Vascular Dementia Diagnosed

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
Hello, As well as many other problems, my Husband has today been told he has Vascular Dementia. He is 84, has severe Copd, is in a wheelchair, has heart failure etc, so more than enough already. I obviously knew Husband was having problems with memory and so on, but thought was old age/frailty rather than dementia. This has been a big shock to us both. We haven't sorted out POA yet, is it too late or will it still be possible? Although I don't think my Husband will agree to it. How is the disease likely to progress?
Thanks for reading
Hi Linda
Sorry to hear your husband has been diagnosed with vascular dementia.
My husband is in a nursing home because of strokes and vascular dementia. All very heartbreaking.
It depends at what stage your husband's dementia is at. Would he understand what you mean when you explain about POA. My husband didn't and I had to go down the court of Protection route.
I recommend you seek advice from the Alzheimer's society, or Admiral Nurses if you have them in your area. They will explain various aspects. They help with all dementias, not just Alzheimer's.
All dementia patients, sadly deteriorate, but all at different speeds and levels.
Others will be along with practical advice I'm sure, but please consider the Alzheimer's society etc.Admirial nurses were a great support to me.
Linda_160512 wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:34 pm
How is the disease likely to progress?
https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dem ... tent-start
Thanks both for replies. Pet, the doctor said he will get nurse (not sure who exactly) to contact us quite soon and that we will be getting a lot of support. Now I've had a little time to get used to this, I think that it is better to have diagnosis, where as yesterday I was thinking better not to know!! There does seem to be help available, it just seemed Husband had enough to cope with.
Your husband is now exempt from council tax on the grounds of "severe mental impairment". It's easy to claim, will be backdated to the date of diagnosis. He's also probably entitled to Attendance Allowance, the form looks a bit long and daunting, but a lot won't apply. There should be an organisation locally who can help you fill it out. Ask the council for a Needs Assessment for him, and a Carers Assessment for you. Don't try and do everything he needs by yourself. Think about what you will need in the future. A dishwasher, and a tumble dryer would be top on my list, plus a wet room floor shower - grants may be available. Employ someone to do some of the cleaning. I know, you are thinking "I can do that" but when someone else is doing it, you can go out, relax, do something you want to do, or absolutely nothing. It's not just about him having someone else in the house, it about you getting used to it. The more help you have, the longer he can stay home. Please don't make any promises you won't be able to keep, especially the "Don't ever put me in a home". You are getting older too.
Yes, indeed, PLEASE do not be the 'only person' your husband wants in the house or around him! That's a prison for you that will become deadly, and really screw up your relationship with him.

Get him used to having 'others' from the off, involved in his care. You must schedule in enough 'breaks' for yourself - including some 'respite weeks' as well, either for a staycation or a get-away. It's essential.

Caring is not 'short term' - you have to pace yourself for the long-haul. This won't end soon, and 'normal' is not what you can go back to. It's a horrible thing, realising you are now in 'new normal' territory, but adapting to it, and minimising the impact of it, is now the name of the game.

And do, please also, try and spend as much 'quality time' with your husband as you can. In the end, as with small children, you are not going to look back and say 'Well, I kept the house clean!' you are going to say 'Well, I made good memories of my dear husband while I still had him'....that's the important thing to bear in mind.

His is now 'fading' so please do make the most of him. (Also, get him to tell you everything he can remember about his childhood/youth - this is not only good brain exercise, but also preserves his memories for posterity. You could even write them down maybe as he talks to you. Get out old photos and go through them with him - write down names and dates and places on the back. It's about 'preserving' the inside of his mind, as long as can be. My poor MIL got to the point where 'I was her memory' for her - it would be ME saying 'Do you remember when we visited you that summer, and went to Loch Lomand?' No, she didn't remember - but I remembered for her.....
Hi Linda,

Sorry to hear about your husband's diagnosis. Like him, my mum had various physical things wrong with her, plus vascular dementia. The main characteristic of vascular dementia is that the decline is not steady. It is almost in phases. Your husband may continue as he is for some time, then will progress down to the next stage and then plateau etc etc. He may be prescribed tablets to slow down the progression of the illness but that may depend on what other medication he takes.

It may indeed be too late to get Power of Attorney. I would suggest asking a solicitor specialising in elderly matters for advice on that score (first consultation will be free).

The diagnosis may open the door to some forms of support. My only advice would be to get all support, respite etc that you can, even if you think you don't need it at the moment. This is a marathon and not a sprint and it is important that you pace yourself. Do you have any specific questions we can help with, or is it just a whirl at the moment?

Thinking of you, Anne x
Thanks for replies. Yes I think might have left it too late for POA, but Husband is seeing a solicitor this Thursday, I have explained the situation to her, she will decide if he has mental capacity. TBH prob 50/50, but it is worth a try. He has relied on me for all paperwork, bill paying, legal stuff etc for our whole marriage because he cannot read/write very well. This will make it harder as he has to see solicitor on his own, but at least we are trying. I will sort Council Tax as well, thank you BB.
Husband has just started having carers into wash him anyway, so that helps, He has also said He will go into respite for a week to give me a break, He does change His mind a lot though, but I think He will keep to that.
Now with hindsight I really don't know why I'm so surprised about this, I think Husband has had symptoms for some while.
Anyway, one day at a time, as before.
Thank you all again.
You do not need a solicitor to do POA. I was advised on another forum to "surround yourself with a team of sympathetic people" which I did and it was going through smoothly but dad passed away before final paperwork arrived. Read through the guidance notes on POA before you involve anyone official- to be avoided at all costs!
Thanks Henrietta. Yes I know you don't need a solicitor to do a POA & I'm not sure the solicitor will think my Husband does have mental capacity anyway, that will depend on how Husband is at the time of appointment. Husband is happier to do with a solicitor and that is his choice, so we go with that. TBH I would prefer to do without.