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Support fir me caring for older husband

Cookie123

New member
Dec 6, 2019
2
0
Hi. My husband is 27 years older than me. We had 15 wonderful years then his physical health began to decline. He then developed vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s. Early- mid stages. I work full time and care for him. Our 25 yo son has been home during lockdown. We have just found a private agency for help. A few hours once a week to begin so i can go back into work ( have been working mostly from home for 7 months) and so our son can return to London when needed for his master’s degree. I would like to know of a support group for partners who are younger than their spouses. I will need help once the world opens and I remain home. Talking with people in similar situations will help. I love him but fear I will grow resentful and frustrated. How do you cope? Putting your own life on hold?
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
4,407
0
Southampton
hello @Cookie123 we have an age- gap marriage as well although there is only 19 yrs between us. my husband is 73 and was diagnosed last year, although had it the year before, of vascular dementia. weve been married 32yrs and have 4 children, 35-27yrs.
he also has COPD which was one of the reasons i had to give up work but but have cared for him for the last 2 yrs with his vascular dementia. its hard work and im younger or the same age as some of the children looking after their parents. i have older friends as well as i found i have nothing in common with those of my own age. there are a few couples with big age gaps on the forum. when i first met him, we had the discussion then, as i was 21 and he was 40, about me becoming his carer when he was older as it was very likely. i tend not to resent him for having to be cared for. i dont like all the characteristics of him that dementia has exaggerated but i married him and thats what i need to do
 

DennyD

Registered User
Dec 6, 2016
233
0
Porthcawl, South Wales
There is a 18 year difference between me and my husband and we have been together for 27 years. Of course we both knew we would not grow old together and share in a leisurely retirement. When he retired he took on the housework, shopping etc while I continued with work. Although I grumbled about having to work for quite a number of years before retirement I was content with my job and with the value it brought to my and our life. Never did I anticipate Alzheimer's disease. We do not have children together and the contact he had with his son dwindled over the year to no contact at all now. I took responsibility for his care, reducing working hours eventually resigning in November 2019 after reaching burnout and feeling that it was the right thing to do for us. Financially very difficult but we managed until 5 months ago when he needed to be taken into full time care. Now the age difference rears its head. Now at 57 I was faced with no income, having to turn to universal credit, having to look for work, faced with the fear of not finding a job, the gap in my CV, age discrimination, lack of confidence, the dread of starting again, etc etc. The most worrying is fearing the loss of the home that we built together. I retain the feeling of exhaustion, which brings the added feeling and fear of not being able to cope with a full time role. But guess what - I had an interview 2 weeks ago and will be starting a new job at the end of this month. It's part time and no where near the wage I was earning, but I felt the overriding decision in looking for a job was to go for something that really appeals to me, with no heavy responsibilities so that I can be relaxed when visiting my husband. Yes there have been feelings of resentment and abandonment but against the dementia not against the man I love. I admit it's hard having to make a new start, I've always been a loner and he was the focus of my life.
What I feel bad about is that he is being left behind and cannot share a new start.
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
6,097
0
N Ireland
Hello @Cookie123

If you click the following link you may be able to find some of the support you seek. Some services have been suspended during the pandemic but things may get back to normal in the future
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
4,407
0
Southampton
There is a 18 year difference between me and my husband and we have been together for 27 years. Of course we both knew we would not grow old together and share in a leisurely retirement. When he retired he took on the housework, shopping etc while I continued with work. Although I grumbled about having to work for quite a number of years before retirement I was content with my job and with the value it brought to my and our life. Never did I anticipate Alzheimer's disease. We do not have children together and the contact he had with his son dwindled over the year to no contact at all now. I took responsibility for his care, reducing working hours eventually resigning in November 2019 after reaching burnout and feeling that it was the right thing to do for us. Financially very difficult but we managed until 5 months ago when he needed to be taken into full time care. Now the age difference rears its head. Now at 57 I was faced with no income, having to turn to universal credit, having to look for work, faced with the fear of not finding a job, the gap in my CV, age discrimination, lack of confidence, the dread of starting again, etc etc. The most worrying is fearing the loss of the home that we built together. I retain the feeling of exhaustion, which brings the added feeling and fear of not being able to cope with a full time role. But guess what - I had an interview 2 weeks ago and will be starting a new job at the end of this month. It's part time and no where near the wage I was earning, but I felt the overriding decision in looking for a job was to go for something that really appeals to me, with no heavy responsibilities so that I can be relaxed when visiting my husband. Yes there have been feelings of resentment and abandonment but against the dementia not against the man I love. I admit it's hard having to make a new start, I've always been a loner and he was the focus of my life.
What I feel bad about is that he is being left behind and cannot share a new start.
i have the same problem about claiming different benefits but i probably wont work again because of my back so probably DLA for me but its scary
 

