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Old 04-03-2016, 01:05 PM
 
Location: The sleepy part of New York City
1,911 posts, read 1,185,324 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfcambridge View Post
You may be surprised, but many people with dementia do better with caregivers than you might think. It doesn't have to be you there all the time.... Especially if he doesn't have complex medical needs. Also, because there is no emotion/history associated with a new caregiver, they sometimes arouse less suspicion/agitation. It is the opposite of what you might think.

You should start working on this now, because things will only get harder. And you have to be able to leave the house.

You can find a way to get to a support group for 1.5 hours a month, in the evening. Really. If he has any friends/family/coworkers/neighbors/church acquaintances/person you can hire to come over for 2 hours and order a pizza with him and listen to music/tv/movie/chat/walk...

For evening agitation, a few things are helpful.....

Routine, routine, routine.

Early dinner.

Relaxing activities right after dinner.... Music, comforting TV shows from the past.

Medication, often with dinner. Dinner can be a good time for a dose of melatonin. And sometimes a stronger medication is needed right before bed (prescription).

Call the clinic tomorrow.

You can do this.

I'm sorry this is so hard.

yes, so true. Routine, old tv shows


My inlaws, ( MIL had Alzheimers.. FIL had dementia)

were entitled to a couple of hours a week from a home health aid from an agency. I don't remember how they got entitled to it though. My inlaws weren't poor and they owned their own home.

But, I found the best way to find a decent, reliable health care worker is through word of mouth but we had to pay out of pocket. It wasn't expensive though. . Ask around. I found out one of my son's friends grandmothers was a home health aid and she came in for a few hours a day and another woman we hired was the mom of my son's ex girlfriend.. She was a retired nurse, and my inlaws loved both of them. My FIL especially. What man is going to object to a woman doting on him hand and foot? LOL. but best of all, I got to take a much needed break.
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,841 posts, read 25,219,256 times
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By any chance is your H a veteran? If he is, there is help available including paying you for taking care of him.
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Old 04-03-2016, 04:46 PM
 
3,593 posts, read 10,642,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
By any chance is your H a veteran? If he is, there is help available including paying you for taking care of him.
No, he damaged his shoulder in high school and the military wouldn't take him. Along with everything else, I'll soon have to decide what I'm going to do about our dogs. I've been involved in dog rescue for over 30 years. The dogs we have in our home are the ones no one else wanted. We currently have four dogs. One is a former feral dog that is afraid of everyone except my husband and me. 2 others have bite histories. The final one is almost 100 lbs. The time is fast approaching when I am going to have to figure out how to have a caretaker come in for my husband. Does anyone else here have animals as well as taking care of a loved one with dementia? If you haven't figured it out, I'd rather amputate a limb than rehome my dogs. Its just another concern that is rapidly going to become critcal.

Its been a good day for my husband today. He even laughed and teased me as he has done throughout our marriage. I still know what is on the horizon. Tomorrow could go either way.
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Old 04-03-2016, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,841 posts, read 25,219,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Va-Cat View Post
No, he damaged his shoulder in high school and the military wouldn't take him. Along with everything else, I'll soon have to decide what I'm going to do about our dogs. I've been involved in dog rescue for over 30 years. The dogs we have in our home are the ones no one else wanted. We currently have four dogs. One is a former feral dog that is afraid of everyone except my husband and me. 2 others have bite histories. The final one is almost 100 lbs. The time is fast approaching when I am going to have to figure out how to have a caretaker come in for my husband. Does anyone else here have animals as well as taking care of a loved one with dementia? If you haven't figured it out, I'd rather amputate a limb than rehome my dogs. Its just another concern that is rapidly going to become critcal.

Its been a good day for my husband today. He even laughed and teased me as he has done throughout our marriage. I still know what is on the horizon. Tomorrow could go either way.
I am a rescue person too. I currently have 2 senior GSP's and a Weim. Dogs helped my father a lot in his fight to hang on to normalcy. For a long time when he couldn't do anything else, he still took the dog for a walk around the block. Eventually he had to come to us to ask us to put the leash on. But we lived in a very rural area with no traffic.

