1. Quenelise

    Quenelise Registered User

    Oct 7, 2017
    My husband is at the stage where I am starting to question his ability to make informed decisions about critical issues. He is not there yet. He is classified at the lower end of MCI now.
    I know my issues are nothing compared with what most people are going through here. But it is scaring me.
    He can't remember why he made a decision, asks me about it, and literally 5 minutes later forgets why. We had to vote - it is compulsory in Australia. We can have a reasonable political discussion. But when he came out of the polling booth, he couldn't remember who he voted for. He still thinks he can drive... I can talk him around, but he got really angry yesterday.
    Thanks for listening. I know who to approach, but I'm not going to do so unless I really think it is becoming dangerous.
  2. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    N Ireland
    In my experience, this becomes part of daily routine.

    I find that it's best to keep discussions simple and present decisions that I have made in a manner that requires a simple affirmative answer that keeps the illusion that my wife is making the decisions. Luckily my wife has mostly been happy to follow my lead so my system usually works.

    When we vote my wife will forget about voting, never mind who got her vote, as we leave the polling station.:(
  3. margherita

    margherita Registered User

    May 30, 2017
    Italy, Milan and Acqui Terme
    Hi,@Quenelise ,
    My husband's situation is similar to your OH's.
    He can't make informed decisions, but he thinks he can , which leads to us having arguments, even though I should know it is useless.
    He still drives, but only locally. The last time ( it was January) we went to the Italian equivalent of a memory clinic, the neurologist seemed surprised at and worried about it. She said we would talk about him still driving the next time we met, that is next July.
    I don't even dare to imagine what might happen when they break him the news he can no longer drive.
  4. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    I live in Australia too. It doesn't sound to me as if your husband has capacity to make any decisions regarding his future. Do you have powers of attorney for health and welfare or finance?

    I have a few concerns that he may be a bit further advanced than MCI so it could be a good idea to seek a more definitive diagnosis and that would be helpful in getting an assessment from Aged Care. If you check out the Australian government website, there is lots of info there about what might be available to you. Depending on where you live, your local council might be able to offer some help.

    When my husband was diagnosed, the geriatrician made a report to Vicroads who then made him take a driving test which he failed. In some states you can make an anonymous report to the motor vehicle authority which might or might not help.

    My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's almost five years ago. He can remember who he voted for, still plays bridge and can take care of his own hygiene but he cannot drive, use a mobile phone, has no long term memory and lots more. At the end of the day, I make whatever decisions need to be made, and I take responsibility for his health, our finances - everything.

    I am not particularly familiar with how everything works here regarding advanced care because we are not there yet and as my husband has severe heart failure as well as Alzheimer's, anything could happen.

    Hope you can sort something out.
  5. Quenelise

    Quenelise Registered User

    Oct 7, 2017
    HI Lawson58
    He was was assessed at 21 in his MMSE a month ago. He has been assessed by ACAT, and is level 3, if he ever gets the support. We've been waiting 12 months, and I was told last week that we've another 12 months to wait! However he is under CHSP. But I digress..
    That is what I worry about; power of attorney. When do you know? I make most decisions now, but I don't want him to loae his independence if that makes sense.
  6. Quenelise

    Quenelise Registered User

    Oct 7, 2017
    I feel for you Margherita. I'm lucky in that while my husband forgets that he hasn't a licence, he actually hasn't driven for 6 years. This was his choice; he has severe arthritis in his knees, which sometimes "lock", and he was scared this might happen when his foot was on the accelerator.
    So I can usually turn it into a positive by reminding him that he was sensible enough to make the decision long before the doctors did. He usually is happy with that. But not the other night...
  7. Banjomansmate

    Banjomansmate Registered User

    Jan 13, 2019
    Providing you have Lasting Powers of Attorney in place (or the Australian equivalent) you don’t need to do anything or make any decisions for him until you really have to. I have had LPAs for several years now and have had to make the difficult decision about The Banjoman going into residential care for his own safety but I still ask him about financial aspects such as how much does he want to send his daughters for Birthday presents etc. I have to remind him or suggest something to him but I then ask what he wants to do.
  8. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    I think everyone wants their PWD (person with dementia) to remain independent as long as possible, and it's difficult to decide when the point has come that you have to start making decisions on their behalf. I put off using my POA for my mother, the first step towards it is difficult and it feels all wrong, but as Pete has said it becomes part of daily life. Only you can make the decision when the time is right, and with this illness I have found that whatever you do may feel it's the wrong thing - and you aren't doing enough of it. You can only do your best.
  9. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    On our Powers of Attorney, there was a section where the donor stated when that power would become effective eg. if they became bedridden, or were unable to communicate, perhaps suffered a brain injury of some kind, whatever was written in the document will indicate when it comes into use.

    We have a different system to that in UK. I am next of kin so no one as yet has even asked to see it. With eHealth, his records are available anyway. When he had his last massive nosebleed, the triage nurse saw him covered in blood and didn't ask him to sign but handed it over for me to do without question.

    A friend had her mum in care so she used to carry the POA with her and would produce it if and when necessary. There may be different laws depending where you live but instructions are usually included in the actual document. If you and your husband have Advanced Care Directives then it usually takes precedence over a Power of Attorney.

    We have a joint bank account so no problems there and he can't work out how to use online banking anyway. He gets very cranky with me about it and accuses me of hiding things from him, stealing his money but it's water off a duck's back now.

    I am aware that ACAT is very slow which is partly why I haven't bothered. My husband turns 80 this year and his physical health is failing more rapidly than the Alzheimer's. As he himself says, he is "way past his use by date".

    A sense of independence is great if you can help him maintain it for a while. My husband likes to think he is helping by washing the dishes but I have to check them and he sometimes walks off in the middle of doing it, or leaves the water in the sink to go cold. He feeds the dog and sometimes volunteers to hang out some washing, usually quite oddly but who cares!

    My husband still plays bridge and someone from the club picks him up so that's one less thing he relies on me for. He is going away for a weekend soon for a bridge congress and is travelling with a friend who himself has a few odd behaviours. He will come home exhausted but I refuse to worry about him while he is away. If something happens to him while he is away, then someone else is going to have to deal with it. It will be nice to have a couple of days to myself but will probably use the time to clean out cupboards.

    I get a bit of help through our local council in the way of cleaning but it is only subsidized but not expensive. They can also give personal care, help with shopping etc.

    I hope this has been of some help.
  10. Quenelise

    Quenelise Registered User

    Oct 7, 2017
    Thank you everyone. I really appreciate your help.

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