Realising how far dyslexia reaches past the written word.

Hello, I've just joined the group. My husband is dyslexic and was only diagnosed this year, even though he is 63. I have been searching for help on how to ease the friction caused by him now being at home all day as my carer, but not remembering what being my carer means.I didn't realise how much his thought processes were affected, and was getting angry when he couldn't remember to do the simplest things, which to me are obvious. I am almost completely housebound, and things like picking up dropped items are difficult for me. I could not understand why he didn't immediately pick the items up for me, but I now know it just doesn't occur to him. This will make things more difficult in the future as I become less mobile. I thought that repetition might help, I have written lists (trying not to make them into idiot boards) and try to keep routines. The moment I change something i.e. I don't want my breakfast as soon as I wake, then the whole day is challenging. He doesn't get me any food or drink for ages! It is not spiteful, he just has forgotten.

Just recently he has become changeable, and I think it may be depression, as he comes to realise he isn't remembering things. He can't seem to get going, and gets very cross at the slightest thing, or nothing. There is a lot going on in our lives, and there always has been, but he is just realising he has not been aware of it as he has been working. Our children are in their 30's, so our grandchildren are young and can't understand why he is different these days.

Has anyone any links to appropriate help lines, or experience in making things easier?

6 Replies

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  • I hope you can get your husband to the drs. Soon, Depression can cause what they call brain fog & a lot of what you describe.

    I hope he feels better soon & you don't feel too frustrated.

  • Thank you for your kind words, MrsBowman. I will try to get an appointment for us both.

  • Dang, I was hoping you would get comments since I have the same problem...from the other end. I had to have my mom move in so I could take care of her 24/7. She is on oxygen and can't get around much.

    It helps me if I'm given one item at a time to do instead of a list I'm suppose to remember. Be patient with him. Gently remind him but don't make him feel stupid. It is very depressing when you begin to worry if you can do the job because you keep forgetting things.

    Your husband might also not be noticing things because he is escaping into his head. Dyslexics have very vivid imaginations, experiencing thought as reality, so escaping into daydreams is too easy. He is probably unaware he is even doing it, and can't help it. But it is a coping mechanism and it is healthier than alcohol or drugs.

    He might look into caregiver support groups. I don't know what they offer where you are, but some places are realizing that if they don't take care of the caregiver he can have a heart attack and then the state will have to take care of the patient. I was taught rule number one for ever caregiver is take care of your own physical and emotional needs or you are no good to anyone. Maybe your grandkids could come over and give him an occasional break. He can have lunch with friends or go for a walk or something. Just getting a couple of hours off can be a huge help. It's not that he doesn't love you, but he does need a break.

  • Thank you UaLiathain, that is helpful. I know how important it is to look after the carer as a few years ago I had to move in with my mum for a few months before she was too poorly for me to help. Unfortunately when our grandchildren come over they want to play mine craft with grandad and then everything else just stops! I don't mind as it does give him some time worry free, but then he goes into panic mode because he has neglected me. I am never angry with this but you are saying his perception of this may be different ? That would explain a lot. He is often defensive if I do remind him of something, however gently. I will look into local care groups. Best wishes to you.

  • Being Dyslexic is very difficult and being an older man is difficult too. Not everyone is cut out to be a carer as it takes a great deal of patience and is a change of life. Older men can get depressed very easily as they lose contact with men of their own age in a similar position. He probably needs some contact with men and something he can do with his hands as dyslexic men can be good at making things. There are men's shed projects and allotment projects or green gyms that might help him have another purpose for himself, there are carers projects too. When he has an outside interest and support he may well get better at caring for you as depression makes dyslexia worse.

    There is another thing that you might look into there is a link in some people between being dyslexic and being on the autistic spectrum. If he is mildly on the spectrum he may well have got along at work because it was a regular life, maybe being at home has drawn attention to other differences in his internal wiring. This is quite common, and once you understand makes odd behaviour at least a bit more understandable if not less challenging to cope with.

    Older men can also suffer with a loss of testosterone this can make depression and memory problems worse. He could also have a degree of age-related memory loss which could be masked by the dyslexia diagnosis. He should have cognitive tests at the doctors.

    This all sounds very difficult for you I hope you find this of some help.

  • Thank you rosetinted, I have thought about things you mention. I am aware of the autism spectrum, but once you are aware, it is too easy to see it in so many instances. He never has been very social with no groups of friends, and is useless with his hands! His "thing" is computers, which is a very single activity. He has played online gaming a bit with others, but he would rather play alone. We were hoping he could get involved with the local Heritage Open Day committee but they have not been helpful in replying to several messages, even from the local tourist office, whom we know quite well. I will chase this further as I think it would be just the ticket. Only committing to one week a year, but with researching into local history, which he enjoys.

    Kind thoughts and thanks to you.

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