to offer any suggestions because I haven't figured out the answer to this other than to do what I can to take care of myself. In addition to the adult day care program, I send my husband to a very nice (very expensive) "Memory Care" assisted living facility nearby for long weekends once in a while to give myself respite from the stress of his care. I also see a psychiatrist once a month and attend a Well Spouse support group. Venting on this site is helpful as well. Without doing these things that focus on my own needs, I know that I would not be able to care for my husband at home.
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How about giving him easier jobs around the house? He could do the vacuuming and the dishes, right? Gardening is ideal. It is good therapy, fresh air, rewarding because you see results. Put clothes in dryer, folding, put away. Switch roles.
Start giving him coconut oil and find out the optimum diet for preventing or slowing dementia. Crossword puzzles for brain exercise helps with abstract thinking.
Time to shift your gears about his performance, otherwise you will drive yourself nuts. We resist new chapters, especially near the end of the book.
If we can learn to adapt with Grace and say "This is the way it is NOW," we can move forward and accept life changes better. Stay calm and try to center yourself. Help him in the garden. Meditate and pray a lot. xo
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Dear Scared my husband is diabetic and watches tv all day when he's not sleeping and has an obsession with food. There have been times when he's acted a lot like your husband and when I couldn't take it any more I had a talk with him that seemed to get through to him because he's behaved much better ever since. I told him I didn't mind taking care of him but I would not be treated like a dog by him and if he continued to act this way I would put him in a home with attendants that were paid minimum wage and could care less what his needs were because really that's all we could afford. I meant it because I don't think anyone should have to live under the circumstances you describe. So I can relate to how you feel. It helps me to volunteer in my community because it gets me away for a few hours and keeps me in contact with other people. In your case it could even lead to a job possibly. I hope you will check this out because you deserve to be happy too.
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Everyone needs to MOVE every day, not sit around. Terrible habit. You don't need money to learn to do yoga, healthy exercise, take walks, do yard work or gardening. It is a HABIT that needs to be started. "An object in motion remains in motion." Right? Eventually, the activity changes the brain chemistry, which will help attitudes. Sometimes you don't "feel like it." Too bad. If there is a fire in the house, you think those guys are going to continue to sit there? Lol! xo
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