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    • CommentAuthorJAH
    • CommentTimeSep 9th 2017
    My husband and I have been together for 10 years. Married for 8. We have a 9yr old son. My Husband is 21 years older. Sadly, until recently, I was contemplating divorce, until I started to wander about Alzheimer's. His dad passed away in his 60s of Dementia. I know it hit my hubs hard, he has never visited his grave.
    I also know he took excellent notes for himself for the future. All of our bills are in auto pay(because he always forgets to pay) even our credit cards have an auto pay. When I was considering leaving, I realized I have no identity anymore. My new car is in his name, my cell phone is even in his name. And most of our bills are sent to his office. We own our home, no mortgage, but I am also not on the title. I only have a very small savings account. And just use his credit card to make my monthly purchases. I am in no way a deprived wife. And for the most part we are still very much in love.
    But Alzheimer's explains so much! Especially the last couple years. He has become more distant. He works long hours all year, not just his busy season. I am talking 12-15 hour days all year. I use to think it was just gadget addiction. He has never been a tidy/clean person, but hygiene doesn't seem to be a concern for him at all anymore. He has not bought any new clothes in over 2 years. (I would buy them, but my style is not his) even his work clothes are faded and stained.
    He sometimes only shaves one side of his face, or leaves large areas untouched. And these past few weeks, our conversations are like we are both speaking a foreign language. This part has been a slow progression over the past couple years too. I thought he just wasn't interested in talking to me... Hearing loss even... But at dinner the other night, he just wasn't understanding the waitress. He wanted to know what fruit was in the apple crumble. We get into arguments sometimes about who said what.
    When I ask to be added to the bills, car and house. He just says our son and I will be well taken care of... I am POD on everything. I am concerned for my future though. I don't want the hassle of switching accounts, or service disruptions should anything happen.. Like death! That's a t traumatic time for people. I don't want to have to focus on such tedious things during such stress.
    Also, how and when does POA become an issue?!?! I am so glad I found this thread!
    Others will be along to give you sage advice so please listen to them.

    Two things need to start happening immediately.
    1) no matter how difficult it is, you HAVE to focus on getting an elder law attorney, getting your name on assets,POA, medical representative reviewing wills, etc, and
    2) your husband needs a complete physical work-up. Other things (some treatable) can cause dementia but you both need to know what you are dealing with and begin any treatments that might help.

    We all understand the feeling of being over-whelmed and devastated at the diagnosis, but you alone must look to the future and plan for you, your child, and your husband. You can do it. Somewhere deep inside you will find the courage to step up and take charge. There is a lot of support and an amazing source of information on this site. Do read past threads. They are chock full of helpful advice.
    I can't say it any better than Marche did. At the moment you own Nothing. Your husband, who is exhibiting strong signs of what looks like dementia, owns Everything. You both are in an incredibly vulnerable position. You must see an estate planning /elderlaw attorney and figure out how to protect the family finances--which undoubtedly will mean getting your name onto things and getting a Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, and will done. You probably will need to start getting your husband's name off of things. Everything may well be Payable On Death to you, but that doesn't do you and your husband any good during a long, slow mental decline. At the same time you are working on this, you need to get him in for a good physical and neurological work-up. You owe it to the both of you to push for these things. I am praying that your husband will cooperate. If you don't do it for yourselves, do it for your nine-year-old. The situation is troubling enough, but with a child in the mix it is exponentially more important that you get started on obtaining a definitive diagnosis and planning for the care; and on estate planning to ensure that your husband gets the care he needs while not impoverishing you and the child. We are here for you, and the people on this forum "get it" while most others don't. If there is a problem or hassle, folks on this website have probably already dealt with do stay in touch. And by the way, welcome to the club that none of us want to be in.
    • CommentAuthorsuze10860
    • CommentTimeSep 9th 2017
    "Sadly, until recently, I was contemplating divorce, until I started to wander about Alzheimer's"

    Wow - that was like a punch to the gut because I feel the EXACT same way. The circumstances of our lives and marriages are very different, but that doesn't change the fact that I could have typed that very sentence myself. I've just started the process to try to figure out what's going on with my husband, and I'm absolutely petrified at the possibilities. This is all very new to me so I don't have any great advice for you. Just a little voice telling you that you're not alone. I can honestly say that I know exactly what you're going through.
    One more thing: Consider what would happen to your child if something should happen to you. Be sure that the attorney is mapping out a "what if" scenario, including physical, emotional and financial care for the child via an advocate. The last thing you would want is for a dear child to end up in some sort of Dickensian legal and financial limbo, should an impaired parent survive the caregiving parent. I'm sorry to even bring this up. It all hurts so much, but it is necessary.

    I would also suggest that you find someplace quiet and peaceful, out of sight of husband and child, to go for 15-30 minutes so you can cry. Your child needs to see you strong and feel protected. If having a therapist for venting is a possibility, do that. We all cope in different, but similar ways. You need a safe place and a safe person with whom to lay down your burdens once in a while and take a deep breath.

    Take a deep breath now. You will get through this just as we have. Things will never be the way they were before but you can find the new normal.
    • CommentAuthorRona
    • CommentTimeSep 9th 2017
    Welcome JHA, I too agree with Marche and Elizabeth , as hard as it seems you need to get these things underway. Good luck this site has been a lifeline for a lot of us just knowing you are not alone and that others are travelling or have travelled the same path as you is comforting. This is a great resource, a lot of information and support so once again welcome.
    • CommentAuthorxox
    • CommentTimeSep 12th 2017
    I want to reiterate to see an eldercare attorney ASAP. While we can make suggestions, details vary with every state and you need to start ensuring the financial safety of you and your child ASAP. For example, setting up a 529 now for your son immediately (and not have your husband's name anywhere on the account) so it is less likely to fall into the 5 year loopback if your husband needs Medicaid is a way to set money aside for college; college for a child is not an acceptable use of money according to Medicaid and if your husband goes on Medicaid then Medicaid will want back all the money spend on education in the prior 5 years. A good eldercare attorney, and NOT a family attorney, will help you with these issues.
    JAH, I hope you are still reading and have made some progress in figuring out the future. POA and paying the bills. Checking account and Credit Cards in your in your name. Let us know it is going.
    JAH - I also was thinking our marriage wasn't going to last about 10 years ago when my husband got diagnosed with cognitive impairment. I was actually relieved to get his diagnosis because it meant I wasn't crazy and he wasn't horrible. He has progressed very slowly and it did help doing some changes the doctor suggested. I feel for you, and I will tell you honestly that things had gotten so bad I had to really insist my h get a medical eval and it caused strain. Be of good courage, you can do this one step at a time.
    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeDec 27th 2017
    • CommentAuthorRodstar43*
    • CommentTimeDec 30th 2017
    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeJan 2nd 2018