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Worried about DH committing suicide
LizP
Posted: Friday, February 3, 2017 5:26 PM
Joined: 2/3/2017
Posts: 4


My husband is 61 yrs old and was diagnosed in October 2016. He had symptoms for 3 yrs but refused to see the doctor. During  this time he took high risks with his health. He went in for a dental procedure without pre medicating. He has heart failure and developed sepsis from Strep Mitus, which is a common bacteria in our mouth and not a problem for healthy people. He  almost died. He has now told me that when he is unable to stay home on his own or needs to go to a nursing home, he will committ suicide. I don't know what to do. Tell the doctors? Of course, I am watching him closely. I was kind of hoping as the disease progresses and he will need full time supervision at home, he will not understand what is going on will stop thinking of suicide. Does anyone have information of men in this age group committing suicide when they are diagnossed? I do not know how seriously to take this. I also do not know what to do to protect him if that is his intent. He also has vascular dementia and not alzheimers, if that makes a difference.
The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Friday, February 3, 2017 6:55 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


Most people with dementia think about ending their lives, and many will threaten it like your husband did when faced with the prospect of a nursing home, that doesn't mean he means it. Another way of saying it is I would rather be dead than go a nursing home.  That is an expression of fear their future and inability cope with what he knows is coming.  Most us dxd dementia go through those same feelings at one time or another. . 

You should definitely consult a mental health professional and learn what look for, like whether he had a plan, and also whether he have a means...as many people dx'd dementia do take their lives. And also maybe sign up some grief counseling. Being dx'd terminal is extremely painful and hard...and a dementia dx is different than a cancer dx in how people support us post dx

I would also validate him, about how you wouldn't want go a nursing home either. I often say when a dx of dementia comes down, you have work on your relationship as his friend and someone he can trust be on his side as this will help you later on when you have make more decisions re him. 

Hang in there. I'd consider hearing it as him saying he doesn't want go a nursing home...and that that coming from fears he is having and likely not able articulate better than that.  

<3

 


Mimi S.
Posted: Friday, February 3, 2017 7:06 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7035


I would advise never making a promise you might not be able to keep.  Nursing homes are usually not the horrible places of our grandparents day and may be what you will need to adequately care for him at some time. Yes, validate his wish not to go to a nursing home. You can always say, truthfully: I will always do what is best for you.

And yes, many with PWD have contemplated suicide. B the time it might be appropriate, they are not usually capable of carrying it out.  The fiction book,  Still Alice, has that as part f the plot. The book is about a highly educated and female Younger Onset woman.  She interviewed many folks with the disease before writing it.  This section is easier to understand in the book than I found it in the movie.


Mae88
Posted: Friday, February 3, 2017 7:11 PM
Joined: 9/30/2016
Posts: 73


Hi Liz

I replied to your other thread. In my humble opinion your husband's doctor should be notified asap. He is on mood altering medications (depakote) and you had said he has risky behaviors at times. His diagnosis is new, and devestating. No doubt he has a million thoughts running in his head. He may not want to verbalized his concerns in fear of making you feel worse. Keep communication open  you both will need support.  

Your husband can have many years, good years ahead. No one knows nor can predict. Vascular dementia is not like Alzheimer's. Although the two can mix.


The_Sun_Still_Rises
Posted: Friday, February 3, 2017 7:21 PM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 3020


That good know, feeling suicidal is a side effect many antipsychs...and you should definitely inform doctor right away.  Also, one of the reasons they cause that side effect is that they can inhibit thyroid function, so you may want get a full thyroid panel done of TSH, T4, and T3...the T3 the number you looking for whether low.

Hang in there.

<3


Iris L.
Posted: Friday, February 3, 2017 11:36 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16187


I also replied on your other thread.  You should take this seriously.  No one knows how serious your husband is.  Yes, many PWDs, (persons with dementia) contemplate or verbalize suicide.  In fact, some seriously consider self-euthanasia.  There is a place for that discussion but not right now.  


You should immediately remove all weapons and dangerous items that  he could use to harm himself from the home.  Not just lock them up, but remove them.  These would be guns, rifles, shotguns, knives, medications, dangerous chemicals.  HE SHOULD NEVER BE LEFT ALONE.  His doctor should be notified immediately.  


You might want to speak with an expert on dementia.  The Alzheimer's Association has a Care Consultant available to speak with you 24 hours a day for all concerns.  You can get personalized attention for your family.  The telephone number is 1-800-272-3900 and there is no charge for this service.  Ask the volunteer who answers to connect you with a Care Consultant.


If your husband can use the computer, please invite him to join us patients.  The best thing is for him to communicate with his peers who are going on the same journey.  He needs support.


Iris L.


llee08032
Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2017 8:24 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406


Please do call the number as suggested by Iris.You need professional advice and feedback.
llee08032
Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2017 10:17 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4406


Some nursing homes are poorly run and poorly staffed. The hallways are crowded with persons sitting in wheelchairs unattended. Some whining just for a blanket or a drink! I just recently been to a locked alz unit and it was not nice at all. Last year I visited a horrid place. My son volunteers with his church at  a nursing home, not nice at all. It's all about money, insurance and funding. Nursing home care must be carefully selected. The majority of the nursing homes funded by Medicaid are the worst. It breaks my heart when I have to place someone I work with in one of these places because they need skilled nursing care. I've been to jails and psychiatric institutions in my field of work and the nursing homes funded by Medicaid are no better! 
Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2017 12:06 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16187


The members on both caregiver boards, along with Mimi, post a lot about how to go about choosing a care facility that will provide an enriching and healthful environment for a PWD.   It takes work and a lot of  visiting.  At the same time, there are many members who have figured out what they need to do to keep their LO at home and provide an enriching and healthful environment.  That's one of the benefits of these boards.


Iris L.

alz+
Posted: Thursday, February 9, 2017 6:07 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3549


L lee - the medicaid ones tend to be particularly understaffed. No comparison to assisted living or high end places.

My Dad had excellent insurance and enough money for home care, but when he broke his hip he was put in a nursing home that was understaffed and they let him suffer with a MRSA infection in his repaired broken hip.

********

The despair is likely from too much suffering with  no relief. He might have nothing to look forward to, nothing that gives him pleasure now.

Very concerned for him. If there was ever something he liked to do, say fishing or feeding ducks at park or getting massaged, I would go all out to give him some taste of pleasure.

People can not tolerate months of this kind of anxiety and despair. 

Please let us know if you find him some help. You are doing the right thing. Blessings on you both.


alz+
Posted: Friday, February 10, 2017 8:51 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3549


LizP -

I just remembered the obvious first check list!

Is your husband DEHYDRATED? does he have a UTI?

I did not read your other post and do not remember his history but if this is a CHANGE try to step back and recall what was happening a few days before this started.

Will he let you comfort him? Will he let you lie down with him and hug him and tell him "You are with him no matter what" ?

he has been on my mind all night.