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Old 10-01-2012, 02:09 PM   #3
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Re: Husband has Dementia


So sorry that your husband has dementia. Do you know what type of dementia? It makes a difference. Alzheimer's is one type of dementia. Vascular dementia is also the second common one. Different types of dementia can have different symptoms or timing when the "episodes" happen.
Indeed it seems common that many people have experienced the big change when the dementia first shows up in the surface. Before, he might have it hidden and didn't show it obviously. Now it is showing.
Like Deb said, routine and quiet environment help. It sounds like he almost forgot who you were and so he was mad at you because he didn't realize you were the wife. Maybe he was anxious himself that he didn't understand what you were doing there. Usually it is too early for him to not recognize you. But if he is stressed, he may think you bother him. One thing you can do is not to argue with him over the stuff when you deal with him. Gently ask him what he wants and etc. Once he gets angry, it is too late to say anything. I am glad you called the police. Sundowning is common for Alzheimer's. At sunset or in darkness, he would feel insecure and anxious. I think his biological clock becomes different with dementia. Turn on the light in the room and it will help. Close all the curtains if the sky is dark outside. Have early supper may help. (Say 5pm.)

You need to make sure you or your adult kids have POA and that he has health directive and living will. Since he has been diagnosed, you need to prepare for legal access. Make your adult child the backup POA. In the future, in case you cannot live with him, you may need to seek for alternative and adult kids can be helpful.

It is a long journey. We had taken care of my late FIL for 7 years or so and it was not easy. It is a long shot. Also different level or stage requires different care so it is not just one way but there are many ways to deal with this. Home care at home is helpful. AL or memory unit may be considered in late stage.