← Return to Caregiver for spouse with MCI (Mild cognitive impairment)

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Hello @birdhouseclosed Nice to e-meet you here on Mayo Connect! I am Scott and I am sorry to read of your spouse's healthcare journey. I am guessing by MCI you are referring to Mild Cognitive Impairment. If not I am sorry for the wrong guess — and I know what they say about assuming 🙂

The caregiving journey is never an easy path, but one we often find ourselves on with little warning and even less training for it. I was my wife's primary caregiver for 14+ years and a secondary caregiver for my mother-in-law, when she had dementia.

One of the best aspects, at least to me, of Connect is what a sharing community we are! While each patient's journey with their disease is unique, as is the journey of their caregiver, there is much to be gain by looking for, and asking about, hints, tips, and ideas for how to navigate the world as a caregiver.

Acceptance of seeing our loved one with a chronic, fatal disease is very difficult and for me was a very 'up and down' thing. Accepting at times, dang mad at others, depressed for some of the time, and always confusing! I wish there was a magic potion for this aspect of caregiving, but I never found it. That said, the one thing I always tried to do was remind myself, as the times got more challenging and my wife's condition deteriorated, that I was dealing with what the disease was doing to her, not what she wanted to do, say, act, etc. I also kept an old pillow in another room where I frequently would cry into it, punch it, and at time even swear at it with quite a bit of gusto!

Please feel free to ask any questions as their are loads of helpful folks here! If I may ask, how long have you been caregiving? What do you find the most challenging about this new role?

Strength, courage, and peace!

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Replies to "Hello @birdhouseclosed Nice to e-meet you here on Mayo Connect! I am Scott and I am..."

You must have untold strength. It has been 3 years of dealing with this. Yes you are correct MCI is as you assumed. I find that taking over his role as far as finances and important decisions go is challenging as he was always my ROCk an could always count on his decisions and help. I am dealing with depression and anxiety, but I can't find a way out as of yet. I am under treatment but find I cannot talk to him about how I feel which would make him feel irresponsible. I would appreciate any insight anyone could give.

Hi again @birdhouseclosed I, too, believe worry and stress are huge components of caregiving as you point out. As with you and your husband, my wife and my roles also changed 100% with her diagnosis. My personality changed significantly from pre-caregiving (easy going, a bit devil-may-care, etc.) to a very different once in my caregiving role, when I became very goal oriented, focused, and driven. Understandable when you realize, as you point out, all of sudden so much more of the weight is on your shoulders.

So many times I, too, wished I could have talked to my wife about the caregiving demands, finances, concerns, etc., but like you know, it would have made my wife feel even worse than she already did. The only issues I did push directly with her were our need to get all the legal issues, estate/will, living will, HIPPA, last wishes, etc. put down on paper. Tough discussions, but in the end I know it did bring her some peace as it did to me and our grown children, and others when future decisions had to be made.

Wish I had some sort of magic to help caregivers when these feelings rear up.

Strength, courage, and peace!

We just found out my husband has mci. It is very emotional for me right now. I watched his Mom decline for years w the dementia.
I’m on a roller coaster of emotions right now.
Any advice?

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