Hello to All, I’m new. I’ve read the old posts and, as many other newcomers have said, I’ve learned enormously. Thank you all, including the fine moderators. I apologize for the length of this first posting. My wife is in an early stage of what is almost certainly a vascular dementia. (Most of you cope with far more advanced problems.) Her short- and long-term memory are fine. She goes downhill in a step-wise way. She is also early-onset: We noticed problems two years ago, when she was 61; some must have been present years earlier. She took early retirement–at age 55–from a fine career as a professor of chemistry in a nearby college. Our excellent, sympathetic GP had been one of her students. Her main symptoms are– --Near total loss of math and money skills. This scientist can no longer write a check or count her pills. She still cooks fairly well (though I’m taking over more and more), but can’t time multiple dishes. She often can’t read a clock. She loves tv sports, but often can’t follow the score or other numbers. –Spatial problems, galore and increasing. She can’t fold a paper sack. She wears shirts backward. We stopped her driving the day she moved one lane too many, in front of on-coming cars. –Balance and walking problems. She takes slow baby steps, and her posture is terrible–she moves and carries herself like a woman of 85. –Increasing stammering and also loss of words. (Yet her vocabulary remains large and often witty.) –Increasing times of confusion or inconsistency; great difficulty in making up her mind. --She does less and less automatically, such as reaching for common kitchen tools. –Increasing clumsiness. She used to be our “handyman,” but now can scarcely use a can opener. Her behavior wobbles by the hour, as well as over longer stretches. Just now she’s in a passive phase: She accepts my help easily and often requests it. At other times, all the anger, pain and frustration of a once highly independent, professional woman boil below the surface or burst out. Her dream was to retire to a farm, and we’ve done that–we live on 40 acres in a fairly remote part of Colorado, U.S. Of course “her” farm is now mainly mine. My forum name doesn’t reflect my personality, but refers to the 33 woolly beasts (plus 2 llamas, 2 horses and 40 ducks) that wander our pastures. While I’ll be grateful for comments on anything above, I’ll close with 2 specific problems. 1. Are any of you true rural dwellers, who can share thoughts, musings or advice on the special rural problems? For us, these range from my wife’s difficulty in closing gates to the puzzle–sometime down the road–of how to make use of (say) a day-care center when we live 17 miles from town. I should mention that for now I can still safely leave her home for hours when I choose to run town errands alone. 2. I would greatly appreciate all thoughts, rules of thumb, etc. regarding the border between optimism and denial, and how you’ve dealt with it. On the whole, her optimism seems a blessing. Yet it also means that she only sometimes faces or grasps the headaches of continuing to farm and the burdens she has dumped on me: Wheedling her to reduce the flock from 50 sheep to the current 33 took real effort. There are times when she can’t or won’t see me as her caregiver, or face how much she needs one. I want her to participate--as much as she still can and as long as she still can--in major decisions regarding her own life and future. But her frequent refusal or inability to face her condition and the likely future forces me to be more of the boss than I wish to be, and to do more behind her back than I wish to. Thank you for your patience.