After spending all day caring for my 94-year-old Mom, I go home and deal with my husband's memory issues. I feel like I am losing it.

My husband is 70 years old. Two years ago, I said something to his (and my) internist that I had a concern about his memory. Apparently, the doctor didn't see an issue since my husband made a comment to me about it one day. Since then, it has gotten worse. He asks me the same question two and three times in a matter of minutes. I say things that I shouldn't, like: "You just asked me that!" or "You have asked me that 3 times already!" To that he will either ask me again anyway, or he will say that he is just "verifying" (which is his way of saying he doesn't remember asking or what I said). There is also a look on his face sometimes that I can't explain, like he is insecure.

I texted him the other day and explained that something I ordered from Home Depot would be delivered to the store the next day. He called me to say he didn't understand. So, I explained it to him. He said then that he understood. Two hours later he replied to my text: "Okie dokie," as if we hadn't talked on the phone about it.

I know that I don't always remember things, but if someone says, "Yeah, you told me that," I will remember the conversation, and say, "Oh that's right." (It's not like I don't have other things on my mind, plus I don't sleep well with all that is going on.) My husband never says he remembers asking me anything.

I have told my husband that I am concerned about his short-term memory. He says nothing. He used to play football, and I am sure he has had concussions. But, he brushes it off. He is the kind of person who thinks, 'whatever happens, happens.' I fear that when Mom passes, I will have more to deal with at home.

I have researched the signs of dementia, which all seem to point to having issues paying bills, getting lost, frustration with technology, etc. as the first signs. We pay bills separately, but I see no signs of him forgetting that. He hasn't gotten lost while driving, though he has lost his money clip twice in the past 6 months (still hasn't found it!). He has always had issues with technology, so that hasn't changed.

What were the first signs that you noticed something was wrong with your loved one's memory (besides the normal age-related issues)?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I was in Europe with my mother in law. We were having a great time - saw everything in Paris - the Louvre, the Eiffel tower - walked up all those stairs - walked all over. Then we went to Amsterdam. The next day in Amsterdam I got a little frustrated with her because we disagreed on some simple things - like how to walk back a short ways to the hotel - the way back was very obvious. When she said "When are we going to see the Louvre?" a light bulb went off. (We had just seen it. And we were no longer in Paris.)
It did turn out that she had Alzheimer's. But one week - fine, next week big red flags but most of the time normal!. Maybe had I spent more than 2 weeks with her I would have seen more.
A friend said his wife's first signs of Alzheimer's were just forgetfulness. He had no idea, and just thought it was "cute" at first. (He hates to think of that now.) Then things started happening like getting lost when driving, fender benders, and suddenly not knowing how to do things she loved to do and was good at. Such as needlepoint - one day she could do it, the next she couldn't do it at all. And cooking - one day she was stirring a pot on the stove and he asked what she was making. She said a stew, and when he looked in the pot it was cooked to mush, but she couldn't see it.
Helpful Answer (2)

Listening to everyone here, it made me think... My husband is obsessed with putting dates on the dog food container to see when we started a new bag. He writes it on scotch tape that he has on the plastic bin. The thing is he never takes off the previous tape. He just keeps adding tape. He has also put dates on boxes of water flavorings in the cabinet. He is not a very organized person (you should see his office....), but he was always one to have a spreadsheet for his gas mileage (who cares???), the gas and electric usage, and his golf scores....

His internist will have to refer him to a neurologist. I will be sure I bring up my concerns (again) at my next visit, and hopefully something will be done this time. I am keeping notes of the things he has done.

Thank you all for your input.
Helpful Answer (0)
wally003 Sep 2018
omg! so funny sounds like my dad for the gas mileage. but he did that prior to dementia...
and the putting dates on stuff. eh I do that :(
I always take a sharpie marker and write the exp date on spices etc, peanut butter etc. popcorn. Once I open my almond milk I put masking tape and write the date I opened. (only good for 10 days after opening)
I am organized tho.
I agree with Ahmijoy, you may want to take him to a neurologist. He can have an EEG done and that will help with a Dementia diagnosis. Has your husband had his hearing checked? At 70 it would be a good idea. Since he goes to an internist than I guess he gets all the tests.

I look back on the years before Mom had a definite diagnosis. I took got frustrated. My neurological and physically disabled nephew came to live with her. My brother raised him from 7 to 18 yrs old. He needed structure and got it from my SIL but maybe a little too stricked. So my Mom tried to compensate for it going the other way. She believed him over me. She could not be reasoned with. She got overwhelmed easily. Asked me to take over the bills, she no longer could add and subtract and her handwriting was awful. Lost the ability to use a cordless phone and the TV remote. Took longer to process what you were saying to her. Of course shortterm was effected. TG she was the one who handled the money and really never splurged on anything. She had gotten rid of credit cards when Dad died. That carried thru into the Dementia. I had conditioned her to tell telemarketers that her daughter handled her money and hang up. I was very lucky in this respect, my SIL not so. Her Mom wants to spend. Her phone has been taken away. She has gone thru thousands since her husbands death that were set aside to keep her in her independent living apartment.
Helpful Answer (2)

my mom:
making small mistakes: putting instant coffee in coffee maker, after tasting her cookies I knew she left out ingredients, problems making complex phone calls with prompts, paying bills twice, preparing easy dinners(she couldn't think of what to make), buying ink pens in VOLUME. Listening more than talking. She still drove, but left the house and didn't stay away long...I think she was more comfortable at home. I know she tried so hard to keep it together, but couldn't. these are little things, but you asked for beginning signs.
Helpful Answer (1)

Here are my mother’s signs. Most of which I misinterpreted. For years.

Like I’ve said before, I thought Mom was deliberately being a varsity-level pain-in-the-azz. So she could call the shots and tell everyone who doesn’t like it to buzz off. Which is how Mom always operated. But.....

••Weird obsessions••

“Any toothpaste that’s manufactured in China has poison in it.”

“I can’t throw away anything with a hard edge, because an animal might get into my curbside garbage and cut its mouth.”

“I have to shred my name and address on all incoming mail, so ‘they’ don’t steal my identity.”

••Buying or hoarding things in multiples. The more useless, the better.••

A pallet of 20 garden hoses. (Mom hadn’t watered anything since the 1990s. Because she’s “too busy.”)

A closet full of purses, briefcases and fanny packs — with the price tags still on them.

Every magazine and catalog that came in the door for the past 15 years.

Would buy 3 or 6 or 10 copies of the same book (at once). And keep them all.

A half-dozen charcoal “chimney starters.” (Hasn’t used a charcoal grill since I was in elementary school.)

••Total inability to manage her copious free time.••

Took Mom forever to accomplish nearly nothing. And to hear her tell it, it was always somebody else’s fault. (Hand-in-hand with the loss of executive function, I now know.)
Helpful Answer (2)

With my mom, I noticed that her paranoia kicked into high gear. She swore an elderly man who lived in her apartment building was stalking her.

My husband asks me to repeat things too, but in his case, he’s hard of hearing.

If you are concerned, suggest to your husband that he go to a neurologist to be evaluated. There are medications and “brain games” that will help with his memory.
Helpful Answer (2)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter