1. MaryD

    MaryD Registered User

    Sep 19, 2005
    3
    Hi everyone
    I have been reading the threads for a few weeks now and today decided to register. My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimers two years ago and apart from being a bit forgetful at that time(loosing keys etc) there were no other symptoms. The news came as a great shock to me and he immediately went into denial. For the following 18 months or so I thought the diagnosis was wrong. He seemed so normal in fact he still seems normal most of the time.

    However over the past few months there has been a change. He sometimes finds it difficult to find the right word, referring the other day to his "outer garment I wear to bed" instead of his dressing gown. He is also much quieter in company and has little conversation at times.
    What prompted me to seek support today is his manic obsession with money and financial documents. He keeps everything in a locked case and has to sort out the documents at least once every day. He keeps his wallet with him at all times(in his pyjama pocket during the night)and hides it when he goes to shower. Yesterday he couldn't find it when he came out the shower and as usual accused me of taking it. We found it on top of the medicine cabinet. He is now on bank card no.6 as he goes to the bank and says he has lost his card and of course then he finds it in one of his hiding places(under the matress,in a shoe or in the sacred locked case). A couple of weeks ago the case went missing and he accused me of taking it. He was very aggresive and for the first time in 25 years I was frightened of him. It turned out he had phoned a friend and said he needed to see him urgently. The friend was going on holiday that night but said that my husband seemed so agitated he agreed to meet him.He asked the friend to keep the case for him. A few hours later he had no recollection of meeting the friend and giving him the case. A similiar incidence recently occured over his cheque book but this time he had clenched fists inches from my face. I ran out of the house and telephoned our 18 year old son to come home . He does not behave in a threatening manner in front of our son or indeed anyone else. He has cashed in a savings cerificate and opened a new account and then forgotten about it for weeks. I have EPA registered but I know he will be furious and probably violent if I try and take control of the finances.
    I am 50 and my husband is 19 years older than me, and is fit though he is not walking as much as he used to. We love to travel and go away somewhere every few months. I feel so sad at what is happening to him and us. I know I should be more compassionate when he does things relating to his condition but I react shouting back etc. I also work full time . He is still driving depite me telling the consultant my concerns and the consultant writing this in his report to the DVLA. His license was renewed for a year to be assessed again.
    I am sorry I have rambled on and compared to most of you I dont have any real problems yet. If you have read this far thanks for letting me rant on.
     
  2. EllieS

    EllieS Registered User

    Aug 23, 2005
    170
    SOMERSET
    Dear Mary

    You poor thing, my experience has been with my Dad and now my Mum and that's bad enough - but how awful it must be for you working full time and caring for your husband - who probably doesn't even realise he needs to be cared for.

    Do you have Carers in - or is this premature.

    Should you perhaps be talking to Social Services regarding the possibility of Day Care.

    Maybe your husband is not at that stage either.

    My God, it sounds as if you need some kind of help though! What else is there.

    Does your husband keep himself occupied - perhaps if his mind could be kept on other things it might help.

    But the poor man probably realises that he is not as able as he was and resents his loss of control .

    I wish I could say something useful.

    Very best wishes.

    Ellie
     
  3. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    787
    Buckinghamshire
    Welcome!

    Welcome to TP, Mary!
    Your post takes me back about 5 years: there are many parallels!
    Similar age gap, similar scenarios with money, accusations, me retaliating, worries about driving ..... It takes a very long time to accept the implications of AD, and to adjust towards a partner whose personality changes so much. Even now I still have to remind myself that my husband would NEVER be unkind to me if it wasn't for his illness. It shocks me every time he curses, every time he belittles me, and after each occasion I can trace it back to his frustrations about something he was unable to do or understand. I still shout back sometimes, though not quite as often.
    It is pretty pointless to tell you that it will all pass - I know that your worries are real NOW, and that you probably don't even want to think of what it will be like when the current problems are behind you ......
    One of the best books I have read is 'Learning to Speak Alzheimer's' by Joanne Koenig-Coste: it enabled me to 'go with the flow', accept the situation and the fact that being kind and forgiving was a necessity, not a weakness on my part.
    You are in good company here, Mary. Share your worries, everyone will understand and many will probably be able to offer practical advice.
    Best wishes!
     
