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I suspect my 58 year-old husband may have Alzheimer's.

He is 58. He has begun hiding "his" laundry detergent. "His" paper towels. "His" trash bags. He has been isolating in his bedroom when he is not at work. He took all of the income tax check even though it was made out to both of us and refused to give me any of it. He has moments of quick rage where just the least little thing sets him off. He is angry and quick-tempered most often. Any suggestions?
Status: Open    Jan 07, 2017 - 06:08 PM

Dementia

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Jan 09, 2017 - 03:59 PM

Hi - it may not be Alzheimer's, but something else.

I have long suspected hubby of having frontotemporal degeneration (similar age, odd behaviours, mood swings, rages ....). After lots of tests there is sleep apnoea and vascular disease, chronic ischemic changes in the brain showing up as white matter lesions etc

getting them to see a Dr is almost impossible. I spoke with both his GP and psychologist seperately with a list of dates, events, behaviours, what set them off
any signs and symptoms - when it started etc.

then the gp added some extra blood tests and brain MRI to his annual check up. Plus, I mentioned the chronic tiredness, night sweats, stopping breathing etc - so sleep apnoea test.

at least that was a start

good luck!
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By Bless Caregivers on Jan 14, 2017 - 07:41 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

I am a caregiver to my brother with ALZ. I got involved 6 years ago, he was living 1000 miles away, I was told "odd things" started happening probably 2 years prior. "So called friends" were trying to keep things quiet, enabling his love of independence, till he needed "real help." I knew immediately something was wrong. Initially he did not know me; was hiding important things all over the house, when he was unable to find them he was suspicious of me to the point of anger; simple tasks were a struggle, tv remote, cell phone, cooking; some tasks he repeatedly did, wanting to stick to routine, going like an energetic bunny. He was still driving, but stepping on the gas and going, a major risk to him and others; giving directions hit or miss. He wanted my help, needed it, but was difficult, he knew things were not good. You are with your husband 24/7 and I am sorry but sounds like you are witnessing things that are telling you something is wrong, in a beginning stage possibly. We hated to open that door 6 years ago, knowing things would change for everyone. I suggest you get a great team of professionals to aid you and your husband, a neurological exam with additional tests will be suggested. Even though we heard "devastating news" I am glad we have had knowledgeable and professional people, they have called everything right from day 1, no "don't know" or guessing. ALZ is a terrible disease, progressive, sad and difficult to watch a love one struggle with, just terribly hard on everyone. I hate this for my brother, I am caregiving the best I am able to these days, I know there will be a time when I am in over my head, new decisions, one day/moment at a time. God Bless

By bobbiedellacqua on Jan 14, 2017 - 08:16 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

Thank you very much! How old was your brother when this began?

By pbooher on Jan 16, 2017 - 06:56 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

Hi - a good neurologist who specializes in alzheimers/dementia care may be really helpful. I have "been there" with my mother as she lived with me when the signs of alzheimers were becoming apparent. Problem was, it was so darn confusing to me because one minute she was herself, and the next, she was irritable, secretive, angry, etc. She started engaging in things like giving money away in scams (she was a banker, and getting her finances away from her was harder than getting the car away from her). All I can tell you is I urge you to not ignore what your gut is telling you. A lot of us do - I did, because she was my mother and I had never tried to take her role away from her or lie to her or anything before. But I had to take over and assume the role she had always played - and I had to start getting "creative" in handling potentially upsetting situations to try to respect/allow her sense of independence but also to protect her from herself and protect me from the stress of dealing with it. Once I got her to a specialist (she always believed in getting checkups so she would go without much fuss), he was able to identify things for me and help me as much as he helped her. It becomes a very desperate situation - sometimes it goes slow and sometimes it spirals out of control quickly. You just never know what to expect. Please take care of yourself in this stuff because they can take you with them and make you feel crazy yourself. Not intentionally of course - but that's one of the serious dangers of being a caregiver. You do have to start thinking of your relationship in a different way - and that's one of the hardest things I have ever done. Hang in there. You really are not alone.

