She also has a food obsetion.

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Your wife has anosognosia which means she's wholly unaware of her impairment. Here is a useful article from Agingcare on coping with it:

Remember the acronym LEAP:

Which stands for Listen, Empathize, Agree, and Partner. Rather than trying to convince your loved one they're sick, actively listening to their point of view can help build trust and respect. Being supportive may help encourage your loved one to be more open and honest about their perspective.

Pick up a copy of the book Understanding the Dementia Experience by Jennifer Ghent-Fuller on Amazon so you can learn about dementia and how to help your wife and cope yourself.

As far as a food obsession goes, offer her 6 small meals a day which will make her think she's eating more than she actually is. Lock up foods she needs to avoid and keep fresh fruit and veggies available to her.

Good luck to you.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to lealonnie1
ArtistDaughter May 3, 2024
Why show her the "discussions about her dementia" when she more than likely won't remember after anyway?
I wouldn't keep throwing it in her face, but instead just start educating yourself on this horrific disease, so you'll be better prepared for what lies ahead, and love and support her the best you can.
Her food obsession is more than likely linked to her dementia as well.
And if possible get hooked up with a local caregiver support group for folks caring for a loved one with dementia. Mine literally saved my life when I was caring for my late husband and was at my wits end.
I never shared with my late husband when he was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2018 that he had dementia, but chose to educate myself and get my "ducks in a row" so I could be there for him the best I could.
And I was there for him until his death in 2020.
Wishing you the very best as you travel this very difficult journey with your wife.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to funkygrandma59

You’ve already answered your question when you stated that she refuses to accept the fact of dementia.

You can show a dementia patient all sorts of things in hope that they’ll understand, you can talk till you’re blue in the face, you can go through drills with family pix about this is Uncle Myrle and Granny Fran-Fran, but the info won’t stick. So you might as well not get your hopes up.

Dementia is such a cruel disease with no hope of improvement. Why try to get anyone to understand more about their condition or what you’re going through or what’s ahead for them? Go get her a dish of ice cream instead.

You may be missing the understanding and companionship you used to get from her. Try to make new friends who can provide that.
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Reply to Fawnby

She won’t believe/understand anything you show her. Quit trying to tell her what her diagnosis is…it doesn’t matter. She will deny, argue and lie about anything. That’s part of the disease. For your own peace of mind, let it go.

Do you think she would say”oh, I have dementia, no wonder things seem weird.” That would never happen. What are you trying to gain by hammering home her disease to her? There is nothing to be gained.

Just stick by her, love her, take care of her the best you can. Get decent help when you need it. Reassure her that she is safe and loved, no matter what.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Donttestme
Anxietynacy May 3, 2024
It sounds to me like you are at the beginning stages of acceptance. I'm so sorry you both will live through this. It's never what any one looked forward to in old age. Does it really matter if she 'accepts' a diagnosis or not? Will it change anything if she 'accepts' or not? Let it go, YOU have accepted and have started to reach out to seek knowledge and support. THAT matters! (good job!) That might be the best you guys can do right now. That's ok. I expect this is a really hard time right now for you BOTH. It's devastating to face that nothing will be the same (often from minute to minute, and definitely from day to day), and everything will be changing over the next few years. YOU will need to learn about living with someone who has a broken brain. (good job on your efforts here!) The first lesson I learned was not to argue. It won't matter if I'm right and have all the fact sheets to prove it. My reality doesn't matter. The person with the broken brain only can handle what they know right now. Things will be different in a few hours, or a day. Why argue and create tension? I would always try to diffuse and gently allow for a redirection or change of subject. Or even just flat give up and say OK. Some days that's all you can do, that it's enough. This is a heartbreaking disease, for you both. Please be gentle, assure her she is loved, use the time you have with her while you have it. Best of luck!
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Mrslala541
Calliesma May 3, 2024
This is such a lovely response- so caring, so understanding, so kind. I wish we had a group that gathered just to cry and that you could lead that group. This is a brutal illness... but your response is like light in the darkness. Thank you.
It will do no good to show her and "discussions." You cannot convince someoen with Dementia that they have Dementia. They see the world as they see it.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to RedVanAnnie

I'm not really sure what you expect your wife's response to be. She has dementia, which means that her thought processes are affected.

