1. Our next Q&A session is on the topic of Christmas and dementia.This time we want our Q&A to involve our resident experts, you! Share tips and advice on navigating Christmas here in this thread.

    Pop by and post your questions or if you prefer you can email your question to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.
  1. Tiller Girl

    Tiller Girl Registered User

    May 14, 2012
    91
    Has anyone experienced their partner improving ?


    Usually our son lives with us but he's gone away for 10 days. So it just me and OH ! But the strange thing is he seems so different this week. He seems more like his old self laughing and joking. He's still forgetting things but he hasn't had , what I call, 'the dementia' look. You know that look they have when they're not really in the same 'zone' as you. He seems to be quite with it.

    I'm finding it really disconcerting if I'm honest because it's really thrown me. I'm wondering now if he was depressed before. Or does he feel left out when our son is here as he does a lot of the jobs around the place?

    Has anyone else experienced an improvement in the OH behaviour at all? Is this a natural part of dementia ?
     
  2. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    2,839
    England
    #2 Katrine, Aug 19, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015
    How wonderful and special to have some time alone together when OH is on such good form. Treasure this unexpected spell of good mental weather.

    A few years ago my mum 'came back' fully for half an hour. I was stunned - it made me realise how much I missed her as she used to be. I stupidly spent 10 minutes of that precious time crying, with the shock, and a sense of imminent bereavement. I was right; after that half hour the lights went out in her head and she dropped back suddenly into her usual level of dementia.

    I think these fluctuations must be to do with blood flow in the brain. My MIL had many episodes of temporary improvement, in the way you describe. We tried to work out the possible causes to try and optimise those conditions, but really it did seem pretty random.

    I believe that it is a scientific fact that the human brain has the ability to make repairs and to create new message pathways throughout our lives. With a diseased brain this ability is still present, so that sometimes a reconnection can be made, to get round a blocked or damaged area. However, because the disease process is ongoing, the benefits are temporary because the damage will progress.

    This then would be my guess as to why your OH has had this improvement. His brain has given dementia a kick up the backside and regained a bit of ground for a while. Your son's absence may just be a coincidence.
    I am sorry that he is missing seeing your OH at his best.
     
  3. Tiller Girl

    Tiller Girl Registered User

    May 14, 2012
    91
    Good points Katrine !

    I'm making sure we do enjoy this brief time as I know it can't last.

    Like you say it's all the more distressing if you see glimpses of how they used to be.

    Anyway I'm not dwelling in that today, we're just going to enjoy ourselves !!
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,879
    Kent
    Our son didn`t live with us but visited regularly.

    When he came, however much we tried , he sunk into himself and let me and our son do the talking. Even when I left them alone together Dhiren followed me into the kitchen and left Paul alone in the living room.

    When he went into residential care we agreed Paul and I would visit separately. It was a good decision because Dhiren and Paul enjoyed each others company without me and both benefitted from the closeness .

    With dementia, it could be `Two`s company Three`s a crowd` when communication skills are going and your husband may find it easier to stay in the background and blank off when your son is home.
     
  5. MrsTerryN

    MrsTerryN Registered User

    Dec 17, 2012
    769
    Mum improved incredibly after dad died . Part of her dementia was delusions about dad having an affair second family etc. Her comprehension improved . Though she had moved onto care 2 days after dad died. It was almost like the stress of the delusions lifted
    Mum had snarky funny quick quips, aware of things ,chatty. It lasted about four months till she broke her hip.
    Yep she definitely a lot better for a while
     
  6. esmeralda

    esmeralda Registered User

    Nov 27, 2014
    3,072
    Devon
    This thread is helpful to me Tiller Girl. My OH had a very bad couple of weeks about a month ago. I really felt is was a big step down, but over the past two or three weeks he's been so much better. It's very confusing and makes me feel as though I must have been making a fuss over nothing or imagining it. I've got a feeling this 'good' period is coming to an end now sadly - we had an awful night last night. Very useful to hear other people's experiences and how important it is to make the most of these good times.
    Thank you especially for your insights Katrine.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
     
  7. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    425
    My dad's dementia depends a lot on my mum's state of mind. He mirrors her moods. If she is angry and stressed, his dementia is much worse (especially the crying and the "dementia face"). When she is calm, he is also calm and even happy.

    LS
     
  8. Tiller Girl

    Tiller Girl Registered User

    May 14, 2012
    91
    Some really interesting posts here. I think Grannie G and Longsuffering both mentioned things that could be influencing OH . I do think there's an element of 2's company, perhaps he just finds it confusing when there's more people in the conversation.

    I'm definitely less stressed as well so that could be helping too.

    I'm just going to enjoy it while it lasts .
     
  9. 1mindy

    1mindy Registered User

    Jul 21, 2015
    539
    Female
    Shropshire
    Hi Interested to know why you are less stressed when your son isn't there. My OH has particular problems with our son and though I love to see him his visits always put me on edge .Just in case
    .
     
  10. pamann

    pamann Registered User

    Oct 28, 2013
    2,635
    Kent
    Hello Tiller girl my hubby has spells of knowing who l am, he is so pleased to see me as he says l haven't seen you for a long time, but this doesn't last more than 20mins, then he doesn't know me, thinks l just come and go. Its lovely while it lasts, enjoy the change in your hubby, hope its lasts.☺
     
  11. Tiller Girl

    Tiller Girl Registered User

    May 14, 2012
    91
    I'm less stressed as I'm sleeping in my own bedroom!

    My son was seriously ill last year so he had to come and live with us. At one point last year my son was in one side of the hospital and my husband in the other.

    As we live in a boat we don't have much room so my son and OH shared a room. That was ok for some months but then OH started to mess around with the lights , the bed etc so my son and I swapped beds.

    So while my son is away I've moved back into the bedroom ! Oh the bliss of not having to wake up to the same conversation every morning ! And it does give me a bit of breathing space of my own.

    I'm hoping that my son will soon be back on his own boat in a few weeks.
     
  12. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,879
    Kent
    I too hope your son will be back on his own boat soon Tiller Girl. No wonder you are stressed. :(
     

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