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Dementia help needed please

(53 Posts)
HowdidIgetthisold12 Fri 03-Feb-23 14:52:45

For the last year my DH has been having problems with his speech retrieval and it's gradually been getting worse and worse. He has been to the GP and had blood tests and a head scan. They have now reported back that the blood flow to the brain is being restricted and asked him what other issues he is having. He downplayed the other issues (it was a telephone appointment) and said his memory wasn't as sharp and he often forgets where he put his pen glasses etc. It's more than that but they are making him an appointment at the Memory Clinic which I have read is the next step of the protocols for Dementia.
We are also having huge marital problems. I think it's all to do with the Dementia beginning to take hold. He's always been a bit of a fiery character, quite outspoken, determined and driven, but always very kind in the main although empathy and consideration have never been in his vocabulary but who gets everything in life? Now, he flies off the handle with me over the slightest thing and sometimes he's so angry he's red in the face and screaming in my face. I don't know this man.
The last altercation came 2 nights ago over the silliest thing and I told him I was done, I couldn't take any more of this behaviour and we should sell the house etc. The next thing I know he's ringing the children and telling them we are splitting up and he can't take anymore! He slept on the sofa for the first time in our relationship.
Since then we have only spoken in polite terms, he was out yesterday and didn't get back until late. Today he's gone out and not said a word to me. I know we have to talk and Im going to when he gets back but does anyone else have any experience of this? In some ways his behaviour is the same as it often was only now the aggression is added into the pot, ie complaining about this that and the other in shops etc.
I mean he could just be developing into Victor Meldrew but from his symptoms I doubt it.
I just don't know what to do, what if he says he thinks we should split up, what will happen to him? I don't like him very much (this has happened over the years tbh) but I care about him and love him and it's all so bloody sad.

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 03-Feb-23 15:12:22

Oh dear. In your position I would, I’m afraid, be looking after number one and consulting a divorce solicitor without delay because things aren’t going to improve and may deteriorate rapidly. You need to know exactly where you stand. I wish you well.

Jaxjacky Fri 03-Feb-23 15:21:46

How very distressing for you OP, I can understand why you don’t like him much now, but still love him.
You may get some help here:

Squiffy Fri 03-Feb-23 15:59:44

I wonder if some of his recent behaviour is because he is aware of what is happening to him and he’s frightened about the/his future? flowers

NotSpaghetti Fri 03-Feb-23 16:07:05

Quite likely Squiffy I know it would scare me.
flowers HowdidIgetthisold12

VioletSky Fri 03-Feb-23 16:07:29

I understand this is heartbreaking for you

However his behaviour is abusive.

It doesn't matter what causes the abusive behaviour, the impact it places on you and the concern it could escalate are very real.

As a first step please go to your doctor and find out how best to seek support to manage this

fancythat Fri 03-Feb-23 16:14:41

Is there a demantia or memory cafe near you? Sorry dont know the correct name of them.
Both of you might benefit from going along?

1987H2001M2002Inanny Fri 03-Feb-23 16:24:13

So very sorry you are at your wits end. Would it be a good idea to have a family get together without hubbie being there so you can tell your children how bad it's got and that you can't cope anymore ? Ask then if they could come and stay with you for a while to see for themselves. I read a very good dementia book last summer by Jan Hall called Dementia Essentials.
As a carer I was sent to a number of people with this condition,which someone told me had over a hundred types, and found it so difficult as I hadn't had any training or warning about what to expect. Nor have you . Some of the people were living on their own and some with their husband or wife or their children.One poor man was peeling potatoes and nearly crying saying he didn't know how to cope with her while his wife was in a corner of their bedroom almost hysterical. What I'm saying is, you need help,a doctor, mental health nurse,respite care and so on.If you do decide to leave then he would go into a dementia care home I guess. You could then visit him if you chose to, knowing that you could leave if he started getting agressive. Best wishes

LRavenscroft Fri 03-Feb-23 17:15:50

I am so sorry to hear your news. There is no easy way to progress. It all depends on extent, how much you want to take on/or not, how bad it will get, if you have support, if you need to look out for your own health. My very difficult relative nearly destroyed me when I looked after them with dementia and six years on I am still not OK. Personally, I would start with what I knew I could do or not do and get loads of info from any quarter you can so at least you are informed. Also, to consider how your personal circumstances are woven together i.e. joint home, personal pension etc. Could you visit a specialist to find out how your finances would pan out? Good luck and sending my very best wishes for your outcome.

Witzend Fri 03-Feb-23 17:25:39

I’m so sorry you’re going through this, HowdidIgethisold12- I do know how very disturbing it is. Flying into rages - really frightening ones - and over the tiniest things, was a feature of my FiL’s vascular dementia.

He’d always been very ‘easy’ so that first one came as a terrible shock - he was still physically very fit and it was so scary, I left the house and took the petrified dog with me.

I know dh didn’t really believe me about how bad it was - until he saw one for himself. My dh is a big hefty bloke but even he said he wouldn’t have dared to approach him.

Do please speak urgently to your GP, and absolutely don’t gloss over anything - tell it like it is.

M0nica Fri 03-Feb-23 18:04:42

What a dreadful situation! can you discuss it with your children?