DennyD

Registered User
Dec 6, 2016
233
0
Porthcawl, South Wales
i have the same problem about claiming different benefits but i probably wont work again because of my back so probably DLA for me but its scary
It is scary. Not only is it the loss of earnings and missing gaps in building pension, brining financial worries, I also find it difficult to refer to the fact that these are important issues affecting my life because of dementia. Sometimes talking about it makes me feel guilty because I get the feeling I should not mention it as it is of less importance than how Alzheimer's has affected my husband's life. Do you feel like you should not talk about your own difficulties as you feel they should be taking second place to those of your loved one?
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
4,407
0
Southampton
It is scary. Not only is it the loss of earnings and missing gaps in building pension, brining financial worries, I also find it difficult to refer to the fact that these are important issues affecting my life because of dementia. Sometimes talking about it makes me feel guilty because I get the feeling I should not mention it as it is of less importance than how Alzheimer's has affected my husband's life. Do you feel like you should not talk about your own difficulties as you feel they should be taking second place to those of your loved one?
i dont think about pension as i spent a lot of years bringing up 4 children. so only worked part-time, but now wont be able to work at all. its only been since christmas ive had PIP. it scares the life out of me because i will have to move as well and start all over again. i tend not to discuss it with him, not because i think his needs are paramount to mine but really there is no point discussing it. it might be different in the future and i think i have enough to cope with dealing with his needs. i cant plan as dont know how long away it is till change has to happen
 

DennyD

Registered User
Dec 6, 2016
233
0
Porthcawl, South Wales
I don't talk to my husband about financial matters either. Sadly his understanding of finances was one of the first aspects to decline so I've tried to shield him from matters around personal finances whenever possible.
I hope that you @cookie123 will be able to continue working not least to hold on to your identity. This one of the aspects that affected me as leaving work was not by choice and for a while I lost this sense of direction. I mentioned that we did not have children together, but I can imagine that our age gap would have had a different impact on what would be now younger children as opposed to if we had adult children. How is your son coping?
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
4,407
0
Southampton
I don't talk to my husband about financial matters either. Sadly his understanding of finances was one of the first aspects to decline so I've tried to shield him from matters around personal finances whenever possible.
I hope that you @cookie123 will be able to continue working not least to hold on to your identity. This one of the aspects that affected me as leaving work was not by choice and for a while I lost this sense of direction. I mentioned that we did not have children together, but I can imagine that our age gap would have had a different impact on what would be now younger children as opposed to if we had adult children. How is your son coping?
my youngest is only 27 last saturday. he has always been the older dad to all four of them. he was over forty when we had our first and 46 when we had our last. i already had one child before i met him. they have young families of their own which means they cant help me out as they are busy with children or working.
my husband used to control all the money and the outgoings. i have a joint account but didnt have a cash card until last march. i had to rely on him to draw it out even if it was my wages. it changed when i started taking over the bills as he has no idea when they get paid now.
 

Cookie123

New member
Dec 6, 2019
2
0
Thank you everyone for your replies. Our son is coping. He’s understandably deeply sad about his dad but he is very supportive. He’s learning to be more patient as his dad declines. While my work has been very intense recently I do love it and have made it clear to my bosses that I will be continuing full time into our new 5y funding cycle . We are submitting bids for government research grants this autumn. I need to book time off but haven’t yet. I do need a break but would prefer a traveling companion. In the scheme of things it sounds so petty. But being off work but staying home will not be a break or rest at all. And of course it is complicated by covid. On balance I am very fortunate. Tired and lonely. It could be much worse.
 

Lindsayhh

New member
Jun 6, 2021
1
0
I can empathise completely, my husband is 23 years older than me, who had a severe stroke 3 1/2 years ago and is wheelchair bound. I have a stepson who lives abroad as does my sister so apart from my elderly mum, no family support at all and like you I work full time, we do have two carers who come in morning and afternoon to help when I’m working as he can’t be left alone. We’re self funding so there is a limit to how much paid support we can pay for. It’s becoming more apparent that there is something else mentally affecting him, we’re waiting for tests, but I feel like my life is ebbing away, apart from work I have no time for myself at all and am becoming more and more down about it. I feel very guilty about him going into any sort of respite, I would prefer to get some live in care, but we can’t afford it. I just wonder how much longer I can keep going.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
64,680
0
70
Dundee
Hi @Cookie123. I’m sorry I missed your original post. I’ve just caught up with it.

My husband, who died almost 5 years ago, was 21 years older than me. You said that you would like to know of a support group for partners who are younger than their spouses. I don’t know any such group but I do know that I found this forum to be a massive support. As you will have seen from replies you’ve already had there will be many members who are in a similar situation to yourself.

I just wanted to say welcome to the forum and do keep posting!
 

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