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    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

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Capgras - the other wife - help!

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Alicenutter, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. Alicenutter

    Alicenutter Registered User

    Aug 29, 2015
    Massachusetts USA
    Thank you for all the helpful advice. I am finding the Capgras stuff, where my husband thinks I'm an impostor, extremely difficult to deal with on a daily basis. Last night I found myself going for a walk around the block (17°F here in Massachusetts) so that his wife could come home. Which she did, but she was very cold ).

    I'm afraid I had a bit of a meltdown this morning with my husband. We (try to) run a business together - a seasonal rental complex in Provence, just to complicate things further - and he told me I was taking my eye off the ball. Which I am, for obvious reasons. But I lashed out at him, and burst into tears, and I shouldn't have, and I couldn't find the strength to be calm and compassionate.

    I should say we had a turbulent relationship before the onset of dementia, and in some ways my husband is much sweeter and more loving now than he has been in the past. He is, for instance, very concerned about the well-being of the 'other woman' when she goes wandering off into the snow.

    He saw the neurologist yesterday and while we did have a serious talk afterwards, we were soon back in LaLaland. He is terrified, and has never been particularly pro-active with regards to his health, and would clearly rather pretend it's not happening. I can go along with that as much as I can, but in order to do so, I need to do some basic maintenance on myself. I don't get the opportunity, much, because I am with him pretty much 24/7.

    Bit of a rant here, and I really don't know enough yet to reply to other posts with sane advice, but I'm asking for it myself.

    Many thanks to you all
  2. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    #2 Onlyme, Jan 19, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016

    I wanted to post so you knew we were listening even though we are mulling over what to suggest.

    Mum used to go through phases of this but it didn't last long. I seem to remember that someone used to go out of the room, change a jumper or cardigan and come back in a be recognised as 'the other one'.

    I hope that someone will post who has had more experience with this.
  3. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    Thankfully, my late husband only had one episode of this. When he asked about where his wife was, and if she was coming back, I just said that she'd be back soon, and I was there to keep an eye on things and make him a snack if he needed one, until she got back. After a while, he took a nap, and when he woke up, he was fine.

    Onlyme is right - it can be helpful to go out (not necessarily in the snow! Even somewhere else in the house.), and when you are coming back, before he sees you, let him hear you. Talk to him from another room as you approach. Often people connect a voice before a face - or more accurately, I think, if they have the voice clue first, it helps them place the face in the right place in their mind.
  4. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    Excellent advice from LadyA, which I second. The voice, and sounds, seem to remain familiar, which is why Singing For The Brain is so popular. I had some episodes of this, and just went with the flow, because the "where's my wife gone?" episodes, were often forgotten very quickly, and I was reinstated!

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