1. KatieR

    KatieR Registered User

    Mar 13, 2019
    32
    Female
    My husband has shown signs of what I now realise is dementia for some time - I stopped him driving, he had several falls, he stopped using his computer, his concentration was very poor, agitated at night. But we managed to live with it, becoming isolated from our friends and saying we were fine together. Then he went into hospital because he had a heart attack. When he was in the ICU, he was totally different and much, much worse with hallucinations, agitation. His heart was then fine and they sent him home. We did have nurses coming in and, one day, because he thought a 25 year old nurse (I'm 64) was flirting with me, he became out of control. He bit me, hit me, bit the nurse, bashed the nurse all the while shouting and screaming, calling for the police. The nurse called an ambulance and he's been in hospital for almost a month while they try to get his meds "stabilised". He's still occasionally aggressive to the nurses - once with his granddaughter, he often lives in a world of his own, believing he's on a cruise. Yesterday he thought I was my mother and told me it was time I went home. He calls the other patients by names that aren't their own, he makes speeches that don't make sense but he shouts them to the ward anyway. He shouts for people who aren't there, sees things that aren't there. He has to be restrained as he can't walk for some reason (although he's having physio). Problem is, I'm scared. I once had a violent relationship which I had to run from. My husband's son (i.e. my stepson) wants his father at home. I don't honestly think I can cope. Am I awful? (I feel it). Feel free to tell me I am.
     
  2. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    5,717
    Male
    Bristol
    Others will have more experience of medication that may be able to calm your husband, and of the processes involved in moving him to a care home @KatieR. You are certainly not awful, and you need to look after yourself too, for your own health.
     
  3. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    371
    I don't think you are awful, I think the concerns you have are perfectly reasonable given everything you describe.
    Has your stepson seen his father recently? Is he aware of the extent of the violent outbursts? This is very hard but he needs to understand and whilst it sin't your husband's fault, the disease is doing this, you must ensure your own, and others safety.
    You don't say if you have had a social services assessment - both for yourself as a carer and for your husband. It sounds to me as though this would be helpful.
    My mother is now in a care home because the demands of her dementia were too much for my father to deal with. She needs 24/7 care to be safe. It is always a very personal thing and a hard decision but maybe you need to talk with your family about whether this kind of care (i.e. not being at home) may be best in future. Mummy settled in well, and although her dementia is progressing she seems happy and settled in an environment where she has routines and stability.

    I hope that you get support here - I don't often post but find reading about others in a similar situation very helpful.
     
  4. Fullticket

    Fullticket Registered User

    Apr 19, 2016
    460
    Chard, Somerset
    You are not awful. You are understandably very upset and emotional but, reading all the above as someone who is not involved, if your husband was doing this to you without the dementia it would probably be classed as abuse. Hard words but how are you expected to cope with a violent and aggressive man, albeit your beloved husband, and he has dementia? Whether or not he has been diagnosed he is displaying the signs and behaviours. Deep down I suspect you know this, particularly if you have been involved in an abusive relationship in the past.
    If you had him home you would be in constant fear and you would suffer carer's breakdown. If you have a breakdown that would be two of you in need of care.
    Hit yourself with the guilt stick for a few minutes by all means. Then ask your stepson if he would be willing to look after his father, on his own, for a few weeks.
    Then do the sensible thing and refuse to have your husband home and look at alternative methods and means for his care.
    That is not abandoning your husband, it is showing that you still love him, care for him and want to do the best for him.
    Sending a big hug.
     
  5. KatieR

    KatieR Registered User

    Mar 13, 2019
    32
    Female
    Thank you nae sporran for your response. Problem is, stepson won't think about a care home. I don't live in the UK - I'm one of those Brits who married a European and came to live in Portugal :) . Here, the tradition is the family looks after their own. Problem is, the family is me - my husband's children (son and daughter) will just pop in occasionally.
     
  6. KatieR

    KatieR Registered User

    Mar 13, 2019
    32
    Female
    Thank you! Yes, I'm certainly beating myself with the guiltstick :)
     
  7. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    371
    Apologies if this sounds harsh, but time for a dose of reality with stepson? I agree with Nae Sporran, if he wouldn't be able to look after his father alone, how could you? Does stepson or other family members have any other ideas?
     
  8. KatieR

    KatieR Registered User

    Mar 13, 2019
    32
    Female
    It's very hard as stepson (who's a lawyer) is very controlling. Even his children think I should have my husband at home. But my step-daughter is very supportive and has been looking for care homes for me in Lisbon. Thing is, the siblings don't talk - they hate each other *raises eyes to ceiling*
     
  9. Helly68

    Helly68 Registered User

    Mar 12, 2018
    371
    Ah, families eh? It is never easy.
    For me though, the violence - your safety and his, has to be the main concern. Although difficult, sometimes, in a crisis families can be encouraged to put aside their differences - though my family usually manages to start an argument anyway....
    Could you get a health or social services professional to spell it out to them? That you and he wouldn't be safe unless he stabilises on medication or is in a different environment?
     
