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Getting my wife to be OK with me attending a career course.

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by dasntn, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. dasntn

    dasntn Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    North Devon
    Hello - this is my first post to the forum. My wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 9 months ago, but I think I have known she has had the condition for a couple of years. It is in the early stages, with memory loss being the main factor, but it also means she can no longer drive and she has started to feel quite trapped at home. I have given up work to spend more time with her, as loneliness was becoming (and still is ) a major problem.

    My wife's approach to dealing with having the condition is mostly to ignore it, which I have no problem with, as I think that whatever works for her is the best way to go.
    The trouble I have is that whenever the subject comes up, it puts her in a very low mood for a day or more, and I obviously don't want to do that to her.

    The sort of things that brings it up, and is happening currently, is that I have been invited to attend a carers course run by the local memory clinic. Today is the second session. Much like last week, my wife's mood was fine this morning, and she asked what is happening today, so I told her I was out for a couple hours in the afternoon at the carers course, and she has now become withdrawn and depressed.

    Not sure really why I am posting this, other than I think it helps to share.
  2. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    It does help to share, dasntn. Maybe you could tell your loved one that you're going to these sessions purely out of interest. Tell her there's so much news about concerning carer's issues that your interest makes you want to learn more. See if something like that helps. Hope I've got the right angle on the problem?
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Hello dastn and welcome to Talking Point.
    Many people with dementia become unaware that they have anything wrong as the disease progresses and then become upset when it is pointed out to them.

    I would agree with you that whatever works for her is the way to go. I have found that often the thing that works best is to be "economical with the truth" if not downright fibbing :cool:

    Instead of going to a carers course, is there some other thing that you have to go that your wife wouldnt like to come too - like the dentist for example?
  4. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    Hi dastn, and a warm welcome to Talking Point from me too. :) I agree with canary. I always say there are 3 kinds of lies: normal lies, white lies, perhaps to avoid hurting someone's feelings, and Alzheimer's Lies. There's nothing wrong with inventing a dental appointment, one with the optician, or something along those lines.

    As I read it, the most important thing for you at the moment, is for your wife to stay on an even keel and not get depressed by you mentioning anything to do with her illness. And if an Alzheimer Lie allows you to do that, it's fine.

    You'll find loads of support from the lovely group of people on here, and it's always helpful to share any problems with others who understand. :)
  5. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    I would invent a club she would never want to go to and say you are going there.

    I used to spend hours 'shopping' to get around this issue.
  6. Padraig

    Padraig Registered User

    Dec 10, 2009
    I know it may sound strange, but is there any reason why she can't accompany you?

    Not unlike you, my late wife also did not wish to admit anything was wrong and to me that was understandable, I went along with it and said: "We're just getting old'". In time we agreed to visit the doctor.

    Just my view from 12/13 years experience, it was important she felt wanted, safe and loved no matter how bad she might become. With that in mind I took her with me everywhere right up to the end. Twice a week we shopped, when I had a dental appointment she sat in her wheelchair in the same room while I received treatment. I lifted her into her wheelchair and took her for daily walks.

    I could care less what others though. The stage was reached where I accepted our time was running out, and each moment together was so precious. Now I can look back and view the many pictures of us at the supermarket just days before she passed. As I say that's just me, 'we're all different.'
  7. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    North East England
    Unless you have a problem wih fibbing...."I'm popping to see Fred from the office, he's having a problem with his laptop" could easily take the place of " I told you I'm going to the Carer's meeting".

    It's keeping the peace and not mentioning the Dementia word.:D
  8. jimbo 111

    jimbo 111 Registered User

    Jan 23, 2009
    North Bucks
    Hello daznin
    Welcome to TP
    I don't think my views will be shared by many members , and I can respect their opinions
    You mention that your wife is in the early stages of Alzheimer's , delicate and worrying time for both the carer and the patient
    I looked after my wife who had Alzheimer's ,and other debilitating illnesses for several years before she died aged 81
    I am not boasting about this ( in fact it could be a cause of shame )
    I never once went on Carers courses or such like activities
    From the very beginning when my wife was diagnosed with AD I joined Talking Point and absorbed all the posts every day
    I looked up posts on the website , anything associated with dementia
    The amount of members exhaustive knowledge' is incredible
    These members were talking from first hand knowledge ,they are critical of bad practices , they are more than helpful in passing on their knowledge and experience as carers
    I am not being critical of these courses , but I wonder if at this early stage you could benefit more by reading literature ( There is a mass of this on the Alzheimer's Soc website )and absorbing the information on TP , and asking with confidence any problems you are facing
    I know I would have been facing a lot of antagonism and arguments with my wife if I had attended any such meetings , and the thought of the 'aggro' that I would face if she had caught me out on a lie I just cant imagine
    There is also the thought that the lies if discovered could be misconstrued
    it is not uncommon for wives suffering with dementia to think that their partner is in fact having an affair when accounting for their absences
    My advice would be forget the courses etc. till a later stage of the development
    Learn as much as you can by reading and joining in the discussions on TP
    Ask what you want , there always seems to be someone who shares and advises on your problems
    I hope you and your wife can enjoy your lives at this early stage and I hope
    No, I Know
    ,that your understanding of this dreadful disease ( and the needs of Carers
    can be adequately met by TP and selective knowledge from the dementia websites
  9. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    I've been on a 5 weeks course run by the Alzheimer's Society and they are very good. They cover emotional and practical issues and even a session on moving and handling. You can't learn about that by reading TP. Also, online forums can overwhelm some people as there is so much to read up on. How would they know to read up on LPAs for instance if they'd never heard about them? Please don't be discouraged. Go to the course, meet other carers, get some time to yourself. Your loved one will survive a love lie just fine.
  10. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    The course also gives you the chance to meet other people who are in a similar situation and, hopefully, to forge real-world friendships. Not that I am denigrating internet friendships as some of my closest friends were met on-line!
  11. jimbo 111

    jimbo 111 Registered User

    Jan 23, 2009
    North Bucks
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  12. 1mindy

    1mindy Registered User

    Jul 21, 2015
    My friend really told me off this week. She said I talked to my OH as if he could understand and.cope with information ,and deal with things logically . She said it's no wonder he gets moody and depressed or shouts, its because be doesn't understand and can't cope with it. She is right of course. My retort was as always but he looks like the same person. So I think you and I need to lie more and just do chit chat more .
  13. Jinx

    Jinx Registered User

    Mar 13, 2014
    I remember reading Scarlett's views on lies and dementia lies when I first joined TP and it was the best advice. I know my husband doesn't like swimming and he knows I do but if I went swimming as often as I tell him I do I'd be in the Olympic team by now!!

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  14. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    :) :) :) xxx
  15. dasntn

    dasntn Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    North Devon
    Thanks everyone

    Thanks for all of the advice and support - it is very much appreciated.

    I know I will have to lie to my wife moving forward, but I find this one of the hardest things to do, as I am sure you all have felt, having built our marriage on honesty. But for me, the main thing is retaining her trust, and at this early stage, I believe she would see through any contrived lies I might come up with.

    I went to the course last week, but it was after a difficult talk with my wife, and I'm not sure it was really worth it, so I might put the course on hold for now.

    Thanks again for all of the advice.

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