Monday, March 22, 2010

What It's Like to Have a Husband With Dementia

  • He says, "Am I 92?" He is 72.
  • He says, "Is it 2008?"
  • He confuses the credit card and the debit card at the pump. No, sweetheart, we don't have a pin number for the gas credit card. Wish we could have used the debit card as we usually do but money is tight. Will pay off that gas card when the bill comes in, however, next month.
  • Thinks the clicker to open his car will also open and close the garage door.
  • Forgets what he had for dinner last night so I can serve the same thing several nights in a row.
  • Forgets to eat lunch I have made him when I am gone. Once I came home and he had forgotten both breakfast and lunch--a concern because he is diabetic and also missed his two servings of coconut oil. Now I call him to see if he has had lunch/breakfast.
  • Knows coconut oil helps him. Jokes that when he slips into bed he slides across the bed.
  • Has no interest in books and little interest in his computer anymore. We have gotten rid of books and much of his shop equipment.
  • Watches TV much of the time. Don't know how many times he has watched "Godfather" movies--all of them. I record the evening news on my iPod and watch it the next day or go in the bedroom to watch TV.
  • He loves that I can write on a little notebook computer by his side while he watches TV movies that bore me.
  • Long term habits are great. Does yard work and makes the bed. Will vacuum and clean the carpet, although sometimes the process is confusing to him.
  • If I ask him to do something he will forget. What husband doesn't! I try to put things in writing or I will be a horrible nag. Even if it is in writing, I have to be patient.
  • I put new procedures in writing. He uses the calendar and has a wrist watch with the days of the week and the date on it. Several days he has forgotten lunch which I had prepared for him on a plate in the refrigerator.  
  • Loves Ms. Garmin, the car's navigational device. Have put in writing how to use it. Able to run errands when I am not home with that device.
  • Still very loving and considerate. Loves accompanying me when I am out and about. He trusts me.
The future? There are many kinds of dementia, the worst being Alzheimer's. Being married to a husband with dementia, not diagnosed as Alzheimer's at this point,  is just a challenge on worst days and on many days livable. Will offspring get dementia? Will I get dementia? Will we be able to stay in our home? Will the new health care bill cover  medical bills in the future or bankrupt us in the near future?

We all just live day to day and place our future in God's hands. He has guided us in the past. To God be the glory in all things.


  1. MY prayers and thoughts are with you. I have been there and done all this with mom. Good luck and get him on those Alz's meds. They do slow it done. They really do. Good luck.

  2. It is amazing the way we take health and luciness for granted until they are gone, isn't it.
    To God be the glory. Yuo two are such a wonderful and inspiring couple.

  3. HI. Thanks for your comments. I think it has been at least 10 yrs. Maybe more Since mom got bad enough I had to start paying attention. We were in deniel for so long. The last 3 yrs she went down fast. But like I said ask your doc. about Alz's meds. Like Aricept . I could tell a differance. We just got her on them to late .