OT- Wife and dementia

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ironhorse
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OT- Wife and dementia

Post by ironhorse » Wed Mar 24, 2021 8:43 am

Man, it has been forever since I have been to the forum (lucky I remembered my user name and password). I'm not mad at anyone nor have I dropped off the face of the earth. About 2 years ago my better half and started having "Nightly Fights" about nothing really but enough that I thought we were headed to the "Big D" after 38 years of marriage. Then she had to have Achilles tendon repair surgery so my Daughter came down to help care for her, after about 3 days my daughter called my mom up and they both sat me down and told me what was happening... did I mention they are both nurses.... they told me that I needed to get her into see a neurologist because she was "sun-downing" her neurologist has narrowed the possibilities to either early onset Alzheimer's or Lewy Body dementia and says he will know for sure when he gets the results of the test back next month. Meanwhile they have started her on some drugs that help (we have some good days now). What got me to thinking about the forum though was she was trying to sing a song of which she only remembered two words so I looked it up on youtube the video that went with it surprised me I think I even saw Henry in there! so grab some popcorn and listen to the harmony of the Chordettes and Mr.Sandman.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2cyFpa0mo8
Enjoy life for what it gives you.
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Ruxstel24
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Re: OT- Wife and dementia

Post by Ruxstel24 » Wed Mar 24, 2021 8:59 am

That's a cool video !!
Mom and her father both ended up with dementia, both could be quite cantankerous at times.
Mom has the sun downing and before the family decided it was best to put her in a care facility after falling numerous times.
I am the youngest of 3 and had no say in this decision, or she would be living with me.
She would leave for the store at 7-8pm, even though we all agreed she shouldn't be driving at night...
Both were very stubborn also. All we can do is love them.
My with had brain surgery 18 years ago, sometimes old reruns are brand new shows for her. :)

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Rich Eagle
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Re: OT- Wife and dementia

Post by Rich Eagle » Wed Mar 24, 2021 10:54 am

That is a most delightful video. Thanks.
We have had several friends go through what you are talking about. It is sad.
My wife and I often wonder if our normal absent mindedness is heading that direction. I suppose many of us worry needlessly.
This is one of the rewards for living so many good years.
Here's wishing the best to everyone.
Rich
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Re: OT- Wife and dementia

Post by jiminbartow » Wed Mar 24, 2021 6:38 pm

Sorry to hear about your wife. I’m glad that you found out what was wrong, that she is being treated for it and that you are having better days together, now. There will be some challenging times in the future as it gets worse. You will need to exhibit all the patience and understanding you can muster for at some point, she won’t know what she is doing, saying or why. Nice song and nice video to go with it. Too bad such a happy song was used so prominently in a horror movie (Halloween). Jim Patrick.

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Re: OT- Wife and dementia

Post by ironhorse » Thu Mar 25, 2021 10:43 am

Jim you are right and sometimes she doesn't recognize me as her husband, She will sometimes not recognize our house and wants her father to come pick her up and take her back home (he died 35 years ago) she has conversations with people who aren't there etc. But what frightens me is dare I ask how many long term marriages end up dissolved because no one knew what was happening?
Do it right or do it over,your choice. Drive like everyone is out to get you!


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Re: OT- Wife and dementia

Post by jiminbartow » Thu Mar 25, 2021 12:44 pm

She is fortunate to have you and your daughter. It won’t be easy for any of you, but knowing what you are up against gives you an advantage in fighting it. To know your enemy is to know it's’ weakness. I understand that the most recent memories disappear first then gradually, the older memories go. You might be able to use this to determine where she is in terms of what memories from a certain period in her life she is drawing from. If in talking to her, you and your daughter can keep the recent memories alive of your lives together, it might help her to remain in the present for awhile longer instead of living in the past that no longer exists. Pictures and videos might aid in this endeavor. God Bless. Jim Patrick

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Re: OT- Wife and dementia

Post by Duey_C » Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:26 am

Yes, that was Henry himself doing what he liked. fussing with machines.
G. R., I once thought my wife was Bi-Polar or deranged but only hormonal challenges back when. It could've ended.
Around the 25 year mark.
(I know a fella in Nebraska who's marriage dissolved. Hormones, 11 year old kids & the whole bit.
Took many conversations to get the story sorted. Younger. Nice guy and wondering what happened.)
I held steadfast and she fought that at times. Most days glad I did. Tough battle and we're young yet. As we age, I watch both of us.
Jim's correct. Not easy. Worth it? Likely.
You may be tougher than the issue at hand.
Love her the more while in-tune and there with you.
Lucky lady to have you by her side perhaps.
Personally, some marriages have ended from your situation.
Do not feel alone either way.
Since I lost my mind mind, I feel more liberated

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Re: OT- Wife and dementia

Post by John Warren » Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:37 pm

Loved the video, Dad's wife has dementia or something, he has been dealing with it for 5 years now. She is combative and her vocabulary is short and loud! Dad is 8 years older and has been able to handle her well. We help where we can. She has never liked any of us kids but is nicer to us now that she don't know us. Dad will be 88 this July. Good luck and God bless.
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Re: OT- Wife and dementia

Post by fschrope » Sat Mar 27, 2021 10:34 pm

Dementia is a terrible thing. I hope I never have to deal with it.

I know of three cases.

The first ended with a divorce when the wife tried to kill the husband. The daughter stuck up for the mother. She - the mother - died a few years ago.

The second we know well. The wife was committed to a nursing home after her husband put up with her "stuff" for several years. She was kicked out of several nursing homes because of fighting. She would go for the nurses eyes. She was mean. I think a lot of if was her natural personality. Thankfully, she didn't last to long after she was committed - maybe a couple of years. Life was pure hell for the husband during that time though.

The third is still going on. The wife no longer recognizes the husband or anyone else. She just sits and stares off into space. This has been going on now for maybe ten years and her vital signs are still normal. She could live a long time yet. The husband had to transfer property out of her name and other legal stuff as he couldn't afford the $7k/month. Who could?

Like I said, I hope I never have to deal with it.


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Re: OT- Wife and dementia

Post by Burger in Spokane » Sat Mar 27, 2021 11:24 pm

I have noticed several cases of sudden onset dementia, where a trauma,
such as the loss of the spouse, or a serious heart attack kicked the spouse
over the edge. One survived about a year in a declining state, while the
other lived 10+ years in excellent physical health. Both were calm and
easy to deal with, other than the faded cognative state. I am watching
a longtime client couple deal with his slipping away. Sad, but a sobering
reminder of reality.
More people are doing it today than ever before !

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Re: OT- Wife and dementia

Post by david_dewey » Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:10 pm

Right now a High School friend of mine is dying in a care facility. Sometimes she knows who we are, actually usually, but has no concept of her condition and usually asks to go home. She can't remember the conversation going on, and will repeat a question multiple times in five minutes. Some of this was brought on by alcoholism, which destroyed organs and brain function. What is likely taking her now is a sepsis infection. They have to be careful what they give her, as she has seizure reactions to many things. When I talked to her the other day she thought she'd just come back from Paris--in the winter, and now it's spring in San Francisco (she used to travel a lot as a tour guide). It's shaking all of us up, as we are only in our mid-60s and watching one of "our gang" going like this is troublesome.
T'ake care,
David Dewey

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Re: OT- Wife and dementia

Post by Rich Eagle » Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:10 pm

I don't pretend to understand it much. We were invited over to dinner where a lady and her son were guests too. The lady was very pleasant but asked who we were several times and seemed somewhat confused. Eating desert I noticed the son would reach for her pie. She would scowl and nearly stab his hand with her fork. A little game they played I guess.
Rich
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Re: OT- Wife and dementia

Post by noelchico » Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:13 pm

Interesting thread. As a soon to be retired physician I've seen it all too often. The kids notice dad or mom can't drive but are afraid to confront them until there is an accident. Dad accuses his 85 year old wife (in a wheelchair) of infidelity with a vague neighbor 40 years her junior and won't let her sleep with constant questions until she "admits it". (Lewy Body dementia with hallucinations that were "real" to him) Wills aren't done as nobody thinks about dying. The family business falls apart as demented dad won't give up the reins, or it goes to Uncle Sam or hospital/nursing home bills. Mom or dad signs over bank accounts, insurance policies, or give large monetary amounts to "friends", visitors, or unscrupulous relatives. I've been suggesting my patients past 60 or 65 to get their will DONE, and prepare a "living will" to assist the future caregivers and physicians on how you want to be cared for if or when you cannot make decisions for yourself. That may be a slow process like Alzheimer's, or sudden brain damage such as may occur with resuscitation or shock. Some won't agree but I see nursing homes (and many are wonderful places) as warehouses for people waiting to die. I'm not afraid of death, but don't want to be kept alive and protected/prevented from a natural death once I can no longer live at home or make my own decisions. I have written in MY living will that "If or when it is determined that I can not return to my own home and family, or make my own decisions, stop all my medications. Don't treat my diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure, renal failure or give me anything aside from care and comfort. Let me eat what I desire and don't force nutritional supplements on me. If I'm hungry, I'll eat. (Weight loss at the end of life is natural and a sign the body is shutting down. You don't have to treat it.) DO NOT treat me with antibiotics for pneumonia or sepsis, or interfere with any life threatening illness. Treat my chest pains with nitroglycerine and morphine. DO NOT take me to the ER or hospital. Pneumonia has been called "the old man's friend". Give me tylenol, morphine, oxygen, and ativan if I'm anxious or scared. Do not prolong my natural death or "save me" so I have to do it all over again in 2 months. I don't desire to spend $10,000/month to be kept alive so that my grandchildren can visit every 6 months and see me drool. Love me and respect me while I'm here. I hope to see you on the other side." I've had attorneys ask for copies of this to discuss with their clients.