If I was in your place, I would look for caregivers who like dogs and I would do serious crate training. As long as the crates are comfy, a nap is a nap. I just had to tell mine to kennel up and they would go in and lay down. There are times when it's good to get them out of the way. You might want to have a professional trainer evaluate the feral and the dogs with bite histories. Let him/her tell you if it's safe. But you have to be willing to take their recommendations. I know that's hard!
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Old 04-03-2016, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,882 posts, read 17,190,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Va-Cat View Post
No, he damaged his shoulder in high school and the military wouldn't take him. Along with everything else, I'll soon have to decide what I'm going to do about our dogs. I've been involved in dog rescue for over 30 years. The dogs we have in our home are the ones no one else wanted. We currently have four dogs. One is a former feral dog that is afraid of everyone except my husband and me. 2 others have bite histories. The final one is almost 100 lbs. The time is fast approaching when I am going to have to figure out how to have a caretaker come in for my husband. Does anyone else here have animals as well as taking care of a loved one with dementia? If you haven't figured it out, I'd rather amputate a limb than rehome my dogs. Its just another concern that is rapidly going to become critcal.

Its been a good day for my husband today. He even laughed and teased me as he has done throughout our marriage. I still know what is on the horizon. Tomorrow could go either way.

After my husband had a TBI, in addition to his brain damage/dementia, he was never able to fully care for his dog again. His dog stayed with our adult daughter in our home as we needed to make an emergency move to a place without stairs.

We made arrangements for my husband to see and walk his dog two to three times a week but we finally had to rehome it. The blessing is that he does not often remember that he had a dog. (TBIs are odd, he also basically has no memory of the home that we lived in for over 30 years, nor our children when they were young nor a lot of the years from the mid 1970s to the present).

My aunt, with dementia, had both a medium size dog and a cat. As her dementia progressed it quickly became apparent that it would be hard for her to take care of her dog and it was difficult for the caregiver to care for both her & the dog. In addition, the dog sometimes startled her and she kicked it in anger a few times. They needed to rehome it.

Later, while she loved the cat, she would sometimes hold it too firmly and her family was worried that she would hurt it. Her daughter brought her a stuffed animal cat of a similar size and color and it make her mother very happy as she could hold and pet the cat as much as she wanted to do that.

OTOH, I have heard of situations where the family pet has been a real help in keeping the person with dementia calm.
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Old 04-03-2016, 06:24 PM
 
3,593 posts, read 10,642,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
I am a rescue person too. I currently have 2 senior GSP's and a Weim. Dogs helped my father a lot in his fight to hang on to normalcy. For a long time when he couldn't do anything else, he still took the dog for a walk around the block. Eventually he had to come to us to ask us to put the leash on. But we lived in a very rural area with no traffic.

If I was in your place, I would look for caregivers who like dogs and I would do serious crate training. As long as the crates are comfy, a nap is a nap. I just had to tell mine to kennel up and they would go in and lay down. There are times when it's good to get them out of the way. You might want to have a professional trainer evaluate the feral and the dogs with bite histories. Let him/her tell you if it's safe. But you have to be willing to take their recommendations. I know that's hard!
I AM the "professional trainer". All my dogs kennel and are very well behaved when I'm around. I worry because my husband's increasingly erratic behavior is confusing them. The feral is over 10 years old now. She does best in an environment with consistency. Anything else and she exhibits very high anxiety. She notices and is suspicious if a pillow is moved on the couch. Our female Chessie is true to her breed and doesn't like strangers. She bit a 2 year old that was pulling her tail.(that was before we got her) Since I've had her she has growled at my stepson once when he tried to correct her behavior (in an incorrect way). My biggest concern is my Rhodesian Ridgeback. He was truly abused. We believe he was a bait dog for a dog fighting group. He was found almost dead, dumped in a forest area north of our city. He would have died if a vet tech friend of mine hadn't seen him being dumped. She rushed him to where she worked and they saved him. I won't list all his injuries but they were brutal and substantial. He is highly reactive and defensive around everyone except me. I do work to socialize him but true to his breed, he is a one person dog. With all of this and my husband's declining health, I'm trying to find solutions. My husband is very attached to our 4th dog and walks him every day. I'm worried about that too though. Friday, instead of going around the block, he went straight and go a little lost. Thankfully one of my neighbors (that knows about his issues) turned him around and made sure he and Kodi got home. I'm just not sure what I'm going to do about that.
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,841 posts, read 25,219,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Va-Cat View Post
I AM the "professional trainer". All my dogs kennel and are very well behaved when I'm around. I worry because my husband's increasingly erratic behavior is confusing them. The feral is over 10 years old now. She does best in an environment with consistency. Anything else and she exhibits very high anxiety. She notices and is suspicious if a pillow is moved on the couch. Our female Chessie is true to her breed and doesn't like strangers. She bit a 2 year old that was pulling her tail.(that was before we got her) Since I've had her she has growled at my stepson once when he tried to correct her behavior (in an incorrect way). My biggest concern is my Rhodesian Ridgeback. He was truly abused. We believe he was a bait dog for a dog fighting group. He was found almost dead, dumped in a forest area north of our city. He would have died if a vet tech friend of mine hadn't seen him being dumped. She rushed him to where she worked and they saved him. I won't list all his injuries but they were brutal and substantial. He is highly reactive and defensive around everyone except me. I do work to socialize him but true to his breed, he is a one person dog. With all of this and my husband's declining health, I'm trying to find solutions. My husband is very attached to our 4th dog and walks him every day. I'm worried about that too though. Friday, instead of going around the block, he went straight and go a little lost. Thankfully one of my neighbors (that knows about his issues) turned him around and made sure he and Kodi got home. I'm just not sure what I'm going to do about that.