By bobbiedellacqua on Jan 18, 2017 - 10:08 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

Thank you very much. I do not believe that he thinks there is anything wrong. Therefore, to convince him to see a doctor at this point would be impossible. I am just going to have to wait and see and this point.

By pbooher on Jan 18, 2017 - 10:22 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

I hear what you are saying and dealing with, but seriously, see if you can plant a seed to at least have a "checkup" just for general purposes since we all should have them, some baseline tests that everyone at a certain age levels should have, etc.. Perhaps get someone else he trusts (like an old friend) to plant the idea and encourage. You really and truly have to get creative. At some point, he could become a danger to himself or others, so I would recommend that you not take the path of least resistance. I know it is hard. Just saying - we've all been there (anyone who has been caregiver to dementia, alzheimers or related) and you sometimes have to do things you would never imagine. Regardless of what you do, I wish you well.

By kbuchanan on Jan 18, 2017 - 12:41 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

And if you cam, speak to his GP with your concerns before the appointment - go armed with a list of dates, events, symptoms, signs, reactions - that way the GP can add some extra tests to the annual / over 50 check up ... That's what I did. And the persistent headaches and sinus problems got the MRI ...

By Bless Caregivers on Jan 18, 2017 - 02:26 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

In answer to your question I believe my brother's concerns started at 63 in 2009, he did have a minor concussion, was checked out, all ok, 3 months later he just didn't feel the same, a second MRI showed changes but he didn't want to pursue it further. I got involved 2 years later, the dreaded emergency call, his gp clueless, prescribing meds that were useless during those 2 years. In 2011 he was struggling being alone, seeing him for the first time, watching his struggles and behavior I knew something was drastically wrong. Everyone is giving you good advice on getting him to a doctor, but his gp may not pick up on it. A knowledgeable neurologist should know right away, the first consult his doctor knew. The 2nd MRI from 2009 showed the white matter, shrinking. A PECT scan was then done and mental tests which supported their diagnosis. Sometimes a neurologist may suggest a spinal tap as well if there is any doubt. I don't wish hearing ALZ for anyone, I get why my brother initially did nothing, but there wasn't anything anyone could have done anyway, if it was the 09 accident, who knows??? You want to keep him safe and you, when he is alone who knows what he is thinking, remove anything dangerous, make excuses if you must. The behavior changes, can be depression or agitation with the way he is feeling. I was told "less is better," at one time, I had to say little, give him space. It was difficult trying to help him cope, denial and resistance was in full force. I hope all will be ok, could be just depression, a diabetic or thyroid concern, simple blood work up may show something other than ALZ, a gp visit will be less scary, a good start, yes, everyone needs a physical. Stay focused and strong, for you and him. God Bless You for caring.

By welleinmd on Feb 02, 2017 - 08:39 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

My hubby was diagnosed via MRI and other neurological tests as having mild dementia in 2009 following open heart surgery in 2007 and several TIA ( mild tiny stokes) . Gradually over the past 7+ years his behavior has changed due to this diagnosis. Many times in the same day he is like the man I married decades ago. But other times IN THE SAME DAY he is irritable, gets furious easily, now swears and tells me to shut up. He demonstrates road rage but still drives. I will not be in the car with him when he drives because I cannot stand it. He was given mild anxiety drugs but refuses to take them. Every thing that goes wrong it is my fault. We are like strangers much of the day. He does not tell me when he leaves the house or returns . Additionally he has NEVEar discussed the diagnosis of dementia with his doctors or me or his sisters and brothers. I go to a psychologist myself for periodic counseling but not much can be done until his symptoms interfere with ADL i e Activities of daily living I.e. toileting and eating etc as these six ADL are essential if we want to initiate long term care programs. So I try to lead my own separate life in our large house. Mdw

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