When do you go to the Memory Clinic, because this would be the place to discuss it. Unfortunately loss of self control and aggression can be synptoms of dementia and pills can be prescribed to control it.

In the last few months of an aunt's life she got very paranoid and violent and she was given medication to control it.

kittylester Fri 03-Feb-23 18:24:45

I would contact your gp and explain what is happening. Do you gave an appointment at the Memory Clinic yet?

I volunteer for AgeUk's dementia service. We offer a pre diagnosis service because of the long waits for Memory Clinics. In the first instance I would ring the Alzheimer's Society in your area and see whether they offer the same.

Sadly, at least in our area, there has to be a diagnosis before anyone can attend a Memory Cafe and then there is often a waiting list. It could be different in your area so it is worth asking.

You could also call the Admiral Nurse help line!

pascal30 Fri 03-Feb-23 18:38:53

Sadly I think thisbehaviour could be a consequence of early dementia. Perhaps, as previously mentioned, your best move forward is to immediately meet up with your children and arrange a safe place for yourself.. You should not put yourself in danger..

Wyllow3 Fri 03-Feb-23 18:51:39

I'm not experienced in this at all, but if you feel your children would understand, then that would be my first port of call too.

However that depends on whether he "hides" that side of himself with his children.

People more wise than me might be able to comment on this. If its dementia, surely he would not be able to hide his aggression from them? if its not dementia, his behaviour is just to you, then it becomes more a case of marital abuse?

May I make a suggestion? whatever happens next, having evidence would be a good idea. Get a voice record app on your mobile. they are very simple to use. Record him being abusive.

Caleo Fri 03-Feb-23 19:09:06

I think your husband becomes angry when he is scared, and needs reassurance which , understandably, you can't supply.
I hope there is some sort of tranquilliser that will stop him feeling so disturbed.

kittylester Fri 03-Feb-23 19:49:04

People living with dementia are often able to put on a social facade. My mum was brilliant at it. So, he might not show that side of himself to the children.

Fleurpepper Fri 03-Feb-23 20:19:41

Howdidigetsoold- my heart goes out to you. Our SIL is going through the same, and it is so tough. As Kitty says, her OH is very very good at joking and making fun of it, dismissing it altogether, and also getting very irritated and angry. Not so much in public, but as soon as they are on their own. And very very resentful of all medical/social staff and refusin diagnosis out of hand. Very very hard.

Forsythia Fri 03-Feb-23 20:25:29

A family member became violent as his dementia progressed. Eventually, after he attacked his wife, he had to go into a home. We then found out he’d been attacking her for some time. Don’t suffer in silence.

Fleurpepper Fri 03-Feb-23 20:31:21

My brother was often beaten by his wife as Alzheimer's took hold. Once so badly, he had to call ambulance and she was put into care. As a man, he felt he could not ask for help. If was black and blue, and hiding it.

A cousin in the USA was also beaten and sexually assaulted by her husband as the illness got worse- and he had several guns all over the house. She was terrified.

It's so sad, so you have my utmost sympathy. Don't suffere in silence, and ask for help from wherever you can get it.

kittylester Fri 03-Feb-23 20:32:33

If the diagnosis is vascular dementia, it isn't unusual for people to get depressed or upset as they can be moreaware of what is happening to them. As caleo says, it must be very scary.

Fleurpepper Fri 03-Feb-23 20:37:52

Terribly so. losing control. And often leading to total denial in initial phase.

Hetty58 Fri 03-Feb-23 20:46:31

HowdidIgetthisold12, your 'I'm done, sell the house' would have scared him and dented his pride - so explains his 'version' with family.

It really is so very sad when you hardly recognise the person you love. You need to distance yourself, yet find it almost impossible, feel responsible for their welfare and duty bound to do your best.

You simply can't predict when the situation will become unbearable - or dangerous - so need to be ready to leave at a moment's notice.

The progress of his condition (which needs diagnosis) may be rapid and require residential care for him before your life becomes unbearable. Is there a friend or relative who could stay with you until his treatment can be arranged? He's likely to behave better in company and you should feel more secure.

sukie Fri 03-Feb-23 23:34:19

My first concern is for your physical welfare. Many years ago we had an elderly neighbor whose husband went through similar changes. It eventually escalated to physical and sexual abuse. She was covered in bruises but having been married over 60 years, she was secretive and scared. As other grans have said, have a plan in place to protect yourself.

Shelflife Fri 03-Feb-23 23:54:11

Please speak to your GP and let him / her know exactly what is happening . Get the ball rolling and do tell your children. 💐💐

HowdidIgetthisold12 Sun 05-Feb-23 10:16:02

Thank you everyone. Things have moved on apace, got worse then got better. The family are aware and are of course, supportive and willing to help in any way they can. I think I might have been in a bit of denial too about the dementia - I suppose I was hoping it was 'just him' but I'm beginning to realise that it's not just that. A hard and difficult road ahead for both of us, mainly him and I'm so so sad for him. I'm going to speak to the GP maybe in writing as I know they won't talk to me about his health, to advise that he played down his issues on the phone and that other things are going on, albeit low level at the moment apart from the temper outbursts which are random and not every day. As everyone has advised I will monitor the temper situation and look to my own well being too.... I have just gone into remission for a couple of auto immune conditions and stress won't help!
again, appreciate the support and kind words.