I am new here . I am making my husband unhappy several times a day - he has the onset of Alzheimer- and this is not the same man I married. (I guess I'm not the same woman, either!). I haven't figured out what to say - how to assist him through this - and try to remember this is a disease - he can't help it, He knows he has dementia but has not been told he has Alzheimer. Thank you for being here - all of you. And now I know my prayers will start including you, your families, and your situations. Praise God - He is in control!

11 Replies

  • My father has severe Alzheimer's , so I know how very hard to watch the person you love change before your eyes. You are right that neither of you is the same, but he is changing for a very different reason and with that change comes his inability to think rationally and logically. Things that use to make sense simply don't anymore. Things he used to do so routinely will become very challenging...I remember the first time I realized my Dad no longer understood his bank statement, overpaid the gardener, and couldn't figure out how to work the telephone. I have found that there is absolutely no value in arguing or trying to correct the person with Alzheimer's. It only makes things worse. As much as it does not make sense to you it's usually best to try to go along with them, even if it means apologizing for something you didn't do or taking the blame for something they can't find. I started hiding the bills from him, because he would misplace them and then I couldn't pay them. I had to go behind his back and tell the gardener to never cash a check from him; that I would pay him henceforth. I just quietly took the telephone out of his room and started answering it all the time and simply gave it to him when it was for him. The absolute best resource I found when my father was diagnosed is called "The 36 Hour Day." I cannot tell you the number of times I said, "Oh! That explains that!" But, it also gave me strategies for working with him and ways of talking to him to minimize his frustration (and mine). I tell everyone that if you can maintain an even, loving, and comforting tone and keep yourself from expressing your frustration (even subtly) it makes a huge difference. Sometimes you'll have to remind yourself that the changes occurring in his brain can make everyday or usually familiar things, people an places quite frightening to him, and he will look to you to assure him that he is safe. Developing this now, will make it easier to support him. Over time, I've been able to convince my father not to drive, taken his keys, had his license revoked and sold his vehicles. I have even moved him out of his home and into mine. He has asked on several occasion to go home, but I now have him convinced that this is his home. Supporting your husband will not be easy and it takes a ton of patience and a whole lot of calm on your part. You also need someone to whom you can truthfully vent about your heartache and hurt feelings. Finally, you also need someone who can help you, at least from time to time, so you can get a break. I hope this helps you a little bit. This is a great place for info and to vent. I am more than happy to share anything I can if it will help you. God bless you on this journey, my prayers are with you.

  • Thank you so much. After my initial trip to the local Memory Center, I purchased that book! It HAS been a help.

  • Hi Stephanie, my name is Pat & I am new to this website this evening, my husband was diagnosed last Feb. with Alzheimer's & Dementia. I thank you for sharing your experiences regarding your Dad, I'm sure I will find them helpful, my husband lost his driving privileges this year, & that has been very difficult for him to accept. I loved your good advice to maintain an even, loving and comforting tone, and to try to hold back frustration, thank you for that, I need to be reminded, & thank you for the title of the book, I shall look for it. You sound like a loving caring Daughter. We are Blessed to have a loving caring Daughter as well, she is in Real Estate & sold our home for us 3 months ago, as well as her & her husband selling their home, to accommodate us to live with them, we rent their basement apartment, it is so nice that they help care for our needs. Thanks again Stephanie, Pat

  • Hi Pat, I think losing driving privileges is the hardest for everyone. It was for my dad; even though he had not driven in well over a year, he was certain that he had been driving just that week. When I finally had it revoked, he finally just stopped asking for his keys and gave up. Then when I sold the cars...even better because out of sight was out of mind. You are blessed to have your daughter and son-in-law to help. I have my husband helping me and that is a Godsend. I've been through a lot as my dad has changed, including a lot of heartache and I've learned a lot. Having a shoulder to cry on has been helpful, too. Please feel free to reach out to me if ever you feel the need. God Bless.

