Caregiver for Husband with dementia
I have just now joined this forum. I seem to be able to find posting by children and in laws. My concern is related to my husband. He is 79 and I am 71. Just very recently he has been diagnosed with dementia of Alzheimer's type by the doctors at the VA hospital. I had noticed changes in him but never dreamed that the situation was this drastic.
For many years I was employed as a 911 dispatcher. I worked 12 hour shifts, some months days and the other months nights. I really believe now, looking back that his condition may have been going on longer than what I care to admit. His short-term memory has suffered. He can recall events that took place years ago with great clarity.
Now he misplaces/loses items quite often. Cell 'phone, keys, etc. So far, I have always been able to locate these items. He puts things back in their proper place but in the wrong way, if you know what I mean. The spoons, knives and forks will be in the correct drawer but not always in the correct slots. Also, he insists on 'doing' the dishes for me. Most of the time, well almost all of the time, I must wash them over.
I am happy that he wants to help, but...Now during some days of the week, I am not home, but at the real estate office where I work. He will prepare his own lunch, but will leave food stuffs out on the counter and when I come home, there they are and I have to throw them out. Now I wonder how many things has he left out and put away just prior to my homecoming...
How do others 'handle' this type of situation, when the person is your spouse? any advice? I am aware that this situation will probably only deteriorate as time passes.
Oh, last December he had an accident and totaled our minivan. Luckily no one was seriously injured. He has failed two state required driver's tests and the state wants him to surrender his license. However, he is at this time, insisting that he can and will continue to drive. We live in a very rural area and it is a 20 mile round trip to stores and such. At this time I do drive him to the VA hospital.