My husband has frontal temporal lobe dementia

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by Frances43, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. Frances43

    Frances43 Registered User

    Jan 28, 2017
    7
    Not good, confusion is getting worse. My husband has frontal temporal lobe dementia. For quite some time now, the mood swings and sudden bursts of anger have been difficult to deal with. But, he is becoming more confused , where he lives, what day it is, not knowing family members. Plus going on walkabout at all hours. I have tried to stop him, but he gets very angry and can become violent. Not sure how much more l can take!
     
  2. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,437
    Female
    Dundee
  3. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    2,910
    Nottinghamshire
    Hello @Frances43

    It sounds as though you're going through a really tough time. Do you have any help with your husband? You shouldn't have to face this alone.
     
  4. Woohoo

    Woohoo Registered User

    Apr 30, 2019
    232
    Female
    Essex
    Hi @Frances43 , I am relatively new to tp and don’t have much experience or wise words to offer , but I am thinking of all the people going through this painful journey . You are not alone in regards to this site , always someone around to listen . Sending hugs and best wishes .

    Edited to say , just realised you aren’t new and probably know that this site is brill . Sorry I am a scatter brain sometimes.
     
  5. Andrew_McP

    Andrew_McP Registered User

    Mar 2, 2016
    166
    Male
    South Northwest
    When my mother was going through that long, difficult phase (she's more confused, weaker, and less angry now) I was fortunate. She's strong, but I'm stronger. She's tough, but I'm stubborn. She can punch or scratch hard, but I can duck... well, except when I wasn't fast enough. :)

    Much of the time I would tolerate the anger, go for long walks with her when she needed to escape, allow her to break things (within reason) and -- when things were really bad -- I'd sneak lorazepam into her food and we'd both have a break for a few hours. And when all that failed, I'd wrap her in my arms and hold her firmly until she'd beaten out all her anger and energy on my back... it seemed the safest thing to do sometimes even though I worried it might scare her and made things worse. But it did actually seem to help... she needed an outlet for her frustrations, disorientation, and fear, so I kind of put myself in harm's way, in a controlled fashion.

    But obviously that's not an option for everyone, and especially not when it's a woman looking after a man who's likely to be more daunting, physically, and fuelled by fear and testosterone. So you have to make sure you're safe. That means medication to calm your husband (administered by external carers if he won't accept it reliably from you) or a care home.

    In the mean time, try to remember that whatever the circumstances, no matter how crazy, your husband is always right. Agree with him, placate him in any way practical or safe, do not challenge or correct or try to get him to do something he doesn't want. You need him calm first, and only then can you hope to steer things in a way they need to go.

    I took forever to learn this, and even now -- when I really ought to know better -- it's still hard to stick to. But you can't steer the dementia, you can only lead a trail of breadcrumbs which might distract it in the direction it needs to go. And if you can distract the dementia, you'll get more of your husband back for longer at a time.

    Which sounds rather more optimistic and positive than I've often felt myself. There's no league table when it comes to dementia, and I'm hesitant to say any one form is worse than any other, but FTD is certainly first among equals when it comes to beating your head against a brick wall! Dealing with it is the hardest thing I've ever attempted to do, and perhaps the stupidest. :)

    Keep safe and get help. Best of luck.
     
  6. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,245
    Female
    South coast
    Hi @Frances43

    Id like to pass on a little tip that was passed on to me. Saying "no" to my OH was like a red rag to a bull, so I was advised to always start by saying "yes" and then go on to say what you have to say - even if you are actually saying no.
    Eg, when he wants to go out for a walk "yes, good idea - lets have coffee and cake first."

    I have also found that having a routine is a must and changing that routine will set him off. Also I make sure that there is somewhere quiet for him to sit with his tablet. He gets stimulus overload, so needs a quiet space with not much going on. Mostly he sits in the conservatory.

    Dont put up with violence. There is medication to calm agitation down, speak to the GP about getting a referral to the Community Psychiatric Team.
     
  7. Cazzita

    Cazzita Registered User

    May 12, 2018
    467
    Love this post. You sound amazing :) x
     
  8. Cazzita

    Cazzita Registered User

    May 12, 2018
    467
    You should not have to take any more at all, it's not feasible or safe. Hope you seek help ASAP - call adult social services. Wishing you luck x
     
  9. Frances43

    Frances43 Registered User

    Jan 28, 2017
    7
    Thank you all so much. Many of the things mentioned by you all are so helpful. My husband does attend day centre five days a week, which is a God send. He is on medication, l dread to think how he would be without it. He has a phyciatric nurse/social worker who is so helpful. I count myself lucky this is all in place. But l seem to be the one he takes all his anger out on. I try my best not to argue or disagree with him, but it’s not easy.
     
  10. Andrew_McP

    Andrew_McP Registered User

    Mar 2, 2016
    166
    Male
    South Northwest
    Yes, well, don't believe the sanitised hype from Dr. Jekyll. My Hyde doesn't type much. :)

    I think you should congratulate yourself on a job well done; you've managed to get far more in place for your husband than I've ever managed with my mother. I should be asking you for advice, not pretending I have half a clue! But obviously it's time to get your husband's med's reviewed.

    Hope things settle for you again soon. Nothing ever lasts with dementia and we spend our lives chasing a moving target. But when the calm periods come, they feel as glorious as a Caribbean holiday.

    Not that I'd know anything about Caribbean holidays... I'm more your 'getting damp in Cumbria' type, though these days I have to settle for scrubbing the drive in the pouring rain (saves hosing it down). I'm dreading the hot weather later this week because it always unsettles Mum. Which reminds me, must go shopping this evening when/if she settles. We've run out of ice creams, and a Cornetto type cornet's about the only thing I can guarantee will cool her down a bit when she's determined to keep pacing about in the heat.

    Still, can't complain. The weather so far has been very helpful for dementia management... no extremes like last year. So far. :)
     
  11. julie66

    julie66 Registered User

    Oct 4, 2013
    6
    Hello I don't usually post. But my husband also has frontal lobe plus Alzheimer's, now in his 7th year the first 4 years was hell exactly what you are describing, but thanks to my admiral nurse who helped me by speaking to the mental health doctor who prescribed risperidone on a low dosage , otherwise I don't know how I would have survived. Just speak to ypur GP or someone . Wishing you all the very best
     
  12. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    59,437
    Female
    Dundee

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