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Help and advice - Carers UK Forum

Help and advice

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My husband has several conditions and ill health for a long time, in September he had surgery for a tumour, caught just in time thank goodness. He was very ill after that and had lost a lot of weight about four stones. He has not really recovered well and has just recently had a bout of pneumonia. He was at home, thankfully not in hospital again. Over a period of time I have been noticing a subtle changes in him that are so unlike him and although doctors say it is depression, I wonder at times. He keeps experiencing Dejavu and does not really know what is real anymore. He has gone from a clever man to someone who just sits all day. He doesn't do anything and has lost all confidence to do the everyday things he would of normally. He cannot remember some things and cope with anything to complex such as the banking. Yet remember other things very well. Then other days he will be really more talkative as he does not really talk anymore. He sleeps and sleeps. It is so sad.
Sometimes I feel it is very hard not to get frustrated or just stay calm.
Hello Anne and welcome to the forum :)

Reading your post and your description of your OH before and after his surgery I wonder if simple boredom could be part of the problem ? Do friends and family still visit and engage him in everyday conversation or do they 'tip-toe' round his illness as so many people do when faced with someone who has been in a life-threatening situation ?

You say that the Doctors say it is depression - but are they treating it ? It is just as much an illness as his tumour and the pneumonia.

Lastly, are you getting some 'me' time ? I is important that you take time out to care for yourself as well.
Hi Anne,

Welcome to the forum. :)

You don't mention the age of your husband, or whether he has dementia, but here are some details of my own situation which might be relevant. My father (84) has had dementia for a few years now, and I've noticed that whenever he has some kind of infection or illness (he has suffered bouts of pneumonia and UTIs) his dementia gets worse. Infections and antibiotics can both worsen dementia symptoms, but you might find that once the infection has cleared up your husband will improve a little.

Dad moved into a care home last July and although his dementia has gradually worsened, and his appetite is not great (it was poor before he moved there anyway) his physical condition is quite good - just one fall since he moved there, and so far zero infections of any kind. He does get a bit listless and bored at times, even though the care home lays on various kinds of activities (most of which don't interest him, unfortunately), but also has times when he is quite animated and will happily go out with visitors (esp. if it involves a pub - he's an alcoholic so that is the main attraction for him). My mother (86) still lives at home, with support from myself and a carer, and though she has no obvious dementia and no serious illness to contend with, she is very lethargic and prone to doing absolutely nothing 99% of the time. So, I guess that many people in their 80s get bored and lethargic, and though it's sad, maybe it's just part of the ageing process?
Thank you for your reply. I am sorry to hear about your Dad. My husband is 75 and up until this point in time has not had a diagnosis, the psychiatrist says it is depression. However the changes I am finding in him, at times, are very worrying. David, I have never seen him like this. He has deteriorated quite quickly, from a very astute man to one who just sits. He is in bed now after waiting all day for me to come home from work.

I have decided to cut down my hours at work to three days and see how it goes.

I hope your mum continues to be well. Thank you once again