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Can anyone help me with how to cope with my husband's persistent deja vu?

Anita13

New member
May 23, 2020
6
0
My husband is 92 and in perfect physical health (I am 80 and well) but over a year ago he started showing persistent deja when watching TV. It has come to be part of every aspect of his life. It has come to destroy his life. He can no longer bear to watch TV or read. He has come to develop characteristics more assciated with dementia like irrational rages. what I would particular like to have information on is any way that I can get him to enjoy anything that would occupy him. We do have a daily pretty energetic walk (weather permitting)
 
Last edited:

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
14,667
0
South coast
Hello @Anita13 and welcome to DTP

When you talk a bout deja vu do you mean that your husband claims to have been everywhere and met everyone that sees on TV?
If so, its a very common thing in dementia and Im not sure why this is destroying his life and he can no longer bear to watch it, or read. Could you supply a little more information?
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,455
0
Are you saying that your husband constantly says he's seen the programme before and read the book before so he's got no interests anymore? My mother in law was like that, there's no reasoning with her about it.
 

Florencefennel

Registered User
Jun 11, 2018
41
0
My partner has lived in this strange deja vu world for about a year now....he was diagnosed 3 years ago with FTD/ Alzheimer’s. As you say, Canary, he has been everywhere and all programmes on the television were filmed in our local city. I never disagree but it does occur to me sometimes that we could such an interesting conversation about his imagined life...if only we could have a conversation!! Most of his claims have no basis from his life and I wonder how his brain degradation has produced these delusions/confabulations. He doesn’t seem anxious or confused, just matter of fact. It’s a strange world we live in!
 

LynneMcV

Volunteer Moderator
May 9, 2012
4,032
0
south-east London
My husband also went through a phase where he believed that he had seen everything on tv, even when it had never been aired before.

Maybe it was because the plots of many films or dramas followed a similar theme and it triggered memories of things he had indeed watched, as for news items history repeats itself quite often, just in different settings, so again I just accepted that it was triggering memories of other events somewhere on the world stage.

As for wanting to watch something myself, I found that my husband was more than happy to sit through something he'd already seen if I said something along the lines of "I know you've already seen this but I must have missed it, would you mind if I watch it now?"

Fortunately, he was generally very considerate towards me and more than happy to sit through something again if it made me happy.

TV viewing became more of an issue for different reasons further along in the disease and eventually we could only safely watch things which had been seen, tried and tested in the past. If I wanted to watch something with an unknown content I had to find ways of doing so alone - but for the 'deja vu' stage I found that acknowledging his disappointment and asking nicely definitely worked!
 

Maggie

Registered User
Oct 11, 2003
87
0
Gibraltar/England london Now
s. what I would particular like to have information on is any way that I can get him to enjoy anything that would occupy him
How about Music ?
It’s amazing how music can trigger positive memories in people with dementia.
It can trigger feelings .

Have you ever tried thinking back to the music you both enjoyed in your younger years or as you both where just starting to go out with each other .

if you have a smart TV which has YouTube you watch some great oldies films Musicals.

It’s not that your husband needs to follow the plot of the film .
Just the feelings it brings up.
Your now the keeper of your human past music memories
Am just assuming you both enjoyed music?
 

Maggie

Registered User
Oct 11, 2003
87
0
Gibraltar/England london Now
s. what I would particular like to have information on is any way that I can get him to enjoy anything that would occupy him
How about Music ?
It’s amazing how music can trigger positive memories in people with dementia.
It can trigger feelings .

Have you ever tried thinking back to the music you both enjoyed in your younger years or as you both where just starting to go out with each other .

if you have a smart TV which has YouTube you watch some great oldies films Musicals.

It’s not that your husband needs to follow the plot of the film .
Just the feelings it brings up.
Your now the keeper of your human past music memories
Am just assuming you both enjoyed music?
 

Maggie

Registered User
Oct 11, 2003
87
0
Gibraltar/England london Now
My mother went Through a stage of
Watching the film
“ The Third man “
Over & over & over again.
Would wonder around the house looking for something.
Would only clammily sit down watch TV is the video of the “ THe Third man” film was put on for her .
She would wake me up in Middle of the night wanting to watch that film.
Would only sleep if that film was on TV .

when that stage passed .
TV was of no Interest to her .
It was just back ground noise to her .
She did enjoy Meditation , Mindfulness music .
Happy upbeat music .
Needed lot of Stimulation to keep her awake & out of her thoughts within her Mind.
I had to do lot Prompting to keep her Cognitive awareness outside of herself .
My daughters & the dog helped keep her awake & alert, Alzheimer’s day center helped also .
 
