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Husband has Mild Cognitive Impairment
Posted: Sunday, November 20, 2022 2:42 PM
Joined: 5/2/2022
Posts: 1

I'd like to connect with other women whose spouse has been diagnosed with MCI.  While the behaviors associated with MCI are certainly far less challenging than those of individuals who have progressed to dementia, they are challenging nonetheless.  It is difficult seeing a loved one struggle with things that once were routine.  It is frightening when a "blip" occurs, because you don't know if it is a harbinger of a change to dementia.  It is difficult when your spouse seems OK during short social visits, but you know that isn't the case - or when his eroding filter causes him to say something he shouldn't have, and normally wouldn't have.  It is hard when your spouse accuses you constantly of not telling him something, changing your mind, hovering, or being overly concerned - and when he is unwilling to fully acknowledge he is having difficulty remembering and problem solving.  I can find support groups for dementia caregivers, but am not having luck finding connections for this earlier stage/situation.  It would be so helpful to hear other's experiences and support each other on this journey.
Posted: Sunday, November 20, 2022 3:14 PM
Joined: 4/2/2018
Posts: 7000

Hi Deb, and welcome to the forum. You came to the right place here for help and understanding. You can post on any of the forums. Many people here also post on the Spouse and Partner forum.

It sounds like your husband has anosognosia. If you aren't familiar with the term, here is a link for you. It is not that he is unwilling to acknowledge it. He does not have the capacity to do that.  

Read all the posts you can, and in no time you will have a better understanding what is happening.  I'm sorry you are going through this.

Posted: Sunday, November 20, 2022 5:02 PM
Joined: 4/4/2018
Posts: 406

Hello Deb,  Sorry you have joined this club nobody wants to be in.  I would suggest reading as many of the posts here or on the "spouses partners forum" as you can.  I have found this is an excellent place to ask question and get some answers.  Unfortunately much about dementia has no answers.  Getting a Dr to commit to a diagnosis may be challenging.  My belief is that executive function issues are usually associated with vascular dementia (white matter of the brain).  No idea if that's actually true, but it was an explanation given to me 6 years ago when my DW was initially diagnosed with MCI.  

This is a one way street.  While lots of theories exist there are few facts and no cures.  My DW is in early stage 7. She has been easy to care for and cooperative within her ability to understand.  Many sufferers develop serious behavioral problems. You need to find or be working with a Dr who is familiar with dementia.  Seeing a CELA  (Certified Elder Law Attorney) should be high on your to do list.  Sorry, but this is a very difficult journey.  Rick

Again, read lots of posts!   

Quilting brings calm
Posted: Sunday, November 20, 2022 6:25 PM
Joined: 10/16/2020
Posts: 1311

MCI and the next stage, mild dementia, are often used interchangeably.  At least that is what an ER doctor told me when my mom was there for something else.   Many patients are able to pull their behaviors and cognitive  function together while at a doctors office and appear more capable than they actually are. There is also the fact that many doctors don’t want to use the word dementia, so they use MCI instead.  Your best bet is to look at the symptoms and behaviors that describe each stage and  go by that.  My mom is technically diagnosed with MCI, but I believe she’s had mild dementia for about 3 years. 

Regardless you are welcome here at every stage.  

Posted: Sunday, November 20, 2022 9:26 PM
Joined: 4/2/2018
Posts: 7000

Here is one link to stages that Quilting mentioned. There are several other sites that also describe them.  
Posted: Wednesday, November 23, 2022 2:32 PM
Joined: 11/23/2022
Posts: 1

This is my first post on this community . . . I am responding just to let you know you are not alone.

My husband has Mild Cognitive Impairment.  The neuropsychologist talked with us and said he was deciding between a label of MCI or mild dementia.  He went with MCI due to my husband being aware of having problems, and being able to function to some degree in daily life.  (I have to add that he is able to function because I take care of essentials like paying the bills, keeping track of medication, and giving him lots of reminders.)

I resonate with your frustration of being accused of being the one "causing the problem."  I have also found that friends who haven't "been there" just don't have a real understanding of the level of stress for a spouse dealing with a partner's MCI.  There are good days and bad days . . . arguments that would have occurred regardless . . . and stupid arguments that occur because he forgot X, Y, or Z that pertains to the situation.  Or he forgot that we already had the same discussion several times . . . .

It's a journey.  Hang in there, you are important.

Posted: Friday, November 25, 2022 9:44 AM
Joined: 11/25/2022
Posts: 18

I have become the caregiver for SO with short term memory impairment. It is so difficult to cope with the fixation on events, mood swings, not remembering, refusal to take anxiety medications. We can have an argument and an hour later he has forgotten it and doesn’t understand why I am upset. I have just joined. I believe this forum will help me cope. I have to listen, empathize, agree and partner. I don’t need to be right...I just need some calmness.
Posted: Friday, November 25, 2022 10:56 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 21237

Hi Deb....MCI is welcome here. 

That was my husband's first diagnosis. His progressed but it does not always do so.

The skills you need are the same.

Posted: Friday, November 25, 2022 6:37 PM
Joined: 11/25/2022
Posts: 18

I find myself in the same situation. I joined this online group today. I think it’s going to help. Hearing similar changes in personality and behavior gives me perspective on how to react. My motto for today is to count to 3 before responding. Helps keep me calm.
Dawnita Jo
Posted: Saturday, November 26, 2022 1:47 AM
Joined: 11/26/2022
Posts: 5

My husband has not officially been diagnosed and he is in complete denial about his memory issues. Something I have noticed is his lack of situational awareness.  It is difficult to complete basic tasks with him because he seems lost in the kitchen. He used to cook a lot but now he has trouble reading a recipe. He knows he needs assistance but he doesn't see it as a symptom to any kind of condition. 

I sometimes wonder how we got to this place. I think as a wife it became part of a routine to repeat things to him or explain what was going on. I thought I was helping. Now my participation has become mandatory and I am resentful. I'm resentful because he won't get tested, he is an alcoholic and I am alone. I feel his alcoholism has contributed to the situation and he still continues to drink. I'm angry at him for drinking and putting me in this situation.

We retired and left all my family in Oklahoma and now I'm stuck without any support system. He refused to move back and I can't abandon him I feel bad because I'm angry at the illness but I blame him. I just had to get out all the ugliness. This is my first post and I am about to burst

Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, November 26, 2022 5:08 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18502

Dawnita Jo wrote:

My husband has not officially been diagnosed and he is in complete denial about his memory issues. Something I have noticed is his lack of situational awareness.  

Welcome Dawnita.  Your husband has anosognosia, which is the lack of awareness of having limitations.  This is distinct from denial, because it is a characteristic of dementia.  If you try to confront him with reality, he will resist and become upset.  It will not go away, you will have to learn work-arounds.  

What you call lack of situational awareness is basically the definition of dementia--he is just no longer aware.

More members will be able to support you if you post your own thread, because you have a lot of issues going on that many members are familiar with.  You can post here or on the Spouse/Partner board.  Go to the main caregiver page and click on "Add Topic" on the dashboard at the top of the page.

Iris L