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Re: OT- Wife and dementia

Post by Dan Haynes » Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:08 am

A short documentary with interesting treatment

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnUSNbqtVJI

There is a longer documentary, "Alive Inside" that is truly worth finding and watching.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
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Re: OT- Wife and dementia

Post by John Warren » Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:33 am

Wow Dan, Looks like you are on to something. The sound of a well tuned model T is music to my ears as well as any well running engine. Maybe that is why car guys do fairly well. I use to work on huge diesel engines 3500 hp V16's, they were something to hear. Going to the Drags and listening to some of those engines. Even an electric motor has it own sound loading up. The V8 Ford flat head has a sound like no other as with the Wisconsin V4 the Harley Davidson, Hit and miss motors, Radial aircraft engines, the V12 Mustang , combined with the prop noise, a sweet sound indeed, a high winding motorcycle , ....... could go on and on. I love music and should listen to it more. Remarkable study, Thanks jw
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Re: OT- Wife and dementia

Post by Dan Haynes » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:30 pm

I think this is the video I was trying to link. I don't know what happened last time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyZQf0p73QM

But really, watch "Alive Inside". Find it and watch it.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
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Re: OT- Wife and dementia

Post by Craig Leach » Thu May 13, 2021 1:52 pm

Just a side note, My neighbors wife started showing signes of dementia some years back. She was arguemenative, forgetfull. Started hording things. Would not leave the house. He tried despartly to take her to the doctor, but she refused to go. One day she had a bad headache and passed out. He called 911 and they transported her to the ER where she died the next day. Turned out she had a brain aneurism that most likely was the cause of the issue. Had she seen a doctor years earlyer she may have been saved. She was in her early 60's. It took me a week to get dad into a doctor to find out he had dementia complicated by a stroke he had that no one knew about. One doctor said had he been treated right away for the stroke he may have been alright for a long while? Sometimes treatment can make a world of differance. Seek treatment for your self & lovedones early.
Craig.


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Re: OT- Wife and dementia

Post by Burger in Spokane » Thu May 13, 2021 8:07 pm

Seeing with the aftermath of this right now. Two weeks ago I was standing in Aunt
Pat's kitchen, cleaning up after dinner. All of a sudden, she got the 1000 yard stare
and was unresponsive. I know the signs, and called 911. We had help there in two
minutes.

3 days in the hospital, and it was determined that a minor stroke in the past had
created a damage that caused this later issue, that they said was similar to a seizure,
but without the physical thrashing .... just sorta skips ya off into a netherspace until
the person just kinda drifts back to reality. The docs said it is very treatable, but we
had to put the ka-bosh on driving, and have implemented power of attorney and some
financial oversight to make sure things don't get too sideways, if an event occurrs again.

Aunt Pat is 87 and in good health, but we may be dealing with a mental decline from
here on out. Just gotta watch and see how it plays out.
More people are doing it today than ever before !

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Re: OT- Wife and dementia

Post by PDGx » Fri May 14, 2021 10:20 am

Dan Haynes wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:30 pm
I think this is the video I was trying to link. I don't know what happened last time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyZQf0p73QM

But really, watch "Alive Inside". Find it and watch it.
Great video and is absolutely true IMO.

We heard about studies long ago that music memories were held in part of the brain that was not normally affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia.
When my mother had her second (and serious) stroke in 2009 and dementia started, we bought her an iPod and loaded it up with music from the 40’s and 50’s. (We still have that iPod and the cds that were loaded onto it.) And just like shown in this video, it did wonders for her for the remainder of her life. It seems to keep their brain active and activate memories from their past.
HIGHLY recommend doing this. If they don’t tolerate the headphones, play it on a speaker just loud enough for them to pay attention to it. You will be amazed.
Last edited by PDGx on Fri May 14, 2021 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ironhorse
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Re: OT- Wife and dementia

Post by ironhorse » Fri May 14, 2021 11:38 am

THANKS FOR ALL OF THE WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT! It really has helped My wife was formally diagnosed with Alzheimer's last month and they have her on a strict drug regimen and it is helping. The anti-psychotics have almost eliminated the sun-downing and life is returning to something resembling normal. She even has me looking at a Tudor but getting it to Florida might pose a challenge.The Links were wonderful and my wife has shown a real preference for "Christmas music" . :D
Do it right or do it over,your choice. Drive like everyone is out to get you!

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