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Spouse or Partner Caregiver Forum
Need suggestions for DH who is bored, lonely and angry
Hi everyone. My 54 year old DH who has dementia has been exhibiting significant frustration and sadness lately due to his isolation during the week. I still work full time and DH is home alone from appox 7:00 am - 4:30 pm every day. He sleeps in until about 10 am on most days but then has a long stretch with no interaction until I get home from work. Even then, when I get home from work, he feels that I ignore him or push him aside because I have so much I need to get done. DH is no longer able to do anything so I have to keep our lives running. We have two daughters, one in college and one still at home, and I also have a 90 year old mother who is dealing with health problems and loneliness, so I'm doing my best to take care of her as well.
My DH is only 54 so we don't qualify for the PACE program here, and quite honestly I don't think he'd take too kindly to being dropped off at an adult daycare program at this stage of the disease, because although he knows he has dementia he doesn't think it's that bad. He has terrible vision including double vision and depth perception issues, so reading is next to impossible and watching television can be difficult as well. I bought him a computer to use in the office but he struggles with using it - he seems to have lost all basic understanding of how a computer works. He is becoming increasingly dejected and angry and of course, he takes it out on me! I don't like to see him like this. Does anyone have any suggestions for helping him feel more useful and occupied while I'm at work?
Hi Doby. Sorry You have your hands so full. EO is certainly tough. I looked at your profile, and I noticed you have no information about where you reside. It might be helpful if you edited your profile to include that. Sometimes other members can help you find help. There are many different programs available if you can find them.
Are you certain that he does not qualify for PACE? We're in Indiana, and I think it said you had to be at least 60 years of age to qualify for PACE. But it is now age 55. It might be worth checking into it to see if your state allows exceptions for EO dementia, or if they have lowered the age threshold. This might require a phone call. I wish you luck.
I could have written your post 3 years ago. DH was 54. He was home and typically slept until 10 or so. I worked full time. DS was in high school. I never knew if I'd come home to a dear husband or a not-so-dear husband.
He was just bored. I'd come home to find shed or garage contents in the yard. Of course I had to put it all away.
Here's how I solved it a bit. I found people to take him to lunch. A different friend once a week. His dad took him once a week. A family member another day each week. Once or twice he was alone during the week, but by then he liked having a day where he didn't have to get ready to go anywhere.
It didn't help much at night, because he still wanted my attention. But I didn't come home to that not-so-dear husband quite so much.
Ed and Josey,
Thank you both for your suggestions. I just updated my profile and would certainly be grateful for any suggestions. I'll also check to see if my local PACE program would grant and exception for EO - great idea!
Josey, I love your idea about having someone take DH to lunch! Unfortunately we don't have any family nearby and DH has lost touch with his friends, but you've definitely given me something to think about!
Yep, it doesn't work as easily if you don't have people nearby to do it. But I will say - it made bringing in someone to be with DH during the day that much easier. I had two different people come for 3 hours a day 3 times a week, beginning 2 years ago. Again, they came over around 10 and took him to lunch. Kept him busy during the day. I also had my son spend 1 afternoon a week with his dad when he was in college. But he was close enough to come home and do that. Ok, basically he brought laundry, ate a home cooked dinner and took left-overs back to school. But it also entertained DH for the afternoon.
I thought of something else we did, and it came from an idea here from other members.
When DH was getting to the point where I didn't want him alone ALL day any longer, I talked with the principal at my school. We worked it out for DH to come in to school 2 afternoons a week and help the custodian. It worked out fantastic for the short time we did it. I raced home and picked him up, and brought him back to school. Our custodian was just finishing up with students at lunch in the cafeteria, and DH ate a school lunch with her. Then he helped sweep, mop, wash windows etc. Honestly, by then he wasn't much of a help but he thought he was. We have cameras in the school and our principal, secretaries and resource officer kept an eye on the camera in case he got lost.
It worked for about 3 months, then Covid hit. Once school resumed that fall DH was too far along to be able to do that any more.
I know there was another member here who took her husband to the hospital she worked at. Her husband would sit on a bench, talk to people and read the paper.