Need counsel to support MCI affected wife with anger management issues
I am seeking counsel of others. My wife Gisela was diagnosed with MCI last year at age 77, I am 72 now. She is about 80% of fully functional by my estimation. Main symptoms of impact are cognitive, memory and emotional. Of those the emotional is the most dominant dysfunction. She is angry, short tempered and unpleasant to be with. Those emotions present mostly to me, so she can appear to be ‘ok’ to other family members and friends. That at least enables her continued socialization. Regarding her MCI she has not embraced it, and rather is mostly in denial. Denial of any undesirable condition is toxic to treatment and even adaptation. I’ve sent communication to the MAYO HABIT program regarding attending the next session in Phoenix, we live in Green Valley AZ in Winter. Gisela has had a second opinion by Dr Benenati a Tucson Neurologist and has a more thorough slate of tests being scheduled, soon I hope.
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Bill didn't last long once a doctor finally approved him for hospice (a previous doctor several weeks prior stated he wasn't close to dying although he was already showing signs of his body shutting down).
When he finally went on hospice it was not only easier for me but for Bill as well. They could provide the trained help that he needed and that I wasn't able to give him. They also gave him his dignity back. He didn't want me cleaning him up. And he got to stay at home.
The last night I kissed him good night (really goodbye), told him it was okay to go, that his Mom was waiting for him. I prayed that he could hear me. He died in his sleep soon after.
One thing I realized was that I picked up on things being wrong a decade before the doctors did. They saw what he wanted them to see while I saw what was really happening. I doubt if it would have made a difference in the long run. Even at the end the one doctor (and our family doctor) was reluctant to certify him as eligible for hospice. My daughter requested a re-evaluation and a different hospice doctor. This time within hours he was provided with things to make him more comfortable and pain free. He should have been on hospice in September rather than December. I should have demanded the doctors really look at him.
Lots of great responses here… thanks to all.
Also facing similar "noncompliance with some aggression / hostility" from my wife. Often she refuses my advice about trying to minimize safety risks, and characterizes my help as an attempt to "control her."
Will report these behaviors to the neuro later this week at our next appointment… believe a small dose of seroquel may be in order.
Two things that are helping me: 1) keeping in mind that it's not HER that's acting up, but that it's the DISEASE PROCESS; and 2) that in an hour or two (sometimes less), she'll likely have no recollection of her behavior or my advice, and may be more accepting of it.
Just one of the many challenges we all will face with loved ones living with dementia.
All the best!
No “shoulds”, Julie, you did a great job with the information you had at the time. You pursued other options when they seemed necessary, Bill received the care he needed, and passed in his own home, with loved ones near. Who wouldn’t want the same for themselves?
My husband, too, is very good at disguising his deficits when in front of medical staff, the thing with dementia is that the journey progresses, knowing sooner or later doesn’t make much difference. You did a good job, under very trying circumstances.
I too like to think of loved ones now in the company of those who have gone before, that’s very comforting, isn’t it? Wishing you the best during this time of transition/getting used to the new normal.
A very low dose of Ativan has helped with my husband’s anger and noncompliance. He still resists some, but far less aggressively. He does sleep more, but that’s far better than where we were before.
Be at peace, you did the best you could, what you thought was right.