My husband talks endlessly - I swear he talked for 16 hours yesterday with hardly any break. Not only that but when he gets on a subject, he goes on and on and on. I left the house all day today so I could escape the endless one sided conversation. You can not redirect. I tell him to please stop several times, then "stop" then "shut up". "Shut up" makes him mad and he leaves but comes back 2 minutes later and continues as if nothing has happened. He's nowhere near incompetent, though some of his decisions lately leave a lot to be desired. He absolutely will not be evaluated. I am beyond done and am either in tears or on the verge of hysterical laughter. Has anyone experienced this?
just as a side note: When I did take him to the first neurologist for evaluation, his high level of education and ability to smooth talk the doctor and deny he had any problems, paired with the doctor being a sexist prick, resulted in a misdiagnosis & my being told it was “normal aging”. Yeah, a year later when he got himself arrested for erratic behavior, I guess that was “normal aging” too.
Hopefully he has an assigned PoA. If not, and he gets a medical diagnosis of impairment, this will hinder your ability to legally help him (because in most states he cannot assign a PoA if he isn't of sound mind). Guardianship would be the only other option.
You say he is "nowhere near incompetent" but if you weren't there living with him daily, how would it go for him? My very senior aunt talks non-stop but she has very advanced dementia. I wish you success in getting help for the both of you.
"He's nowhere near incompetent, though some of his decisions lately leave a lot to be desired."
That's the fun with dementia - it affects everyone differently. Yes, there are common symptoms and behaviors, but not everyone experiences them all, some play all the hits, some never seem to experience many of them. It's also very dependent on the underlying cause of the cognitive issues. First step is to determine IF he has dementia. Also, a person doesn't just suddenly become incompetent. Usually we notice something that isn't quite right, aka "...some of his decisions lately leave a lot to be desired." To many my mother would seem perfectly normal for an early 90s woman. Spend enough time with her, nope. Trouble with finances was the first obvious sign for me, even though there were much more subtle signs before that, only realized in hindsight. Once we took the car away and I had to provide supplies and/or take her shopping, I realized she was no longer cooking, but rather relying on frozen dinners and boxed stuff. Finding the fresh veggies she bought all shriveled up and over-stock of items like chicken in the freezer clued me in (she was living alone in a condo then.) I also had to have YB take her out one day and clear the place of any/all paperwork - bills, checking info, old statements, old documents, etc. She was digging them out and confusing the hell out of me with some of her statements. Old W2s/1099s were notice that someone died and left her money (it said Death Benefits because it was dad's pension - try to explain that!) Once all the papers were gone, that all stopped.
If your husband's case, this is probably an indication of what part of his brain is affected. For your sanity, can you try earplugs or a headset playing music? Anything to drown him out but not anger him? Meanwhile...
"He absolutely will not be evaluated."
This can be challenging. Never EVER would the "D" word be used around my mother. To her it meant you were "off your rocker", aka crazy. That's NOT what it means, but there was no way to get her to understand that. The only real test ever done was by a nurse who worked for the aide company I was hiring. They sent her to the condo, paid for by Medicare, to do an assessment of mom's needs. Primarily I wanted someone there once/day to check on her and her meds. I lived too far to do daily checks, she sometimes didn't hear the phone, so I could even check that way! The nurse came to the condo and did the test at the kitchen table. Two of us were also there, observing. It was less threatening than having a doctor office do it.
I've read others have been able to set this up through their doctor, rather than going through an aide company, but if they won't order it, you can try various aide companies and see if any would do this (you can say you're thinking of hiring help but need him assessed - we didn't ask for it, they just did it.) IF this testing does indicate cognitive decline, it would be better to be able to narrow down what the underlying cause is. This might be accomplished by just setting up a regular checkup, but discuss with the doctor first, so that s/he can recommend "testing" that might be done to search for the cause. If it's just a "check up", required by Medicare (little fib) and the doc wants some tests done that do NOT mention any dementia to him, maybe they can get it done? Get your own "checkup" and your own "orders" for the same testing, required by Medicare (fib fib fib!!!) It may take some creativity on your part and theirs, but if we can convince them that this is normal checkup stuff, go for it!
Meanwhile, headphone, earplugs and MANY errands to run!
The living alone probably triggered all the talking... I probably have a tendency to prattle on, because it gets tiresome at home carrying on both sides of the conversation with cats! If they'd just chat with me... :-D
Of course I prefer talking when not home IF the other person talks with me! So I would like a response. I do enough both-sided talking already!
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