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    Moved into a 55+ community
    An_255004 posted:
    I am the only one left in my family and I wasn't receiving any assistance from spouses' family; so we made the big move to a 55+ community. My spouse has ALZ but tells the other residents the reason we are here is because of me. In fact he has become real popular with a good portion of the residents. Will find fault with everything I do and has no idea how I feel. I am really having a hard time this week and I thought this move would be good for both of us but I am the one that is ready for a nervous breakdown! Our doctor says this is normal but it seems like it's been a few years already and the abuse is getting to me! Would appreciate any suggestions? Thank You!
    cjh1203 responded:
    Your situation sounds really frustrating.

    It is normal for Alzheimer's patients to treat their loved ones -- especially caretakers -- badly, unfortunately. That doesn't make it easier for you, I know.

    When he does treat you badly, try to remember that it's the disease saying those things, not him. That won't make it easy, but might make it a little less hurtful.

    Are you getting any help in caring for your husband, so you can get some breaks? It's important to make time for yourself or the stress will take a physical and mental toll on you.

    Is your husband on any medications for his Alzheimer's? Do you think his doctor truly understands how your husband's behavior is affecting you?

    Perhaps the best thing you can do for yourself is to join an Alzheimer's Association support group in your local chapter. A lot of people there will have been through similar things and can probably give you advice to help you deal with it. Just talking with people who have been down the same road can make the burden more bearable.

    Best wishes,
    Judith L London, PhD responded:

    What an unexpected reaction from your husband in that he claims you are the one with the issues. I just moved into a 55 community myself, so I know how upsetting this is for you. I am trying to set up an Alzheimer's caregiver support group here because support groups are the antidote to what you are going through.

    First of all, don't take it personally: he is becoming disinhibited and blurting out inappropriate comments. Whenever he says it's your issue, try a light approach with others he speaks to with something like, "That's what he believes," and smile to diffuse the situation. As far as the abusive comments he makes to you, immediately tell him that you are hurt by what he says in that moment. You need to give him the feedback whenever he is abusive, quietly saying that it is not OK for him to speak to you that way. You may have to say that you will not sit with him if he speaks that way. People with Alzheimer's and related dementia still have unconscious memory, and unless he is the type of person who always spoke to you in an abusive way, he eventually may ease up. Whether he persists or not, start arranging for caregivers to help you out and give you some relief - you deserve it. The Alzheimer's Assn. at 800-272-3900 has great suggestions.

    Keep letting us know what's going on,
    momrich responded:
    Boy can I relate to this frustration in dealing with a husband who gets angry with me for unexpected reasons! He was a professional in the community and people can not believe that he would behave this way.

    My frustration is that his primary doctor is reluctant to put him on medication, even IF he would take it, there is inject able but only with my husbands consent and there is evaluation for incompetence to make his own health decisions (which at this point he can pass).

    While we try to cope, I've been told at the support groups there are no community resources that actually give help--and a lot that ant to refer us to another agency. One can not get them into a care center for rehab where we get some financial help without being hospitalized for 3 days for a medical reason (Alzheimer's is not enough). Who wants to prevent stuff when that stuff may land them in the hospital for 3 days?

    What is it going to take --having us care takers walk out of the house?
    verysad54 replied to cjh1203's response:
    Sorry for the delay! My husband is on meds if he remembers to take them. If I remind him he says I am treating him like a child. So I try to remind him in other ways like leaving his pills on the counter or saying would you like me to bring your night pills to you.... That seems to help. I am handicap so going to Alz meetings in kinda out of the question. That is why the doctor thought it was a good move coming to the Senior Community.
    However, I believe it's a little bit more than I can handle with my illnesses because I have been having health difficulties since I moved in here. I felt the people would keep him more active. However, what it has done is trilling all the elderly women here because my husband is young and just a gentleman to them.
    I don't mind him being a gentleman however, it has caused another problem between us that I prefer not to deal with because of the amount of pain I am on a daily basis. Then there has been issues that have arisen since we been here about this community that I am finding out from the other residents that this just might not be the right place to live. My husband and I had put a good amount of money down to move in here that is non-refundable and we just can't move right now.
    You are right I should contact the Alz Association in my area I have been saying that for years; my reasoning is I never find time to get away from him because he always has to know what I am doing and with whom. Then there is the fact it is just to hard for me to get out in the cold and hot weather because of me being handicap and I am in a wheelchair. Thank You Carol!
    verysad54 replied to Judith L London, PhD's response:
    Judy Thank You I will try your advice!
    verysad54 replied to momrich's response:
    momrich, I can agree with you 100% about just walking away from it all! Even if I only have the clothes on my back. That is how unhappy I have become!
    It has helped a little since we moved in here however, now with this facility misrepresenting us (and others here) it only adds more problems for me. Because my husband doesn't need to worry about the bills and how they are being paid for. He feels that he has money growing on trees somewhere! I just wish he would tell me where so I wouldn't have to worry so much!
    My husband feels I am the one with the problem not him and sometimes I feel that he might be right! Cause I am being a good wife and staying by his side! The forgetfulness I go through my doctor says is due to stress and I shouldn't worry about it!
    cjh1203 replied to verysad54's response:
    verysad, please give the Alzheimer's Association a call. They can offer some help by phone. Let them know your whole situation, including that it is difficult for you to get out because you're in a wheelchair. There is also an incredible amount of helpful information and support on their web site .

    You need some support right away. You are angry with your husband for something that is beyond his control, and that anger is making a miserable situation even harder to bear, on top of your own problems. It's understandable that you are angry with your him, but it is his disease that is making him say the things he does. It seems almost impossible not to take it personally, but you can't. You need to find a way to get breaks from him and to get help with the many areas of your life that are so difficult now.

    Momrich, if your husband's primary doctor refuses to give him any medication, take him to see a neurologist who specializes in Alzheimer's. Medication can help slow the progress of the disease, but he needs to start it as soon as possible.

    For both of you, try contacting 211 . They are there to help people in situations like yours. They know all the resources available and can send you in the right direction.

    My heart goes out to both of you. I'm so sorry for all you're going through.

    Best wishes,
    Judith L London, PhD replied to momrich's response:

    There are medications which involve a skin patch - the Exelon patch. That eases the burden of the pill problem. Also, has anyone evaluated him for depression or a vitamin B12 deficiency? Often the mood swings are related to this problem.Simple anti-depressants may help.

    At this point, you must take care of yourself first and foremost. Use the telephone chat rooms okayed by the Alzheimer's Assn. Keep writing here. There are also geriatric care managers for low cost that may be sponsored by your local organization for aging or a senior center.

    Hope you find some relief,

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