Dementia and abuse

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Sabina 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #60682 Reply

    SG

    My husband has early onset dementia. After 5 years of marriage we’re still quite young and it’s a huge shock to me. I’m not really sure how to cope with it all. He was the breadwinner and now I may have to quit my job or at least cut back my hours to keep an eye on him.

    There are a lot of problems, but the biggest one is that lately he’s become physically abusive. He was never like this before the diagnosis, but now he has a major anger management issue. When he’s confused he gets angry and usually angry at me. He’s given me a couple black eyes now. I can’t put him in a home. If I can’t keep him under control, who can? There’s no one else to ask really.

    I worry I’m in danger. Maybe I’m just overreacting. I don’t know what to do.

  • #60756 Reply

    mama d

    we are in the “early to moderate” stages of dementia at our house, too. ours is driven by parkinson’s, and we are not very “young” any more. you say you can’t “put him in a home”, but your safety may be the only factor you can really consider, right now. dementia does NOT get better. it’s sad, but that’s the plain truth. there are some medications that can help, for a while, but when the physical stuff starts, you need to seriously consider the long term. in the State in which we live, any kind of assistance requires an existence that it pretty close to subsistence. unless you have already established a long term care insurance policy, you may find yourself in the situation of being forced to relinquish/sell nearly everything of “real” value–here,we are allowed one car, no more than “x number of dollars” in the bank, and the residence we inhabit. and even then, anything i may have that is “mine”, is still affected. a divorce might help, but again–in our state, there has to have been a divorce 5 years prior to any appeal for medicaid, etc., or the spouse’s income and holdings are brought into the equation.

    you should see a family law specialist. they aren’t all that common, but they are specialized, just like a physician would be, to help navigate and juggle all the factors involved. you also need to take basic precautions–a separate bedroom, a lock on the inside of the door, etc. until you can get things sorted out. and you need to move quickly on this. we had a friend whose husband’s dementia led to a literal attempt on her life, late at night. he didn’t even recognize her, any more, and perceived her as an intruder, and a risk to him. don’t wait on this. enlist your area assistance–there is a “senior linkage line” that can help you begin the navigation process.

    be smart. your heart has to be silenced by the reality, right now. and you are being kind to both of you by starting immediately.

  • #60821 Reply

    milehilady

    SG…..you are NOT overreacting! If he’s already become physically violent enough to give you black eyes, he is a threat to your safety. I’m so sorry! It’s hard to wrap your mind around the fact that dementia can change a loved one so much, but it’s the stark truth that it does. Please listen to mama d’s advice about creating a safe space in your home where you can lock him out while calling for help, as well as her advice to find a good facility with an Alzheimer’s unit for him.

    This brings a very sad news article I read a couple of years ago to my mind…..it was from the UK, I’m not sure where, but the husband (the dementia victim) wandered over to a neighbors house stating that “my wife won’t wake up!”. When law enforcement and the rescue people arrived, the found his wife (the caregiver) dead in their home from a gunshot wound. She had been badly beaten as well. He couldn’t remember a thing, and God only knows what actually happened, but a lethal outcome from this type of situation is far from unthinkable.

    My own grandfather became very violent after he developed dementia. It was almost 60 years ago, and from everything my family has said, he was the most kind-hearted, gentle man on earth. Until he became “senile”. I think he probably had Alzheimer’s, but back then it was “senile”. At that point in time, skilled nursing facilities were pretty much unheard of. He ended up in a mental hospital because he became too violent for family members to be safe with him in their homes. Please, please, please, create a safe place and get started on placement in a skilled nursing facility. I know it seems impossible, but you’re gonna have to find a way. If you’re still alive, you can still be his wife and advocate. What do you think will happen to him if he kills you? What if he injures you so badly you cannot work, or be his advocate? This is not going to get better, and it’s not going to go away. Please take steps to insure your safety (and his) now.
    Big Hugs! I know this isn’t easy, and it’s certainly not fair, but reality seldom is. I’m so sorry you are facing this huge hurdle so soon after marrying your husband!!!!

  • #60849 Reply

    Sabina

    I’m so sorry, this is a really tough situation to be in. As others have said, you have to look out for your own safety. You can’t take care of him if he puts you out of commission!

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