Living with a partner who has Alzheimer’s disease

Today I almost lost it. For several years I have been doing OK (as far as I can tell), and keeping a lid on everything. We are kind of getting on with things. And I lost the rag and shouted a lot, and even cried in front of him – not a luxury I often allow myself. It only made both of us feel worse – me afterwards, and him at the time. He does everything he can do (which isn’t much, now) to make things right again. I understand that he picks up on my moods, so that doesn’t make me feel that great.

*Internet hugs* from people in the same position, whilst well-meaning, don’t do it for me.

We are getting to the stage where I have to ask for help from others. For two people who have been very independant all our lives, chose it so – no children, and he has no family – and have been happy in our own company until relatively recently, it is a difficult hurdle to jump. I have to decide how that happens and hope that I get it right. We are right on the cusp. Or, actually, I am. He is now so entirely dependant on me that

I don’t feel that my life has ended because of his disease. It is more a case of putting things on hold. It’s frustrating and sad, given the wonderful things we have experienced in our life together. But I feel hopeless at looking after him now. I do the pedestrian things – washing, clean clothes, cooking good food because we always used to, and occasionally getting out.

Still trying.

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Not standing still

I’m living with someone who has Alzheimer’s. He is not walking around with his underpants on his head, nor ranging about outside in his pyjamas, but life as a pair of independent people is out now. I find the chatter going on in my mind about what is happening almost more wearing than taking over at home. I do wonder about attending occasional meetings of groups of carers in the area in which we live, but that is going into the realms of becoming an ‘Alzheimer’s couple’. I am reluctant to do that as I feel it will start to define our remaining years together, whereas now we can just about maintain the way of life that was what we had created together before, and liked.

We are lucky (after earning well in the past) to live in a lovely cottage with a big garden. All of it could do with refurbishing, and my dear partner was the driving force in doing so when we first moved in. Having taken over the reins, I’ve spent some of our capital on redoing bits of our garden. I tell myself that it’s for us both. Today I realise that this is probably not true. I am feeling resentful towards him at how much I do now to keep things going. Entirely irrational as he is in a diferent world now.