  4. MaryD

    MaryD Registered User

    Sep 19, 2005
    3
    Hi Ellie
    Thanks so much for your comments. This is the first time I have sought any support outside the family mainly I suppose because I have been burying my head in the sand. I dont think I would be comfortable speaking to a stranger on the telephone but the threads are a great way of communicating with people who truly understand what a terrible condition Alzheimers is.
    You are right to say that my husband does not realise that he needs to be cared for. Sometimes I forget this too. I think it is premature for Carers and Day care as he is still able to get out and about on his own. Since he retired he has never been good at keeping himself occupied but nowadays the case and financial matters occupy him totally.
    Thanks for replying, no doubt I will need your advise again soon.
    Kind regards
    Mary
     
  5. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    824
    Welcome to TP Mary.

    "compared to most of you I dont have any real problems yet"

    In some ways, the stage that your husband is at now was the most difficult for my family to handle (so far). It is filled with unknowns. Do you have any relatives or friends around to help you with this? It must be so difficult when you're working full time too.

    Many of the things you've said are very familiar, like the fact that your husband appears normal most of the time, and does not display aggression when your son comes round. Is your husband due to go back to the consultant for a check up soon? If not, perhaps you could 'arrange' it to happen - or at least let the consultant know that your husband's behaviour has worsened and ask his opinion. Don't forget to let him know about the aggression, it's for your own safety.

    I don't mean to bully you, but I've seen my Mum go through this with my Dad and I know how frightened she used to get when my Dad became threatening. When you're ready to take action, it will be the right time. Keep posting and you will get more help from others and you'll certainly find others who will relate to your situation.

    Best wishes,
     
  6. Rosalind

    Rosalind Registered User

    Jul 2, 2005
    203
    Wiltshire
    #6 Rosalind, Sep 19, 2005
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2005
    You are not alone

    Dear Mary

    Since I signed up in July I have found there are a lot of TP members with older husbands in very similar situations. Making contact, if only to compare notes and have a good moan, has definitely helped me. If nothing else, here there are people who are genuinely interested in your problem, which it is not really fair to expect other friends to be. Also, it is marginally easier to confess on this site to hurling a (melted) tub of Ben & Jerry's across the kitchen in rage and frustration than to your next door neighbour.

    I can't help with your husband's aggression and his need to keep his wallet attached to himself at all times, but do you have a social worker/Community Psychiatric Nurse or whatever to advise? My experience has been that helpful services are not exactly offered - you have to quite forceful and if necessary melodramatic. As I suggested to someone else via this site, don't be brave and stoical - be wild of eye, with your hair in a mess and a wobbly lip when any health professional is assessing you and help may well be forthcoming sooner.

    Since throwing my hissy fit, I have had counselling (couldn't keep the hissy up for an hour, so we talked and agreed I did not need it), reiki, we have got attendance allowance and we get two 'befrienders' from the A. Society every week, who come and chat to my husband which gives him some outside stimulation.

    I do hope you can still enjoy travelling for some time. My husband used to work in travel, but now (he has Vascular dementia, not Alz) gets agitated away from home and even getting him to the nearest town is a struggle. I can still get away on my own, thank goodness, but it is something I miss doing with him.

    Good luck. This site should help, but some of the threads can be depressing, giving a portent of things to come.

    Rosalind
     
  7. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    824
    Oh dear, sorry Mary, I forgot to mention the Factsheets on this site, which can be very helpful - or have you already found them? (Top left hand corner of screen under 'Home')
     
  8. jks

    jks Registered User

    Jul 2, 2005
    67
    West Yorkshire
    Hello Mary
    I've nothing much to add, really, just to say that I've found great comfort and support on this site. It really makes me feel less alone, and I seem to draw strength from that somehow.

    My Dad has AD, and it seems there are so many common threads AD suffers (and their carers) share. My Dad, too, is obsessed with money, (so much so that he recently signed a cheque with a '£' sign instead of his initial). We get accused of stealing from his wallet, bank account, everywhere. In fact, it was these accusations of stealing from him that first alerted us to the fact that something 'wasn't right' and that his forgetfulness had progressed into something else. He accused me of stealing six daffodil bulbs from him.

    I pestered my Dads GP over renewing his driving licence - told him he should get in the car with him for 5 minutes! It has now been revoked, but this should have happened years ago, he's been a danger to himself and everyone else, although he couldn't see it. Is your husband at this point, too?

