My Husband Is Living With Dementia, But, Everyone Feels As If He Is Fine

One caregiver shares their experiences and frustrations of living with a loved one who is diagnosed with dementia. Learn about the common symptoms and challenges of dementia and how to navigate them.

My Husband Is Living With Dementia, But, Everyone Feels As If He Is Fine

Living with dementia...

One thing I don't understand. And it makes me question myself. When people talk to my husband (who is diagnosed between stages 4-6) they say, he sounds just fine to me. He knew who I am, he asked about what I was doing... why is it that some days (and not all of them, but definitely some) I'm the only one who sees the decline? Then after I talk to a family member who hasn't seen him, or a friend who talked to him on the phone and they say, "He sounds just fine to me". I want to say, "Am I wrong?" But, then, all day long I deal with the symptoms of the disease, and still I want to question myself and ask "Am I the one who's off kilter here?"

Response I know that you feel frustrated, but, you are not crazy. This is a common question that is asked. First, please understand, that the social skills are still in place, and many can hide their deficits for short periods of time. I hear frustrations and similar concerns when a person diagnosed with dementia, scores well on the memory tests. Just be assured that you see your husbands deficits, because you are with him so much. He may have subtle deficits at times, and then as the day goes on, they become more pronounced. He is still able to compensate for short periods of time, in front of others. Take one day at a time. Many also do not understand when their family member with dementia, confabulates a story and repeats it as if it was real. This gets very frustrating for many, as well. Individuals with dementia, may not remember things, so they unconsciously replace lost memories with stories. It is important to remember, that this is not done intentionally. Your family member is not "lying" or being intentionally deceptive. It is all part of the dementia disease process.

Dementia Confusion with the Telephone: Tips for Caregivers
As dementia progresses, it can become more difficult for your loved one to use the telephone. Learn how to monitor phone usage, block unwanted calls, and establish boundaries to reduce confusion and protect your loved one from scams and fraud.