1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. muse

    muse Registered User

    May 27, 2008
    599
    Cambridge
    Hi

    I'm new to this forum. I've read some of the illustrative threads in which I recognised some of my problems, so I'm hopeful that I might get some helpful replies (there's a lot of experience out there).

    By way of introduction: I'm 53 and the now full-time breadwinner in the family (with 19-year-old son at university). My husband is 75, retired and house-husband and, to my understanding, suffering from some kind of dementia and posssibly depression. He doesn't seek social contact (even finding excuses not to visit his son from previous marriage whom he loves and is proud of) and feels isolated. We've somehow managed to pass the first hurdle without my husband being very aware of the implications, via a very sympathetic GP, and have had a visit at home by the "memory doctor". The somewhat vague (again, probably sympathetic) diagnosis is "probable mixture of vascular dementia [brain scan showed damage] and early Alzheimer's."

    My husband doesn't like or accept the A-word (that's for people who are gaga and dribbling - sorry). He also happens to have experienced some physical health problems in the recent past: surgery for colon cancer. He is convinced that all his "memory problems/head not working as it should" are due to this and will come right when he's fully recovered. He needs to keep his optimism, and any hint at realism on my part is viewed as negative and upsets him. Now it's a hernia which needs to be dealt with, and assorted digestive problems (a long-standing obsession). Until all this is sorted, he doesn't want to be "distracted" by further visits with the memory clinic.

    It doesn't feel right to me to just keep playing along with these illusions, but I can't bring myself to give him the hard truth: surgery and recovery from it won't bring back your memory or reasoning faculties. In the past he's always been plain-speaking and wanted to know the truth. I feel it should come from a professional source but how do I get him to attend another meeting without him feeling forced (he's very determined that he knows what he wants/needs)?

    Thanks for any suggestions

    muse
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,678
    Kent
    Hello Muse :)

    Your husband sounds a lot like my husband.

    He won`t socialize yet feels lonely and isolated too.

    I have persuaded my husband to visit a support group with me and he sat as far away as he could from everyone and looked out of a window. He didn`t join in at all. The only person he spoke to was an Occupational Therapist who knew how to talk to him.

    So I don`t push him any more. If he complains I tell him what`s on offer and he promises to `go tomorrow` but never does.

    My husband has very low self esteem and this stops him wanting to meet people. But he doesn`t think he has `real` Alzheimers, he is sure it will get better.

    It might come in time. We can only live in hope.

    Take care xx
     
  3. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Muse, welcome to TP.

    Reading your post was like reading an earlier post by Sylvia (Grannie G)!:eek:

    You can't do better than follow her advice, she's been there, more than most of us. Her thread on the advice forum, 'A life in the day of......' will give you the picture, but you may not want to read it at this stage.

    Keep posting, you'll find support here, and advice when you need it.

    All the best,
     
  4. muse

    muse Registered User

    May 27, 2008
    599
    Cambridge
    Hello Sylvia

    Ok. Big step back to the main Forum. I know you're right. There's such a vast array of experience out there.

    Thank you for your reassurance regarding playing it by ear. My sister recently saw a programme about AD on Swiss TV and called me, saying that he probably should be put in the picture, made aware of the situation. But right now I feel that the hope he's clinging onto is probably more important than the true, depressing, picture. He occasionally asks "what's happening to me, i'm sure it's getting worse", but I also feel he's not ready for the true picture. I would prefer to have the opportunity of a professional to put that to him, but he's not interested in seeing a doctor on this subject at the moment (wants to put his physical ailments right first), and if/when I feel he really wants/needs to know, I will sit down with him as you did.

    Any suggestions/experiences on how and at what point to get him back to the memory clinic?

    Thanks and best wishes to all of you
    Kathy
     
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,678
    Kent
    Well done Muse.

    Dear Kathy,

    Now you are back on the main Forum I am sure you will get the support you need.

    When my husband repeatedly asked, like yours does, `"what's happening to me, i'm sure it's getting worse", I eventually did tell him he had Alzheimers.
    He was very shocked and upset but in some way relieved to have a label.

    It was only then, he agreed to attend the Memory Clinic. I told him the only way forwards was to accept the professional help that`s offered.


    The Memory Clinic we attended was an 8 week course, one for the carer and one for the cared for, at the same venue. Different areas have different types of clinics.

    It was wonderful for me. Supportive, informative and an opportunity to chat with others in similar situations.

    My husband felt his was a waste of time.

    But he did attend and it enabled the professionals, the Clinical Psychologist and Occupational Therapists to get to know him.

    You will know when the time is right Kathy. Don`t let well meaning people interfere. They care, they feel informed because they read about it and listen to media reports, but have no idea, unless they have lived with it.

    Take care

    Love xx
     

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