  10. KatieR

    KatieR Registered User

    Mar 13, 2019
    32
    Female
    Health and social services don't exist here (why did I move from the UK? :) ). I do have an oncological doctor (I had breast cancer in 2009) and I have regular checks. She offered to talk to them because she says it's essential I don't have "an overload of emotion". But that interview isn't going to happen.
     
  11. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    7,738
    Yorkshire
    hello @KatieR
    you definitely are not awful, you are facing a very challenging situation and being realistic and honest

    is there the equivalent of Power of Attorney or Deputyship in Portugal, as you having the legal authority to manage your husband's affairs may help you when trying to make sensible decicions for your husband's care

    do you have ties with the UK, as you might point out to the son that there will be times when you have to be in the UK for extended periods, so your husband's care will then fall entirely on the son ..... even arrange such a call from a relation or friend !

    might you add Portugal as your location on your profile as members will then be aware of where you are and may be able to offer suggestions specific to Portugal
     
  12. 70smand

    70smand Registered User

    Dec 4, 2011
    257
    Female
    Essex
    It is so difficult to know if I can offer any advice, and I really feel for your situation, but has your husband been diagnosed with dementia and what type as that may help with the way forwards? It appears that his heart attack has exacerbated his dementia but are you aware what medications he is on as not all medication agrees with dementia and could make him worse as people with dementia can seem to react differently to medication that is supposed to help.
    My dad with Alzheimer’s had paranoid, psychotic episodes and after years of being looked after by my mum at home, with my help. He ended up in a care home after a spell in a psychiatric unit to sort out some meds to keep him calm, which wasn’t ideal and certainly not our wish, but my mum could not carry on and I was worried for her physical and mental wellbeing.
    I don’t know if you are able to get his family to realise how he is and get them to sit in on meetings with the Drs and nurses. I realise that the trouble can be that a person with dementia can often make out they are better than they are and deny anything is wrong.
    I’m sorry I cannot be more helpful x
     
  13. KatieR

    KatieR Registered User

    Mar 13, 2019
    32
    Female
    Thank you Shedrech - yes, I'll add Portugal to my profile. I think I do need to see a lawyer about POA and managing my husband's affairs. Unfortunately (I know this sounds pathetic) but I've lost my family in the UK - my mum, dad and brother have all died and I don't have any cousins.
     
  14. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,102
    Kent
    Hello @KatieR

    All your adult step children except for one, believe you should care for your husband at home without any intention of supporting you or sharing the caring.

    It may be the custom in Portugal for people to care for their ailing and failing family at home but I doubt it`s the custom to expect people to live in fear of violence, even if it is the fault of the illness rather than the fault of the person with dementia.

    I experienced one psychotic and violent incident with my husband and he had to stay with our son that night because I was terrified. It didn`t happen again although even with medication his behaviour continued to be unpredictable so for a while I lived treading on eggshells in case I upset him.

    If anyone had passed judgement on me without offering support or a path to a solution I would have been very angry.

    Your son in law may be very clever but he does not sound very kind and nor does he seem to know much about dementia.

    Do you think he has considered how unhappy and afraid your husband may be? Whatever his basic personality I doubt anyone would choose to live the way he is living.

    Your son in law`s controlling is unacceptable and I hope you find the strength stand up to him in your own and your husband`s best interests. Whatever he feels or does not feel for you, perhaps he can be enabled to have some compassion for his dad.
     
  15. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,872
    Female
    South coast
    Im sorry @KatieR - you must feel so alone.

    I dont know what your finances are like, but could you afford a carer to come and help you care for your husband when he comes out?
     
  16. KatieR

    KatieR Registered User

    Mar 13, 2019
    32
    Female

    Thank you. You've managed to write down exactly what was swirling around in my head. I do still feel wary of my husband as he's still in hospital and has to be restrained because he lashes out. Yesterday afternoon he was sure his bed was a car and kept yelling at me to "get in" and give him the car keys. I'm so so sorry for him too...
     
  17. KatieR

    KatieR Registered User

    Mar 13, 2019
    32
    Female
    Canary - I think he'd need more than one carer - it takes 3 physiotherapists to hold him up. The hospital, I think, have given up trying to "stabilise" him - he's better but his moods change constantly from aggression, to calm to agitated, to extremely happy (he gave a speech to the ward the other day, although no-one could understand what he was saying). I have found a place that has a very good name and is connected to a well-known hospital here in Lisbon. One floor is dedicated to people with dementia where they'll stimulate them (although, as they told me yesterday, they can't do anything with the brain cells that have died), but maybe they can get him at least to calm down. It'll probably be for a month and then I'll see what happens.
     
  18. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,102
    Kent
    I never stopped feeling sorry for my husband but when he was going through this psychotic stage feeling sorry didn`t remove the fear.

    Thank goodness this stage passed once the correct medication was being administered so I hope this happens for you.
     
  19. KatieR

    KatieR Registered User

    Mar 13, 2019
    32
    Female
    Thank you!
     
  20. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,872
    Female
    South coast
    I had not realised how bad he was. You cant look after him while he is like that - whatever his son thinks.
    I hope the place that you have found works out.
     

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