Concerns for 62 year old husband

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by ElleBee, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. ElleBee

    ElleBee New member

    Mar 14, 2019
    Hi everyone, this is my first time posting and do wonder if I am over reacting after reading other posts.

    Yesterday I was at home doing paperwork and my 62 year old husband was doing some work at a neighbours holiday cottage we look after. He was gone quite a while and I was just thinking of going to make sure he was ok when he walked in looking absolutely terrible.

    He was also annoyed and asked why I had snuck into the cottage and hidden his car keys. He ssid he always hangs them in the same place under his hat and coat, and remembers putting them there when he entered, but someone had moved them. He spent nearly an hour looking for them, going through bins and even looking in the oven and dishwasher. He found them on a lamp table in the corner of the sitting room.

    He was adament it must have been me, even checking my boots and shoes to see if they were dry. When he could find no evidence of me leaving the house he was upset. He was desperately hoping I would admit it was me, as the alternative scared him.

    This comes a couple of years after he picked me up from work looking terrible. He had set off down a much used route but said he didn't recognise where he was, he had absolutely no memory of the road at all. He said he kept on driving in the hope he would end up somewhere he knew and eventually recognised a building just round the corner from my workplace.

    These are two biggish incidents, but there have been many times, especially in the last few months where he has forgotten he has told me something, forgotten conversations we have had and been convinced that someone has been moving stuff around, although the latter has been mainly at work.

    I have worked with people with dementia, albeit in the latter stages, and I am just hoping there is another explanation fir my darling husbands issues.

    I just have to try to get him to the doctor now, but he is scared of what they might say :(

    Sorry for the long post.
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    To be blunt this sounds like my husband in the early and pre diagnosis stage of Alzheimer’s. The only way you will find out is to have him checked out by his GP then the Memory clinic.

    Best wishes
  3. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    N Ireland
    Hello @ElleBee and welcome to the forum. You have come to the right place for information and support.

    I agree that the best thing to do in this situation is have a chat with your GP. Many treatable conditions, such as depression, stress, thyroid problems, vitamin deficiencies etc., can cause dementia like symptoms so it's important to have a check-up. Please don't cause additional stress by jumping to the immediate conclusion that it's dementia. On the other hand, if it is dementia then a diagnosis may open up support for you.

    Here is a link to a Society Factsheet about the diagnosis issue. Just click the second line to read or print the document

    Assessment and diagnosis (426)
    PDF printable version

    Now that you have found us I hope you will keep posting as the membership has vast collective knowledge and experience.
  4. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    Welcome to Talking Point ElleBee.

    My husband was 62 when diagnosed though episodes that you have noticed had happened to my husband before diagnosis. There are other medical conditions that can cause such problems and behaviour so it is important to see your husband’s GP just to get these ruled out before testing for dementia.

    It is difficult and frightening but the sooner things are sorted the sooner you will get the help if it is needed, whether dementia or other medical reason.

    Please keep reading and posting, support is very important.
  5. SaraKate

    SaraKate Registered User

    Dec 29, 2018
    Hi and welcome to the site. Im new here too and my husband is also in his 60s and we had a scan which showed minor chronic impairment to the white vessles in the brain last week so it's really new for us too. I thinking fearing the unknown is worse than knowing something bad is on the way. Certainly I find my husband's moods easier to cope with now I know that it is an illness and not just moodiness and bullying. But the missing keys incident is much more extreme than anything I have yet faced. The suspicion and irritability strikes a chord though. I hope you can find the courage to talk to him and he can find the courage to start the quest for a diagnosis. I kept a diary of dates and incidents so that I could show him proof of incidents rather than it by his denial against something that would sound like an accusation. It was much more neutral when written down as date and event and he let me give it to the doctor too. I am sorry for the situation you may be in, and lord knows I am sorry for me too.
  6. SaraKate

    SaraKate Registered User

    Dec 29, 2018
    Since writing the above we have seen the doctor who said the scan shows 'average ageing'. Ive written elsewhere that this is of course wonderful news, and that I am thankful that we have avoided (for now at least) this terrible disease. Of course, it leaves us with the problem of his evident stress (which is causing the symptoms) in a life which should by idyllic. He's retired, we're OK for money, and our children are all fine. But he is stressed and unhappy and irritably and sometimes very unkind to me. Now we're going to have to figure out how to create a life which is less stressed for him and less unpleasant for me, without the explanation of an illness, and without the desire to come together to deal with an illness together. It's just us - me being irritating and him occasionally bursting out against the irritation.
    Of course, the neurologist could have been over optimistic and there could be a diagnosis further down the line, of course he could deteriorate and this time could be seen as early signs - as other people describe. Or maybe we'll have 30 years of this - which I cant say is a great prospect either. Sorry to be down at good news. But I imagine you can see that though medically it's wonderful, it's personally ambivalent.
  7. TheBearsMummy

