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Depression, motivation etc.

Helen-D

Registered User
Apr 9, 2021
16
0
I haven't been on the forum for some time, so apologies if this topic has been covered a lot of late. My husband was diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer's 15 months ago. He has coped reasonably well up to now. Recently, however, he is struggling a lot more. He feels pretty frustrated, demotivated and depressed.
He has been on anti-depressants for some years anyway. When the Alzheimer's was diagnosed, the memory consultant put him onto a new one (Duloxetine) which has seemed to be quite effective. He has also been using the Rivastigmine patches since the diagnosis.
He spends a lot of time on his computer on the forum called Quora because he finds that occupies his mind and stops him worrying about his memory and concentration problems in the rest of life. He is a very intelligent person.
We do go walking and do some simple crosswords together. We also do some gardening together.
He is finding it much more difficult to follow televsion programmes nowadays - face recognition not too good and can't remember what has happened a short time earlier.
He is quite a introverted person and not too keen on socialising much.
Does anyone have any ideas or thoughts on how I could help him to cope with life, now that his Alzheimer's is slowly getting worse?
Thank you in anticipation!
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
2,029
0
65
London
It is a very broad question and a difficult one. Unfortunately there is no easy answer. Demotivation seems to come with the territory. Be prepared for his ability to use his computer to decline over time. My father claims that there are things wrong, that Microsoft has changed Windows10, etc. but actually nothing has changed, he is just less able to use technology. Perhaps the best thing is to encourage activities that he will be able to do for some time such as walking.

It is rational to be depressed if you cannot do things you enjoy and depend on others. Any of us would be very unhappy if told we were losing our faculties.. Sadly all you can do here is encouage him.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
76,074
0
Kent
Hello @Helen-D

I think you are finding your husband is slowly losing his independence and whatever activities he may do will need to be led by you or other carers if he has them.

It`s a sad realisation I know. I remember experiencing it with my husband.
 

lollyc

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
787
0
Although you say he's not keen on socialising, it might be worth investigating activities that he might be able to join. Several here have had success with Men in Sheds (@jennifer1967 ?), which is not a dementia club, but can often deal with PWD in the early stages. In my area we have a gardening based mental health charity, which runs a dementia group, and a farm based one. Participants can do as much or as little as they are able, or do nothing and chat.
 

RosettaT

Registered User
Sep 9, 2018
786
0
Mid Lincs
I agree with Martin's demotivation comment. My OH was out going and always busy, but there came a time when he didn't really want to do much, I think he just lost interest, I would suggest loads of things we used to do but he but never really appeared to show much interest.
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
11,801
0
Southampton
Although you say he's not keen on socialising, it might be worth investigating activities that he might be able to join. Several here have had success with Men in Sheds (@jennifer1967 ?), which is not a dementia club, but can often deal with PWD in the early stages. In my area we have a gardening based mental health charity, which runs a dementia group, and a farm based one. Participants can do as much or as little as they are able, or do nothing and chat.
my husband does go to mens shed twice a week. its not dementia related and all the requirement is that you are male. its not even just for retirees. he has COPD so not able to physically do much but is happy to sit and supervise and generally wind up the others. hes a wind-up merchant and he likes the banter. he wasnt keen in the beginning but i really insisted and hes glad i did. its the only mornings that he gets up willingly without me keep nagging him to get up.
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
854
0
It's hard to separate depression from dementia. Apathy seems to be very common in the early stages of dementia. My mother had always been very interested in, and knowledgeable about, plants and gardening and I noticed when I took her on a couple of garden tours that she showed much less interest in these things. Before she developed dementia she would have been looking closely at all the plants and been identifying them or checking the labels if it was a plant that she didn't know.

As others have said, you will need to take the lead on organising activities for your husband. There should be gardening groups locally, which may not be specifically aimed at people with dementia but might be able to accommodate him whilst his dementia is not too advanced.
 

DreamsAreReal

Registered User
Oct 17, 2015
358
0
He is quite a introverted person and not too keen on socialising much.
Does anyone have any ideas or thoughts on how I could help him to cope with life, now that his Alzheimer's is slowly getting worse?
Thank you in anticipation!
My Mum was the same. I wasted a lot of time and energy trying to find activities she could do. Every attempt was met with failure and just emphasised to her the loss of faculties. I realised too late that all she wanted me to do was spend time with her and be patient and kind.

Just listen to his worries, give reassurance whenever you can and be kind to yourself, too. Reach out if you need support - local carers groups, charities, GP or Social Worker. And here, of course. Best wishes x
 

Helen-D

Registered User
Apr 9, 2021
16
0
Thank you so much to everyone for your suggestions and comments. It's so helpful and encouraging to have support from people who have experienced or are experiencing this pathway in life. You know what it's like in practice!

On the practical front, I will now research any suitable local groups that he might like to take part in. He does already attend a monthly support group called 'Rusty Brains', which is led by someone from the Alzheimers Society but some other groups might be helpful. But I will bear in mind what 'DreamsAreReal' user has just said - that what he might really want is for me to spend more time with him and be as patient and kind as possible.

Thank you all for responding so quickly to my post.
Best wishes x
 

lollyc

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
787
0
I would also say that it's not one size fits all. You may need to try several things to find something he enjoys. I had several false starts with Mum, but always insisted that she tried the thing, before dismissing it. Day centre was "bingo and jigsaws", & she hated the big charity singing group, "wheels on the bus", but loved one run by a local church.
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
4,083
0
Dorset
Equally, make sure you have time to yourself to get out and do things you enjoy. It is easy to get sucked into the caring role and find the p.w.d. relying solely on you for every little thing. Maybe you can find a “companion “ for your husband to spend time with to take some of the pressure off you.
 

update2020

Registered User
Jan 2, 2020
203
0
Thank you for these good suggestions too. And the reminder for looking after myself!
Specifically on the TV. I found that my husband enjoyed factual programmes (such as David Attenborough in his case) for much longer than he enjoyed drama etc. I think this was because there was no plot to remember and follow (just wonderful pictures) and less emotional content which increasingly he mistook for real life. For the same reason we stopped watching or listening to the news. I also introduced new friends/carers (but only ever called them friends) in the hope that his increasing inconfidence in being alone wouldn’t end up in total dependence on me. I believe this last helped me to keep him at home for as long as possible. He’d been quite a self-contained person but really flourished with these kind companions.
 

Ellek

New member
May 21, 2022
6
0
HI, my brother was very social and the friends have disappeared which has really hurt him. We goo to the zoo, go for hikes, bowling and play pool. We also have pizza day to get out for a bit. The more sitting and having too much alone time makes him anxious and depressed. Getting outside might help.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
12,179
0
Yorkshire
Hello @Ellek
a warm welcome to DTP

you sound to be doing so well by your brother ... it's tough when friends fade away as they don't really understand the changes dementia brings

I hope you do have some support, though, as it's tough looking after someone with no other help