Spouse Feed

Dementia-like Symptoms Can Have Other Causes

WildWaterDear Carol: My 75-year-old husband has been reasonably healthy but lately I’ve found he either doesn’t  understand what I’ve told him or doesn’t remember what I said. For example, I mentioned that we needed to have a minor plumbing leak fixed eventually and he said fine. I made an appointment for the plumber and when I told my husband about it, my husband got mad saying that I should have checked with him first. I nicely reminded him of our conversation but he said he thought I was just talking in generalities. This type of thing happens quite often which makes me afraid that he is developing dementia. Should I worry? Gail

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3 Triggers for Alcohol Abuse in Elderly

FallWindowAlcohol abuse can occur at any age, but in the past most doctors looked for the signs in younger people. There’s also a bias in society at large, including some doctors, that people who abuse alcohol will be of a certain type. It can be hard for a doctor to look at a sweet, grandmotherly woman and think that perhaps the “occasional” glass of wine she admits to drinking may actually be a good portion of a bottle on nightly basis.

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“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer


Long-Married Couples Often Die Close Together

BirdPairMy first exposure to this phenomenon happened when my parents were in a nursing home. I visited daily and knew the staff and many of the residents. One elderly man on their floor had later stage Alzheimer's disease. His wife of many decades visited him at least once a day until she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. Even during the worst of her treatment, she visited as often as she could. Then, she died.

Read more on Agingcare about how long-married couples often die close together:

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“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer


Alzheimer’s Diagnosis Brings Unwelcome Remarks from Acquaintances

TreereflectionDear Carol: My husband is 57 and he has been diagnosed with younger onset Alzheimer’s disease. We are both devastated but are trying to make the best of something that can’t be made pretty. One thing we are facing is how to respond to people’s remarks when we tell them the news. Their reactions range from “I’m so sorry” or “that’s terrible” which we find kind of comforting, to a pep talk about how people can still live great lives for years to come before the symptoms become bad. I know that in general people don’t know what to say so they opt for being positive, but this diagnosis is a real blow and we aren’t ready for positive thinking yet. How do we respond to people who act like it’s no big deal? SB

Continue reading on Inforum about the response to an Alzheimer's diagnosis:

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“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer


Was Placing Your Parent in a Nursing Home a Mistake?

Stress_man_hand_238162...Caregiver guilt is human, and for most caregivers, the guilt is largely unearned. Of course, we don't always make the right call regarding every circumstance. But we do our best. I'd hazard a guess that the most painful decision for most of us to make is whether or not it's in our loved one's best interests to place him or her in a nursing home. If it is also in our best interest, then the guilt looms even larger.

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How To Practice Self-Care While Grieving

StormcloudMany caregivers watch their loved ones suffer a long, slow decline that will eventually end in death. During this time, we are grieving every loss that our loved ones endure. At the same time, we struggle with mixed emotions about the release from suffering that their death will bring. You may wonder why you secretly want your elderly parent to die, while knowing how deeply you will miss their presence in your life once they are gone.

Read more on Agingcare about how to practice self-care while grieving:

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“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer


Regaining Your Life After the Death of Your Care Receiver

HangingPlantsmallWhen my mother died in a local nursing home, my "career" of visiting this exceptional facility nearly every day for close to 15 years ended. Mom's death prompted a nurse to whom I'd become quite close, to say to me, "We'll still be seeing you up here. You won't be able to quit."

Read more on Agingcare about the road to recovering our own lives after our loved one dies:

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“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer


When One Parent Dies the Other May Need a Caregiver

YoungwomanolderwomanLong-term marriages generally evolve into a support system so efficient that even adult children hardly notice changes in their parents. If Dad's hearing is poor, Mom becomes his ears. If Mom's arthritis is bad, Dad becomes her muscle. If one of them has memory loss, the other fills in the gaps so smoothly that it's barely noticeable to onlookers.

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Purchase Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories – paperback or ebook

“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer


Telling a Loved One That Hospice Is the Next Step of the Journey

RoadWhen the paperwork was finally signed to get hospice care for my dad, I was grateful. There would now be a routine of care for him where he could live in comfort. That's all he really wanted. However, I knew that breaking this news to Mom would be difficult. She'd have to finally admit, and somehow accept, the fact that Dad was dying. After all, hospice care is for people diagnosed as terminally ill.

Read more on Agingcare about helping a loved one accept that hospice care is next:

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“I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.”  Craig William Dayton, Film Composer


Caregivers Can be Abused by Care Receivers

Corda-strappata-10016888Being in a vulnerable state of health doesn’t necessarily turn a person who was historically abusive to family members into a sweet lamb. Even the best of us can get cranky when we don’t feel well. The frustrations of dementia can be even harder to cope with than physical pain. Good people can become hard to deal with when faced with these issues. 

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