Last edited:

Anita13

New member
May 23, 2020
6
0
My partner has lived in this strange deja vu world for about a year now....he was diagnosed 3 years ago with FTD/ Alzheimer’s. As you say, Canary, he has been everywhere and all programmes on the television were filmed in our local city. I never disagree but it does occur to me sometimes that we could such an interesting conversation about his imagined life...if only we could have a conversation!! Most of his claims have no basis from his life and I wonder how his brain degradation has produced these delusions/confabulations. He doesn’t seem anxious or confused, just matter of fact. It’s a strange world we live
My husband also went through a phase where he believed that he had seen everything on tv, even when it had never been aired before.

Maybe it was because the plots of many films or dramas followed a similar theme and it triggered memories of things he had indeed watched, as for news items history repeats itself quite often, just in different settings, so again I just accepted that it was triggering memories of other events somewhere on the world stage.

As for wanting to watch something myself, I found that my husband was more than happy to sit through something he'd already seen if I said something along the lines of "I know you've already seen this but I must have missed it, would you mind if I watch it now?"

Fortunately, he was generally very considerate towards me and more than happy to sit through something again if it made me happy.

TV viewing became more of an issue for different reasons further along in the disease and eventually we could only safely watch things which had been seen, tried and tested in the past. If I wanted to watch something with an unknown content I had to find ways of doing so alone - but for the 'deja vu' stage I found that acknowledging his disappointment and asking nicely definitely worked!
 

Jane56

New member
Jan 21, 2021
3
0
My mum prefers to watch things she has seen before as anything else she considers to be 'a bit odd', so we watch Classic Emmerdale and Midsomer murders endlessly! Thank god for ITV3.
So that's quite different from, almost the opposite scenario of your husband. Have you tried engaging him in practical tasks such as growing some seeds, nurturing plants, feeding the birds, painting/drawing, singing? if he is fit enough to walk then he may get enjoyment from physical exercises as well? It may be a better better to go with more 'hands on type' activities rather than the 'mind based' activities such as word searches, scrabble etc if he finds reading annoying but it may be worth giving them a go as well.
 

Anita13

New member
May 23, 2020
6
0
My mother went Through a stage of
Watching the film
“ The Third man “
Over & over & over again.
Would wonder around the house looking for something.
Would only clammily sit down watch TV is the video of the “ THe Third man” film was put on for her .
She would wake me up in Middle of the night wanting to watch that film.
Would only sleep if that film was on TV .

when that stage passed .
TV was of no Interest to her .
It was just back ground noise to her .
She did enjoy Meditation , Mindfulness music .
Happy upbeat music .
Needed lot of Stimulation to keep her awake & out of her thoughts within her Mind.
I had to do lot Prompting to keep her Cognitive awareness outside of herself .
My daughters & the dog helped keep her awake & alert, Alzheimer’s day center helped also .
Thank you Maggie and I admire you for your proactive efforts with keeping your mother engaged .
Your statement about keeping her cognitive awareness outside of herself is so apt and much the area of concern with my husband . Hoping we can persuade him to come to the doctor so that things like the Alzheimer’s day centre could be made available if COVID allows. He knows he is ill but thinks its a psychological problem
 

B&B

New member
Jan 21, 2021
1
0
Hello everyone, I only found this site about 1 hr or so ago and am already identifying. My 85yr old husband was diagnosed 5 yrs ago with dementia and also sleeps for England. He's always liked his bed so I thought it was just his escapism but now I am understanding that it's more than likely the illness. I have told my doctor my concerns re his sleeping but it's not been addressed. He wakes for a few hours through the night and as yet it doesn't disturb me but I suspect that will change. He can sleep 22hrs of 24hrs without food or meds which is very worrying, though sometimes he will take his meds if I wake him. He has problems keeping his legs still, has nightmares, shouts out and cries becoming very distressed. He also has Deja vu saying the same scene on a TV programme is repeating over and over and sometimes says I have just something 4-5 times. The only way to stop this is if he goes to sleep and then he seems more settled when he wakes. I cannot understand why no one has explained these symptoms to me. I don't really get any help and my husband doesn't get any support either. We had visits from The Mind Clinic initially and then it would seem that once diagnosed we were on our own. Covid-19 has stopped me finding meetings for him to go to as social interaction is good for him. Our two sons live quite a distance away in opposite directions and our daughter is fighting her own gremlins. We have seen our family once since Christmas 2019 and other than them there is no one.
I would welcome any suggestions of help to support my husband.
Bless him he doesn't deserve this.
 

jenniferjean

Registered User
Apr 2, 2016
871
0
Basingstoke, Hampshire
I don't really get any help and my husband doesn't get any support either.
Hello and welcome to the forum. Keep posting here as it will help you.
Do you have carers at all? Have you had a carer's assessment from social services? You need as much help as you can get. If the answers to my questions is no, you need to contact your doctor and request he refers you to SS for help.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
5,221
0
Nottinghamshire
Welcome from me too @B&B

My late mum could never keep her legs still, I found it very distressing to watch her. I’ve recently heard of weighted blankets which can be used to calm anxiety and some people with dementia apparently find them comforting. I’ve no experience of them but may have been tempted to try one to see if it would keep my mum calm when she was at her worst.

