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    Here is something that occurs with my AD husband. He's still in reasonably high-functioning stages (depending on the situation, of course.) But often, when we're taking a walk with the dog, or encounter someone at the store, he seems to have lost a normal understanding of how to interact and then continue on your way.

    For example, we pass a neighbor who's, for example, carrying groceries from the car. We say hi, exchange a few words. He's clearly busy and, by my interpretation, ready for us to let him continue what he's doing and go on our way. Jeff just stands there, seeming to have forgotten that you need to break off these casual interactions. He seems to think the polite thing to do is to just keep standing there.

    Similarly, we'll pass someone we don't know. The "normal," expected behavior might be to nod, say hi, and continue. He'll stop, as if it's impolite not to interact further, and I sense that the person is a little perplexed by this. Usually I just sort of nudge Jeff along and move on myself, creating that rubber-band feeling where I've moved ahead, stretching the rubber-band, and I'm waiting for him to spring back into the correct place with me.

    Sometimes he sees small children in public, who are cute and one might normally smile at because of their cuteness. He does so. But then he also stops and keeps looking and smiling at them. If I were the parent I'd find it a little weird. I mean, there's a limit to how much interest you should take in other people's children in public, it seems to me. Unless you're really old, at which point people usually give you a pass for acting outside the normal social expectations. The problem is, Jeff is a young looking 60 year old. He could easily pass for 50. I generally, as usual, try to move him along as subtly as I can.

    Today, in the pharmacy, he was wandering around, kind of too close to behind-the-counter, and I could see the cashier looking at him a little strangely. I guess it's fitting that we were picking up Aricept, but only the other cashier knew that.
    Emily, this behavior is really common....I used to think that someone would report my poor husband to the police because of the interest he would take in young children. Most of the time I would get close to the mother and explain that my husband had AD and he meant no harm. Restaurants were always sources of embarassment if he would have one of his outbursts or couldn't manage to know what he wanted to eat so I got some business sized cards from the Alzheimer's Association that were printed with a statement to the effect that "if the person with me should act a bit different it was because he had AD"...or something like that. I would quietly hand the server the card and then he or she knew what was going on.

    This too shall thing when dealing with is always something!
    • CommentAuthoringe
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2007
    We have a similar situation when it comes to little kids. My husband has always been very fond of little ones. In a store he will say hi and smile at them and even touch them on the head if he is close enough. If they don't say hi back I always explain to him that parents have to teach their kids not to talk to strangers and he might frighten them if he gets too close.
    Another thing is often does is read the name tag of the cashier and then address her by name to ask how the day is or similar. They usually just smile but I find it embarassing.
    He is just too darn friendly with strangers.
      CommentAuthorNew Realm*
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2007
    Paul was always very demonstrative when it came to little children. Suspicious of teens, but little ones he adores. When he retired and I still worked neighbors and even my sister would ask Paul to babysit. Now he does all the things you all have described..... And yes, it does make me embarrassed and quite nervous in some circumstances.
    Regarding adults, DH also does NOT know when to stop talking. About a week before Christmas he tagged along to the post office. At one of the counters where people stop to browse and trash their mail a lady was there with probably 40 identical envelopes, most likely Seasons Greetings cards from a business. He put his arm on her shoulder and leaned close to "tease her" about the amount of mail she had. I nudged for him to back off. Right back he went. The lady was polite, but nervous. I started to sweat. Handed him the keys and told him to check our box (we already did, but....). As he walked toward the bank of boxes I whispered an apology and explained he has AD. She said, "Oh, No. He's fine. Don't worry." I just wonder how that might have gone had she had a husband there with her. That is what scares me.
    • CommentAuthorpat
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2007
    My LO was always a loving person to me & family but never over friendly to strangers. Infact he never would say hi much less strike up conversations. Now he will talk to anyone. Most of the time says he knows them when I know he doesn't. My fear is if he talks to the wrong one they will talk him out of money or rob him. We have always tried to help the needy but that is not the people I'm speaking of.
    And he loves all little children, so much that he stays too long talking and trying to make them laugh. And same with me, I worry about some nervous parent screaming for help. I need to get some of those cards. Where from? Or do I make them? It is so strange how AD victims can be so different and so much the same. And how we go thru so many similar things with them.
    Oddly, we have none of the things you all have mentioned. Gord is still good in restaurants and good but quiet in social situations. This is a weird disease.
    Pat...check with your local Alzheimer's Association...that is where I got the cards. Or you could always make up your own.
    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2007

    Our social worker passed out those cards at one of our meetings. If you call the Alzheimer's Association, I'm sure they'll send you some. 1-800-272-3900

    • CommentAuthorNorthstar
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2007
    yup, we have all the above, and now I no longer like to take him out because he can no longer do the bathroom on his own, so I be sure we only go close enough so we can go home if he needs a washroom. I hate this disease! We just got finished the shower for today, my neck is killing me and he just screams at me throughout telling me to go away he does not need or want my help. Then comes out and sits in the chair after I dress him and assist him back to the living room and wants a kisss...............go figure, I am worn out!
    It is strange to me that I opened this thread, describing these slightly odd behaviors, and so many of you relate. Because, in truth, my husband seems so "normal" in so many ways, and is (as I said,) pretty high functioning. His ability to find familiar landmarks is diminishing, and his ability to contribute meaningfully in the grocery store (for instance,) has also diminished. But he knows everyone, and sort of more or less knows what's going on with family. Sort of. It's just odd how certain functions fail in different AD people, at different stages. So we can recognize something in a high-functioning person that we might also see in a very disabled victim of the disease. And it's odd how just in talking to, or interacting with my husband, he can seem so ok, then I suddenly--kind of out of the blue--hit a brain pocket (?) where things just don't compute, and it stands out like a sore thumb. Weird stuff.
    • CommentAuthorpat
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2007
    Yes I know .There is all kind of situations where I think Oh my LO is doing good. Knows us, Feeds himself, bathes, dresses himself Then ........ Today I was talking to an EOAD patient that does alot of brain games. She told me she has improved by doing these. Well I felt like I had cheated him by not working with him. Well good for one and not the other. I got on the computer and with no pressure asked him if he wanted to try some memory games.He actually agreed wholeheartly. He did not do well and gave up; thank God , he was not upset by it . Changes are shocking, Some of these games were so easy but not with AD. Everyone says keep the brain active but...........he can't.
    He can't and I can't force him.
    • CommentAuthorAmber
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2007 edited
    I don't have the social problem yet....he is more of a home body and he won't go and socialize except for the corner store and if there is anyone there that he knows then he will stand and talk to them.

    What I do have is aggressive behaviour towards me. It sure is wearing. Last night we drove over to friends and when we got there I was going to turn the truck around and park so it is pointed up the drive way....we have quite abit of snow. But he wanted me to park at the top of the driveway and to the side. Instead of talking to me he started yelling and swearing and calling me all sorts of names. What's up with this!!!

    I also have him doing the brain games as well and he thinks that he is improving but I can tell he isn't.

    Wednesday...neurology app't thank god!!!!! If he doesn't give him drugs then give them to me!
    • CommentTimeJan 1st 2008
    My ad husband has always liked little kids. Now he tells the parents of all kids he sees that he/she is the most beautiful child he has ever seen. Most people enjoy this, especially the parents of the not so good looking kids!