My wife, age 74, has early stage dementia. She claims to be easily confused, cannot handle money, and states she has no desire to be intimate with me. However, I have recently discovered evidence of her having risky sexual behaviors with other men, and hoarding money. I am her caregiver, but having medical issues of my own, I occasionally must be absent for periods of time for medical procedures. She resists any other "caregivers" and is still able to drive. Any suggestions?

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You state your wife is in the early stages of Alzheimers. The symptoms can vary from day to day and it's quite common for the patient to exhibit poor judgment and unusual behavior. I would suspect that her behavior is being caused by her condition. They lack the inner perspective to tell you what is going on. I would be quite concerned that she is being taken advantage of. Maybe, the other party doesn't know it, because dementia patients can cover their symptoms for awhile, but nonetheless, it would concern me. It's difficult to say what to do about it, but eventually, something will have to be done to protect her.

I would also evaluate her driving. It's always a concern, because it affects her safety as well as others.

I would view this more of a lack of judgment due to her brain dysfunction than an indication of disinterest in you. I would read as much as I can about couples and dementia. Plus, if you are having medical problems, I would locate some help for her. Eventually, she will need constant supervision.
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1Youngoldguy, I don't have any answers, but wanted to bump your question back to the top. If your wife is in the early stages of dementia, confusion and poor judgment could be expected. Inability to handle money and hoarding are also common. What I am wondering is if your wife has some distorted logic going on in her mind about needing to take care of herself. Is she afraid of losing you? Or do you think she might be preparing in case she needs to leave you? Or do you think there is just no logic at all to it? It isn't unusual for older couples to lose the sexual desire for each other. It is sweet when they don't, but it happens. I don't really have any ideas for putting some spice back in your relationship. Do you and she dance? Do you think she would be interested in learning?

I wondered what types of risky sexual behaviors you've suspected. I wouldn't tolerate that if I were you unless she was in later stages of Alzheimer's. Some spouses forget their mates at that time and may be attracted to someone else around them -- perhaps at a nursing home. We hear about that occasionally. If she is in your home, though, and knows who you are, it is a different matter altogether. I'm just hoping the marriage can still be fixed.
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