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Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 07/19/11

I take care of my husband who has Alzheimer's. When I think about it, I realize we have been going through this for several years. The last two have been a nightmare.

He does what I ask him to most of the time, but he doesn't like me to be out of his sight. He insists he doesn’t need anyone with him when I have to go somewhere, but the doctor said my husband cannot be left alone. Because of that I find it is just easier for me to stay home, but now I find I'm isolating myself.

I'm trying to get away at least one day a week, but what I have to go through to get away makes me not want to go.  I've told my husband I need to get away and I can't relax if I know he's going to make a fuss.  Is there a proper way to deal with this issue?


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Name: Jeanne R
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Date: 07/26/2011
Time: 09:51 AM


Too ease your husband's anxiety, try and bring someone in to be with him while you're still nearby for an hour or two, maybe use the time to go for a walk or take a nice long bubble bath. As he get's used to someone else being with him, you can increase the time and work toward getting out for a couple of hours in the evening to have dinner out with a friend and eventually, get out for the entire day.

Date: 07/20/2011
Time: 10:29 AM


Get someone to watch him and simply walk away from it for a day. If you do not get away you will eventually (if not already) become angry and despondent yourself and you will not be any good for him. Your health, emotions and mental outlook will go down heal fast if you totally consume yourself with him. It's for his own good that you must get away from it. Good luck but do it!

Name: Louise
Location: Long Island, NY
Date: 07/19/2011
Time: 12:49 PM


Dear M, You and your husband have been dealt an unfair blow. So far, it seems that your husband is thriving under your care. But you are not getting much-needed time away from home to socialize with family and friends or to just have a cup of tea and read a magazine at the library. If you can, contact your church or social services for seniors for assistance. You need someone to care for your husband once in a while and perhaps these resources will help you find that person. You'd be surprised at how many people are eager and waiting to give back. Your husband will resist and may act out when he hears about your plans. So, start out slowly. Plan on going out for just an hour or two the first time. Don't tell your husband about your plans until the day of your outing. This way, he won't have too much time to dwell on it and work a guilt-trip on you. Remember, these breaks will help both of you. They will refresh you and rev up your caregiving. You'll have new conversations with your husband. And you will feel great. Just do it for your sake, please!

Name: kathy
Location: N.H.
Date: 07/19/2011
Time: 09:16 AM


We went through this with my Dad. My mom couldn't even take a shower without him looking for her or standing outside the bathroom door waiting for her. We had never fibbed or lied to him about anything before in our lives but we decided for her peace of mind we had to tell Dad little "fiblets". I would go over and sit with him while she was gone and we would tell him she had a Dr's appt. and had to go alone OR I would pick him up and take him for a ride (he loved rides in the car) and Mom would leave while we were gone. This situation you're describing was one of the hardest situations we dealt with. She just couldn't move or be gone from his site without it being an issue. Good luck, I hope this helps. Please don't give in, force yourself to go out no matter what it takes, you NEED to do this for yourself and your sanity and your health.

Name: Chris Cremean
Location: Toledo, OH
Date: 07/19/2011
Time: 08:57 AM


Contact your closest Alzheimer's Association office and see what respite services they can connect you with.

Name: gail
Location: midwest
Date: 07/19/2011
Time: 06:00 AM


I find that the words; "I'll be right back" work wonders. so do the words; "it's okay". Long explanations do not work better. His fuss won't last long after you are gone from sight to get away to do what you need to do. It's sort of like not making a big deal when dropping off a child for their first day of kindergarten. Tell the truth and exit quickly. You will be back. The person taking your place during that time will handle any "fuss", and your lingering only fuels it.



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