    Don't think you're not being compassionate just because you sometimes shout back. We're only human, not saints. I keep telling myself that 'he can't help it'. Well sometimes, neither can I!

    My very best regards to you,
    Joanne
     
  9. Bets

    Bets Registered User

    Aug 11, 2005
    100
    South-East London, UK
    Hello Mary D,

    I am fairly new too, and I'm sure you'll find this site very helpful and supportive.

    My husband has vascular dementia and his driving was just an accident waiting to happen! In the end, I wrote to his consultant and on our next visit, she told him he couldn't drive any more and wroten to DVLC to tell them so. They immediately wrote to him and told him his licence had been rescinded and asked him to return it to them. I suggest you pursue this either with the consultant or the DVLC direct.
    I know what a worry this is. My husband accepted the consultant's advice but, even today, three and a half years later, he still occasionally bemoans the fact that he can't drive and asks whether it is worth applying to be retested.

    Bets
     
  10. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    787
    Buckinghamshire
    Dear Mary,
    I have thought of a couple of things since I first replied earlier today:
    You don't say whether your husband is on any medication. My husband was on Aricept for 5 years. After less than 12 months, his mood swings and aggression became much more pronounced, and I wrote to the consultant in confidence. He prescribed an anti-depressant, which had an immediate positive effect, and our confrontations diminished greatly.
    My husband remained reasonably independent for quite some time, but his driving gave cause for concern, and after he got 'lost' several times, he went out less and less, in spite of making daily plans of what he would do 'tomorrow'. His consultant did not take any action, so we disabled the car in the drive and prevaricated over repairs. In the end we confided in the local garage man, who collected the car and told my husband it was beyond repair, but he would pay him a certain amount for scrap value. As he was, in those days, still very preoccupied with money matters, this little 'income' made the parting with the vehicle a little less painful.
    One last point: it took years, not just months, for me to find out by accident that one of the most 'valuable' collaborators in the search for answers and help is your CPN, the Community Psychiatric Nurse (I had never even heard of one!). She has been a regular friendly visitor to our house, has noticed 'developments' and given much appreciated advice. She has recently been instrumental in 'poking' the right people in Social Services to provide a Carer for my husband, just as I was getting to the point of seriously considering having to give up work to care for him full time.
    All the very best, Mary! Keep in touch.
     
  11. Anya

    Anya Registered User

    Sep 11, 2005
    7
    East Sussex
    Hi Mary

    It was good to read your post, how was your husband diagnosed ? I identify with some of your experiences, although my husband has VaD, has the same way of convoluting sentences, six words where one would do. My husband too, always a kind and gentle man and a wonderful and good father has been aggressive and I was very shocked. I think my husband's illness has been approaching for a long time, say five years, as that length of time ago, we were visiting my brother who had recently had two hips op.s, and I asked my husband to travel in the back of the car to allow my brother to go in the front. After about an hour my husband asked for the car to be stopped and went berserk verbally, the indignity of travelling in the back, all folded up etc. I and my brother were devastated as my husband has always been such a mild mannered man. I now understand that it was the illness talking and even now, after the diagnosis, I still shout at him and get very impatient as he loses his hat, gloves, keys, cards etc for the fifth time that week, I then burst into tears, he is shocked, and we talk about our situation. We have been married 36 years and have five children and it is so distressing for him mostly and for the children. I sympathise with you, we have not approached any services yet, but I have found a therapist I can offload onto and this is heplful. I have also asked relatives to step in sometimes so I can get away at times. I have found this TP really useful for support, and hints etc. keep involved with TP.Anya.
     
  12. MaryD

    MaryD Registered User

    Sep 19, 2005
    3
    Hello, Iam new

    Thank you all for your comments and advice. When I have digested all the helpful information and advice I will respond to your queries. You have given me great comfort and for the first time I know that I am with people who truly understand.
    I will be back soon
    Best wishes to you all and thank you again.
     
  13. Rosalind

    Rosalind Registered User

    Jul 2, 2005
    203
    Wiltshire
    Postscript

    My husband lost his wallet yesterday! Much alarm, and while he did not think I had taken it did speak of some 'boys on bicycles' who had gone past him on the country lane in which we live. He didn't think they had mugged him, but that he might have dropped it and they had picked it up.

    It didn;t have much in it, but it preyed on his mind dreadfully. We went to see Pride and Prejudice, which I think he quite enjoyed, but it was still fret fret fret. On our return we called to cancel the Debit card, which has to involve the actual cardholder doing the talking, which got him into great confusion, couldn't remember postcode, address, year of birth, or understand what the bank meant by 'contact number'.