    TheBearsMummy Registered User

    Sep 29, 2017
    East Midlands
    I'm wondering if he might be missing the structure that going to work gives to our lives. A friend hated his job and was counting down to retiring but when it happened he didn't know what to do with himself all day everyday once the novelty of doing as he pleased had worn off.
    When his work asked if he would help them out over a staffing crisis he leap at it and now does 2-3 days per week on a casual basis. He is a much happier chap now than at any time I've known him (over 20 years).
  8. Philbo

    Philbo Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017
    Hi @ElleBee

    My wife's been diagnosed with dementia for around 5 years, (63 at the time) around 18 months after finally getting our heads out of the sand. I was certainly very reluctant to even consider there may be a problem but it's surprising, in hindsight, how many tell-tale "incidents" you recall?

    She would often nod off on the sofa after dinner and sometimes, on waking, would look confused and ask where her sisters were! As they had long since been married and in their own houses, we put this down to tiredness, stress, you name it.

    On another occasion, we got in her car to drive home after babysitting our grandson and on starring the engine, stared blankly down at the pedals. She seemed to not know what to do next, which only lasted a very short time and we drove home. Again we shrugged this off.

    As mentioned above, there could be many things causing your husband's memory lapses, so although it is scary, it is worth pressing your GP to investigate further.

    Good luck.
  9. SaraKate

    SaraKate Registered User

    Dec 29, 2018
    Thank you. I think that we're on a watching brief. He is to report back to the neurologist and I hope that will continue say six monthly as he copes with what we are all calling 'stress'. And you're right, TheBearsMummy, though his work was immensely stressful I think he liked that aspect of it. I dont think a bit of it would work for him, I think he liked everyone going mad and him saving the day. Nothing can compare to it. So when the neurologist says go and do things that make you happy - I think the gulf widens. All that made him happy makes him ill. Smoking makes him happy - and he has to give that up too. I think we're in quite an impasse.
  10. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Perhaps you could find new things that make him happy?
    OH and I have taken up birdwatching. There is a nature reserve near us with hides etc. We have a look round, sit in the hides and watch the birds (the time he is willing to sit there is diminishing, now!) and then go and have a cup of coffee or lunch.
    Im not saying that you must do this too - its just a suggestion. Its not something that OH would ever have done before, but he seems to like it.
  11. SaraKate

    SaraKate Registered User

    Dec 29, 2018
    I haven't come back to you all in a long while, for things have gone very badly. I feel sorry not to have followed your inspiring examples and hung on in there. My husband took half of our family fortune out of our family company, and then took our family home (I got another property in return) It's suppose to be a 50/50 division but I warned him that if he took our family home I would not be able to bear it. He took it, and asked me to pay rent for the time i visit. He's not going back to the neurologist who saw the small vessle damage on the scan, he's behaving as if his judgement is fine. I have moved out and lost my home of 20 years, and my dog. It's so painful I won't speak of it. But I do think this is the disease, undiagnosed. I admire those of you who courageously persist through all the symptoms. I feel that I want to say that if you want to leave, you can. I did. I fear that I have left a man who has lost his judgement - but how could I stay? This has cost me a lot (financially of cousre 50% of a shared family wealth) but more importantly my home, my marriage, my plans for the future, my life. But I could not live with a man who undermined me and our life, and would never consider what he was doing.
    Those of you who have the courage to stay - I really admire you.
    I couldn't do it. And i got to the point where I thought I should not do it. I'm 65, not young, but am I to dedicate my life to someone who no longer loves me or cares for me and insists that this is his right mind?
  12. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Im so sorry @SaraKate
    Yes, it definitely sounds like his judgement is impaired and very likely due to undiagnosed dementia. Unfortunately, most people with dementia have no insight as to their problems and think they are fine. You are not the first person whose marriage has broken up whilst their spouse is in the pre-diagnosis stage.
  13. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Volunteer Host

    Apr 1, 2016
    #13 Bunpoots, Nov 12, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
    I'm sorry to read this @SaraKate

    I wish you all the best for the future.
  14. Peachez

    Peachez Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    South East England
    so sorry, this is just so painful for you. Have you moved away entirely or can you keep an eye on things from a distance? Just wondering if when he deteriorates further there could be some level of recovery for you... not just for the sake of your time together, but also for the finances...

    My husband used to be 'important' at work, I think he retired early because he could tell he wasn't keeping up - not that he would ever admit. His scans are clear, but he's got mild cognitive impairment, and possible MSA, which is a type of Parkinsonism. He can have mood swings and be like two different people. If things go 'missing' it's always " what have you done with... " and never his fault.

    You don't have to stay. It's your life too, it's not a competition and there are not medals... hope you find a way forward, whatever direction life takes you. All the best. X

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