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jimmars51 (@jimmars51)

My wife forgetting: Diagnosed with MCI

Caregivers: Dementia | Last Active: Oct 12, 2021 | Replies (65)

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My wife was diagnosed with MCI in 2011 and with Alzheimer's disease in 2012. I remember in 2011 when she was going to make an apple pie, she put the apple mixture into the pie pan before she put the pie crust into the pan. As time went on I became the main food preparer, food shopper, launderer, etc. My good fortune was that I was retired and in good health so it's not difficult for me and I enjoy most of it.

I found many things that were of great help to me. Mostly it was educating myself about all the available resources that were available locally and taking full advantage of them. A local Aging and Long term Care office (a state office that may be like one in your community too) was of great help in informing me of in home care support that is available, mental health counseling, neurologist and other services, day care facilities, etc. They assigned a case worker who helped me for years after I started. One valuable thing was they arranged a course called Powerful Tools for Caregiving. It focuses on taking good care of your loved one while also emphasizing the importance of taking good care of yourself. It's important for your care for your wife that you take good care of your physical, mental, social, and spiritual health.

Another important resource for me was/is a men's only support group for caregivers. We meet once a month for lunch and have a moderator and about 10-20 men that get together to share our experiences. They often gave me many useful suggestions to dealing with my frequent new caregiver challenges that kept coming along. It seems to me that there is often something new that comes up and it was helpful to me to have suggestions for problem solving and managing the new situation

The Aging and Long Term Care case worker also arranged for me to get in contact with a counselor to help me with managing my stress, grieving, anxiety, etc. In my particular case this counselor's focus was helping military veterans and we established a good relationship. I look forward to our monthly sessions and it is at no cost to me.

Of course I have family and friends that are very helpful too. My daughter is her mom's secondary care-giver and has been of great help. Our next door neighbor for 40 years is a caring person who often visits with my wife while I do errands or go to appointments. At a caregiver class I took, one of the ideas that came up was "Many relatives and friends really would like to help and in some cases it's not a rhetorical statement when they say 'I'd really like to help if there's anything I can do.' Anticipate this so that when they ask, be ready with an answer. "Could you visit with my wife while I do errands?" "Prepare a meal for us once in a while." "Could you transport her to ….?"

I also got great help from paid caregivers that come it twice a week from 9 to noon. They could give my wife a shampoo and shower and do some light housekeeping. (For caregivers at a lower income level, the Aging and Long Term Care office could arrange for this at no cost to the caregiver.) Our favorite caregiver became almost a member of the family and really loves my wife. It freed me up for errands, appointments, yardwork, etc.

I and others will have other ideas for you to consider as time goes on. Some of the ideas may fit your situation well. Good for you for letting us know of your situation. As a positive note, realize that there will be many moments of joy for you and your wife in the future.

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Replies to "My wife was diagnosed with MCI in 2011 and with Alzheimer's disease in 2012. I remember..."

Your post is very encouraging. My wife has been diagnosed as having Alzheimer's.

I would be all about a men's caregiver support group. We live in Charlotte NC and not aware of anything.