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Have belonged to the forum for some time now but have just hung back and not gotten involved. My wife has suffered from dementia for some time now but in a mild manner. Now she has began telling me that I am not her husband, asks me who the woman is that she saw me in bed with this morning, etc. She has turned into a woman with four modes. The normal wife, the angry wife, the happy wife who remembers nothing but laughs when you answer her questions and then finally the crying wife. She also is forgetting how to do everything like cook, simple house work, take meds, etc. Been a long trip to this stage. We have been married 61 years and both are now in our 80's. Any suggestions folks on how to make life easier? Ren

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Thanks folks for all of your suggestions. Hopefully she will retain the normal for some time even tho the other three modes are becoming more often and last longer as time passes. Ren
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Go with her where she is in the moment...and try not to take it personally. I'm a daughter whom my mother remembers sometimes, and other times she thinks I'm her mother.
It's a painful process for all. I've found being in the moment and catching that sliver of connection, whether it's accurate or not, is worth the effort. I try to soothe mom wherever she is in time and space.
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I'm praying for you. I'm going through the same things with my wife. No answers just pray for strength.
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I agree with most of these statements but especially consult her Dr. There are new meds out that are dementia specific "Exelon patch, Namenda, Aricept, to name the most popular. If she isn't on one of these , perhaps her Dr. will give her one. I have seen them help a lot of people. I would also encourage you to get outside help. You need to be able to take a break from her care, for your own health. My heart goes out to you, nothing is worse than the angry wife stage. There are some good videos online by a gal named Teepa Snow that you can watch that address all these stages and how to help you handle them from a caregiver standpoint. I encourage you to look for them, she can really help with the way to respond so the situation doesn't escalate. Prayers for you and your wife.
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All I can do is "care" and pray for you.

I discuss this with my DH often - about him knowing who I am, etc. I am already planting the seed as "the crazy lady who takes care of him," just in case.

Maybe bring her flowers like you're courting again?
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You don't look like the guy she married so that's why she doesn't remember you - she probably is stuck in the 1960's at times - if you think about it this way it may help YOU to accept - I think some memory aids like Goldie66 said [above] will help her move through time to present - good luck & don't take it personally
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The first time my in-laws went through the "you're not my husband" incident, my husband flew down immediately, walked her through old pictures and mementos and greatly calmed things down for awhile. In the meantime, I had one of those photo blankets made with photos of their life together from family members to treasured pets, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. We even included photos of old photos of them in their 20s, WWII uniform too. Even though photos of photos, it all came out beautifully. Then when she had her episodes of thinking he was everything from he brother to a stranger wanting to attack her, he could sit and go through the pictures on the blanket with her. Easier than handling big photo books and frames. They soon moved to assisted living. Ultimately the blanket became more a comfort to than her but well worth the effort. All the best to you. It can be a difficult journey.
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Jim you may now have to stay one step ahead of her and anticipate more changes. I just go with the flow with my Mom's mood changes and just validate her experience with sympathy rather than reaction or reality rather than make her feel worse.
You mention stat she is losing her ability to cook. That is a red flag for safety. It is time to disable everything that generates heat which could start a fire. Start planning to cook for her and also hire a cleaning service.
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Jim, I'm sorry you have to face this. The best advice I can give is to allow yourself to accept any help that is offered and available. When friends and family say "what can I do?" have a list of task already prepared in your mind, it could be something simple like visiting (and ask for something specific, like an hour on Thursday afternoon), or more complicated like taking over the yard work. Investigate what kind of community supports are available too: hire in a housekeeper, sign up for meals on wheels, enrol her in adult day care or go with her to the local seniors centre. Allow bath aides and other helpers to relieve you of some of her personal care needs, this is something she will probably need to accept eventually so there is no reason to put it off until later. And take some time for yourself without her, even if it is just a walk around the block or a coffee with some guy friends.
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Hi Ren,

My Mom got stuck in "Crying Mom Mode". Her Dr had her go to the ER. Mom was then evaluated by a Geriatric Psychiatrist affiliated with the hospital. They tweaked her meds and her mood stabilized. She was not over medicated. Just mellow and happy.
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So sorry you are both going through this. It is very difficult for both the caregiver and the one with dementia. Add to that being her life partner, and it must be even more difficult.

The only thing I can suggest is getting her to the doctor to see if they can prescribe some medication to alleviate some of the mood swings.

My mom has dementia and goes through many of the phases your wife does. I try as hard as I can to take the good and leave the bad, but it is so hard. My mom is also in a facility, so I cannot imagine how hard it is to be with someone day in and day out with that type of swing.

Hugs to you and hang in there!!!
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