  • Thank you Stephanie, I appreciate your wisdom & knowledge on this disease, but so sorry you have to go through this painful experience with your Dad to have gained it. Thanks for your kind offer of help. Pat

  • Thank you Stephanie

  • Hi Newbie, I am new to this website as of this evening, I read your comment & it could have been my words exactly, my husband was diagnosed last Feb. with Alzheimer's & dementia, There are days too many that I feel like this is not the same man I married, and I guess I'm not the same woman either, I always thought of myself as a caring & compassionate person, & I am feeling doubtful about that lately. I don't know what I would do without the Lord's help.Hope you have a good night Newbie, Pat

  • Pat - I have always been a prayerful person but now even more so - I have received many graces so far, but sometimes I fall so short - get irritated - and the thing that bothers my husband most, and I understand ( I would feel the same way), is my tone of voice. I tried what my mother used to tell me - talk in a quieter, slower voice - but he is now hard of hearing so that doesn't really help! LOL.

  • Hi! I'd hate to think of your frustration as falling short, because everyday you are doing your very best to carry your husband through this. And... I believe that on your worst day, your husband gets better care from you than he could anywhere else...I recall how important it was to me for my brother to remind me of that and how grateful I was to hear it. But, it only makes sense that sometimes you get a little tired; I know I do.

    I've noticed now that as my dad gets weaker, so does his voice; sometimes I get no acknowledgement like he hasn't heard me; sometimes it's because he doesn't recognize me; and it could be that he's just ignoring me like a child does when they don't want to do something. So, now I find that I sit closer to him to talk to him, but I often add touch. I'll caress or kiss his forehead (since that's where I've kissed him for many years) or caress his hand to get his attention before I speak to him. Sometimes he's bedridden, so I'll caress his foot as I approach him to get his attention. I do this intentionally because I think he receives it as a loving touch, and he will generally respond to me and that helps reduce our frustration.

    They say that God never gives you more than you can handle, but I'll be honest that there are days when I just don't understand how much mettle God must think I have. But, He, my family, esp. my husband, and the love for my Daddy keep me going.

    Keep the faith...

  • Thanks No1butme,yes talking in a quieter, slower voice certainly helps,I am sorry your husband is now hard of hearing, we got a hearing aid for my husband around the time he was diagnosed a year ago this month, but he hardly wears it, he says he doesn't have any trouble hearing, we know different, but I don't push it. What age is your husband can I ask? Mine is going to be 81 in March, & I am coming up 77 in June. Has your husband just been recently diagnosed. I have my husband starting on 500 piece jig saw puzzles, he did one in 6 days with a little help from me, now he is on the second one, & I have stayed away from it, he is doing pretty good with it. He also does Morse code on the computer for about 1 hour a day when he first got diagnosed & I'm truly thankful he has stuck with it ,it's a very good brain work out, and yet some days he is so disoriented , I see he has trouble finding our bathroom. Nice to have this little chat with you. pray you have a good night, Pat

  • Hi Stephanie,I just read your last post, with which I am so touched, I learn a lot from your posts, on how to treat my husband, on how you treat your Dad, it is a terrible disease, I took my husband to the barber to-day & went in with him, I gave him the money to pay for it before we entered the shop & I have just realized he can't really handle money. Could you usually tell when your Dad was having a more difficult day by his eyes? I see a dazed look in my husbands eye's when he is having a more difficult day, I guess the best way to explain it is a blank look. I had mentioned in my post to you he was diagnosed a year ago this month with Alzheimer's & Dementia as mild to moderate, our Daughter thinks he now is moderate to severe, I don't think he is severe, but what symptons constitute being severe? I read one of your posts, you mentioned your Dad was now taking medications in liquid form, I hate to ask you, but is it because he is having difficulty swallowing his meds. By the way my husband is going to be 81 this March, I am coming up 77 in June. Thanks Stephanie, I will be praying for you. Pat

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