Dementia is literal damage to the brain. Neurological pathways are changed or lost and there is reduction of brain size, as cells die and are not replaced.

Your wife may not be able to accept her diagnosis, but you can. Learn and understand as much about dementia as you can.

Please remember that it's your wife's illness that has changed the way she thinks and behaves. This isn't her fault.

Nevertheless, at some point you may have to make difficult decisions about how to manage her care. If you are making decisions that are in your wife's best interests, including ensuring that she has a husband who is healthy and can cope, then you are doing the best you can.
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Reply to MiaMoor

It boils down to this.

You can't reason with a broken brain.

That's what I have to constantly remind myself. It's hard. You want them to understand but they can't. In a way, they are grieving the things they've lost. My husband will say he wants to pastor again. He doesn't realize that for a year, he preached the same three sermons. He wants to lead worship again, but he only knows a few songs now. He plays the same ten songs or so every time he picks up his guitar. I'm so glad he can still play, but he could never lead worship the way he used to. He knows what he once did and he is grieving the loss of those things.

Your wife is grieving too.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to graygrammie
NeedHelpWithMom May 3, 2024

It’s really interesting how our minds work, isn’t it?

Tony Bennet’s wife said that her husband never forgot her name.

He suffered from dementia, but as soon as he got out on stage he remembered all of the words to his songs. Yet, he couldn’t tell anyone what he ate for lunch that day.

I am happy that your husband still knows at least three songs. I wish that he would be able to be a worship leader again because it meant so much to him at one point in his life.

Our jazz festival is in session now and the gospel tent is always packed with people listening to beautiful music from local choirs.

When Aaron Neville is singing in the gospel tent I always go to see him. He has quite a testimony. He attributes his faith to his mother’s loving example.
I remember my mom asking why her brain didn’t work anymore, broke my heart to know she had such awareness of her condition. I tried to gently explain what was happening, but that made her grief worse. She doesn’t ask anymore and we find reasons to laugh at her word salad and some of the funny things she says and does. It’s good for both of us. Check out Teepa Snow on you tube for expert advice and dealing with difficult situations. The early days of dementia were most frightening to me, I’ve found her easier to deal with as it’s progressed.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to LoriF1
MiaMoor May 4, 2024
Same here. I know that my mum was sometimes frightened when she hadn't understood something that she felt she ought to. But, now, things generally just slide past her.
Mostly, my mum is content, now that she isn't as aware that she's confused or not remembering. However, she does sometimes feel anxious without knowing why.
Unfortunately, the doctor doesn't want to prescribe anti-anxiety medication. Although, that might be because of contraindications to do with her epilepsy. Thankfully, those episodes are not frequent.
The hardest part of this Dementia/Mild Cognitive Impairment health issue is that it's hard to face the fact that the person you knew, loved and counted on is NOT the same person anymore. They will never be again, either.

You will eventually need to turn to others, hire help and make new friends, or be forever heartbroken.

The whole thing sucks. It's both frustrating and devastating. They used to adore you, help you....and now they basically hate you. They fear and hate their loss and future, and blame you, since you are the most familiar.

It isn't going to change, either. Try to have nice days and let the rest go.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Dawn88
MiaMoor May 3, 2024
I agree with most of what you say. However, not all people who suffer with dementia become hateful. Although, having grown up around the elderly (my mum managed a sheltered housing complex) I have seen many people become quite combative before they needed to go into a home.

My mum isn't hateful or aggressive. She can have odd moments when she's made to do something she really doesn't want to, but mostly she's in a dreamy half-asleep state. Dementia affects people differently.
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