My dad had always watched everything on TV before but sometimes would stop complaining if I said I’d missed it last time round. I found old programmes and those about days gone by kept him most engaged otherwise he’d just doze off too.

As @jenniferjean says it’s worth seeing if any help is available from SS.
 

Anita13

New member
May 23, 2020
6
0
Hello everyone, I only found this site about 1 hr or so ago and am already identifying. My 85yr old husband was diagnosed 5 yrs ago with dementia and also sleeps for England. He's always liked his bed so I thought it was just his escapism but now I am understanding that it's more than likely the illness. I have told my doctor my concerns re his sleeping but it's not been addressed. He wakes for a few hours through the night and as yet it doesn't disturb me but I suspect that will change. He can sleep 22hrs of 24hrs without food or meds which is very worrying, though sometimes he will take his meds if I wake him. He has problems keeping his legs still, has nightmares, shouts out and cries becoming very distressed. He also has Deja vu saying the same scene on a TV programme is repeating over and over and sometimes says I have just something 4-5 times. The only way to stop this is if he goes to sleep and then he seems more settled when he wakes. I cannot understand why no one has explained these symptoms to me. I don't really get any help and my husband doesn't get any support either. We had visits from The Mind Clinic initially and then it would seem that once diagnosed we were on our own. Covid-19 has stopped me finding meetings for him to go to as social interaction is good for him. Our two sons live quite a distance away in opposite directions and our daughter is fighting her own gremlins. We have seen our family once since Christmas 2019 and other than them there is no one.
I would welcome any suggestions of help to support my husband.
Bless him he doesn't deserve this.
Hello BandB
I have very recently learnt that at my husbands surgery there is a person dedicated to something their call Frailty Care . My steps daughter spoke with her at length and I am waiting to have opportunity to call her. My husband has many of the aspects you mention. This person lis as concerned about myself as she is about my husband. She is arranging to to talk with all the GPs who might be appropriate to my husbands needs and then the one who seems most appropriate will ask him to come in for a general health check. My step daughter was very impressed with her. I would expect that many surgeries are now adopting the practice of setting up such an individual in their surgery.

I have been unable to persuade my husband to go to his doctor. I suspect he is frightened to do so. His deja vu is all encompassing but he no longer seems to have the night-time horrors like your husband has. The doctor after talking with my husband about his sleep problems gave him a prescription for that but its primary use is as what I would call a tranquilliser. It has helped with sleep and the horrors

A diagnosis seems to help with getting assistance. One person on this forum found that the Alzheimer’s Society had a useful meeting place tor occupational things. It seems to me very likely that
 

jenniferjean

Registered User
Apr 2, 2016
871
0
Basingstoke, Hampshire
I have very recently learnt that at my husbands surgery there is a person dedicated to something their call Frailty Care .
We have a Frailty Team at our surgery. I have found them very helpful. They are trying to make my life as a carer as easy as possible. They sent me brochures for food deliveries. They are getting other people who could help in touch with me, including chasing up SS. The doctor is arranging for my husband's blood test to be taken at home, because the Frailty Team have said so. At last I feel I have someone on my side.
 

Anita13

New member
May 23, 2020
6
0
My mum prefers to watch things she has seen before as anything else she considers to be 'a bit odd', so we watch Classic Emmerdale and Midsomer murders endlessly! Thank god for ITV3.
So that's quite different from, almost the opposite scenario of your husband. Have you tried engaging him in practical tasks such as growing some seeds, nurturing plants, feeding the birds, painting/drawing, singing? if he is fit enough to walk then he may get enjoyment from physical exercises as well? It may be a better better to go with more 'hands on type' activities rather than the 'mind based' activities such as word searches, scrabble etc if he finds reading annoying but it may be worth giving them a go as well.
Thank you foR your practical suggestions Most of them for one reason or the other mostly it seems to me to do with his illness are not available to him. For instance I got him some different art products to try and re-engage him with painting and he just said “that isn’t going to help”. But thank you and I will try the seeds .
 

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