OOOPS! Sorry! Didn't know!

One of my GSP's was feral and my Weim was seriously abused so I understand. It took more than 6 months to get the Weim to go out and potty alone... The bones and soft tissues healed quickly but I still do battle with the abuse in his head!

Sounds like you may have to re-home. I'm sorry! Maybe you could find a temporary place for them? I know it's like putting your kids up for adoption! Keep looking for ideas.

Right now, today, your H's needs are more or less custodial. Just has to have someone with him. Think outside the box. Maybe one of your fellow dog people might need some extra money? Someone who could manage the dogs too. And honestly most people who love dogs would be a good choice to watch over your H too.

Are there any adult day care options where you live? Might be worth checking out!
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:27 PM
 
2,632 posts, read 3,355,268 times
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Originally Posted by Va-Cat View Post
Thank you everyone. I've been seeing that something was wrong for some time now. He was very good at masking it and explaining away some of it as "stress". He had Shingles in December, which is when things suddenly became very apparent and bizarre all at once. I'm not worried about him getting physically abusive. We have dogs, one of which thinks the sun rises and sets just for me. When my husband gets agitated, I have a 70 lb Rhodesian Ridgeback that takes up a post in between us and lets him know not to approach. No, I would never allow either my husband or my dog hurt each other. It is however an effective way of keeping space between us while I get him calmed down. We currently have Xanax prescribed for him when he get anxious. I'll speak with the Doctor tomorrow to see if other medications are needed.
FYI - did all of this suddenly start after the shingles, or was it starting before then?

Just so you know, shingles can affect the brain, although this is rare. If his problems suddenly started after the shingles, make sure he has had an MRI of the brain and discuss the shingles with the Neurologist. I knew of someone who had sudden behavioral changes and it was the shingles virus that had caused a brain problem called vasculitis. It was actually curable, so be sure to ask.
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Old 04-03-2016, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Leaving fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada
3,854 posts, read 6,847,894 times
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Originally Posted by sfcambridge View Post
FYI - did all of this suddenly start after the shingles, or was it starting before then?

Just so you know, shingles can affect the brain, although this is rare. If his problems suddenly started after the shingles, make sure he has had an MRI of the brain and discuss the shingles with the Neurologist. I knew of someone who had sudden behavioral changes and it was the shingles virus that had caused a brain problem called vasculitis. It was actually curable, so be sure to ask.
Thank you for sharing this information. I had never heard about this. My mom had a pretty bad case of the Shingles a couple of years ago.
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Old 04-03-2016, 08:40 PM
 
3,593 posts, read 10,642,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfcambridge View Post
FYI - did all of this suddenly start after the shingles, or was it starting before then?

Just so you know, shingles can affect the brain, although this is rare. If his problems suddenly started after the shingles, make sure he has had an MRI of the brain and discuss the shingles with the Neurologist. I knew of someone who had sudden behavioral changes and it was the shingles virus that had caused a brain problem called vasculitis. It was actually curable, so be sure to ask.
My first thought when I saw the Shingles was that they must be contributory. MRI was unfortunately negative. He has had a complete Neuro/Psychological work up (5 hours of testing in addition to the MRI & EEG). The changes have been gradual but are now to the point of being obvious. Looking back, I should have taken notice 2 years ago. I can recall a few odd incidents even back that long ago. I've been told by the Neurologist that best I can hope for is to slow it down. I wish there was a cure.
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