    Needless to say the wallet turned up this morning.

    Am ringing to get signing already set up EPoA papers later today, too.
     
  14. KittyCat

    KittyCat Registered User

    Sep 21, 2005
    3
    Surrey
    Snap

    Hi Mary
    I too have just signed up today, probably looking for a bit of support - came across your posting and couldn't believe the similarities my Mum has with your husband. She is 75, and just been put on Reminyl - they tried Aricept for a short while (6 weeks) but she had a reaction to it. She has not been diagnosed with Alzheimers at this stage, her consultant has only ever referred to Dementia, but I suspect that will come in time.
    We now call my Mum's wardrobe "Narnia", because it is another world for her - all her paperwork is in there, brought out on a daily basis, checked through, and replaced under lock and key - and of course, she hides the key, and then can't find it. She is never aggresive though, so that is one consolation for me, although after reading about this illness I would not be surprised if that will eventually come.
    The same has also happened with her bank account, we had to cancel her card three times in 2 months, and won't let her have a pin number any more.
    I don't have any answers for you, as I am only just getting used to these things myself, but thought I would give you some moral support!
    best to you
    KittyCat
     
  15. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,598
    Female
    Dundee
    Hi there Mary. Our situations are similar. My husband is almost 21 years older than me and he was diagnosed with AD just over 4 years ago. (I am 54 and he is 75.) He almost immediately was put on Aricept which seems to have made a big difference. We did go through a stressful time when he was very depressed although he has never been violent. He was then prescribed Cipralex for the depression and that also seems to have had a positive effect. We still spend many hours looking for keys, wallets, bank cards, cheque books - you name it! However, I'm lucky we can still go on our holidays and it's like everyone says on this site - one day at a time! I thank God that things are fairly OK and deal with the upsets as they happen. It took me a long time to stop being angry and I still have my moments, but I'm alot calmer about it now.

    Take care and good luck.
    Izzy
     
  16. UserEight

    UserEight Registered User

    Aug 13, 2005
    3
    West Midlands
    Very similar experience to my Dad (suffering from Vascular Dementia) who is now in a nursing home. Only difference was that my father realised he was no longer able to control financial matters and handed them all over voluntarily to my mother, although he still liked to look at the current account bank statement on a monthly basis. Dad also stopped driving two years ago, although he often spoke of 'buying another car.' :eek: My Dad was never violent towards my mother, although he could (and still does) have a very sharp tongue when provoked. :rolleyes:

    You mentioned that your husband cashed in savings and re invested. Without wishing to sound mercenary, keep a close eye on what is happening, even if it means rummaging through his private papers. For your own security I would advise you get an ApoE as soon as possible, although I appreciate that implementing this may be difficult at this stage. We had an ApoE set up a year before Dad was admitted into a home.

    As things progressed, we deliberately distanced himself from 'problems' at home like a leaking tap or the lawn mower not working as he seemed to worry unnecessarily about such things.

    Yes, you will spend a lot of time looking for things, only to find them in the most unusual place. :eek: We were all accused of stealing money, deaf aids, spectacles, etc. Dad also did not like Mum talking on the phone to friends, for when the call was over he wanted to know exactly what had been said! :confused:

    If you remember that his unusual behaviour is not his fault, and he doesn't mean some of the things he says, then it makes it all the more bearable.

    Best of luck! :)
     
  17. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    824
    "As things progressed, we deliberately distanced himself from 'problems' at home like a leaking tap or the lawn mower not working as he seemed to worry unnecessarily about such things."

    UserEight's comment reminded me of one Christmas when my parents had a leaky radiator. As usual, Mum and I stepped back and relied on Dad to fix it. It was as we watched him struggling, that it slowly dawned on me, he didn't have a clue what to do. I think this was one of the first signs that something was clearly not right.

    As for lost keys, I got Dad a keyring that you would beep if you whistled, which helped for a little while, (although annoyingly used to go off sometimes if you spoke too loud). I tried to look up where to get one online and came across this thread all about losing keys, which I hope gives you a few chuckles:
    http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/?t=22767

    I agree, UserEight, that it's important to remind yourself that it's the illness that's producing these effects, although that can often be difficult in the heat of the moment.
     

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