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After living through the decline, death and grief for most of my closest and dearest family members, I now feel left with fear and worry about what the future holds, for me, and my husband. My husband's dearly departed Mom passed from Alzheimer's, and lately he has been telling me of some of his memory concerns. When I downplay his "symptoms", attributing them to aging, he tells me not to. He says he will go to the doctor if we see it getting worse. I worry that I will lose him and he will lose himself! I will be 60 years old this year, and my dearly departed Mom is gone 10 years on May 12th, so maybe I'm just extra keyed-up. I know I am projecting into unknown future events, but I really feel overwhelmed by these thoughts. Aging and dying ... will we become incapacitated? Will we have money to live if one of us has to be hospitalized or put into a care home? Will my husband's behavior change towards me? I already see that he is a bit more snappy with me. We have no children ... who will help us? So many scenarios go through my mind. I live and and enjoy life day-by-day, and moment-by-moment, but want to make sure I also am ready for what the future may hold. So hard being on the planet without my Dear Parents, Brother, and Grandmother. I know their Spirits guide me, and my fears are just thoughts... and none may even happen. Anyone else experiencing this?

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IDK but my children do not live near me and I can't say as I have anyone here for me as I'm aging, I'll be 69 in a few months and somehow I don't think they realize how hard this is.  One thing I realize is that all of our fears/worries/anxieties do nothing for us so no sense going there.  I try to stay in today and take as good care of myself as I can, what will be will be, I cannot change it worrying (already done that!).  My mom passed from Lewy Bodies Dementia, it runs in her family apparently as her brothers had it too.  Keep your minds active, get exercise, eat healthy, do what you CAN do to stave off old age!  Word games, puzzles, thinking, on a regular basis helps keep our minds active.  I just retired from bookkeeping, as I needed my focus to be on my health, not on pressure for a job (voluntary the last 6 1/2 years), and spending time with my puppy and walking helps a lot.  Taking control of medical issues, diabetes, healing from injuries, working on blood pressure are nearly a full time job now!

It is good that your husband wants to address this while he still can as they can give medication to slow down the progression...my mom reacted differently when she began to realize something was wrong with her brain, she stopped going to the doctor (and taking her medicines) because she didn't want anyone to catch on, she was afraid of losing control.  It took us a year to take her to court to order a medical evaluation, by that time she was stage 3 and soon after stage 4.  We sold her home to pay for her care, there was only about $2,000 left by the time she died, she left it to my brother.  By the time she was in dementia care she wasn't aware of what was going on, she actually seemed happy/content there, I visited her regularly and she never forgot who I was except once thought I was my sister (I took that as a compliment, she's nine years younger!).  It wasn't an altogether unpleasant experience, it was hard, but in an indescribable way, it was special too, it's like entering their world, one free of worry...really hard to explain to someone who has not been there.  If you msg me your email address, I'll send you a free e-book on dementia that helped me, short/simple but good information!  I provided it to her dementia care workers as well.  It could be years before your husband's develops IF he has it!  Assure him you'll be there for him.

Strength for today...I try to stay in today and not take on the whole "rest of my life" which invites anxiety.

Your concerns are real and I understand them.  (((hugs))) 

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Your post reminds me of something my own dear departed father used to say: The future belongs to those who prepare for it. If you're worried about the possibility of Alzheimer's or dementia in your husband's future, I would encourage you to do some reading about it now, so you'll be in a better position to deal with it if and when it happens. A visit with your husband's primary care physician may help to alleviate some of your concerns ~ and why wait until you "see it getting worse"? 

I'm a firm believer in learning all you can about whatever is concerning you, and with access to the Internet nowadays, it is so easy to do a bit of research on any given topic. For example, you might find these articles to be helpful: What should you do if you think someone has dementia?  and Benefits of Early Detection in Alzheimer's Disease

See also Caregiving and Grief in Alzheimer's and Dementia: Suggested Resources  ❤️

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Thank you, Kay, for your always thoughtful and helpful response. Knowing you understand what I am feeling means a lot! You did experience some of my fears, but also reminded me that there are positive experiences that can also be unexpected and unplanned for (if I can stay open and not get too entrenched in the upset). I appreciate your offer of the free e-book, but don’t know how to message you my email address privately. Please advise. It’s comforting knowing you are here... and I am thankful.

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Thank you, Marty for your reply. Your words and knowledge mean the world to me, and I am honored that you shared your Dear Father’s words with me. Thank you for the wealth of resources that you provided, and always provide. I will continue to learn and prepare... while not obsessing.

Your discussion groups have been a lifeline for me for the past 10 years, helping me through so much by writing and organizing my thoughts, and reading what others have gone through, as my life is now progressing with the undercurrent of grief. Mostly, I feel safe knowing you are monitoring the content...and it looks like you were acknowledged for this! Congratulations... and Thank You.

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There is a picture on mail at the top right corner of this page, you can click on that and it brings up messaging, or you can click on my profile to find it.  I agree with Marty, to do what we can to learn about and head this off if possible.  I remember "A Beautiful Mind," a movie of true story of a brilliant mathematician who got dementia.  I had a close friend who also developed it.  It is good that your husband wants to see a doctor rather than running and hiding from it as that is not helpful.  I hope they are able to stave it off through medical and perhaps other suggestions.  It's good to catch early.

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  • 2 months later...

This topic has definitely hit a nerve.  With my mom's passing last year and my dad's passing 15 years ago, I'm here alone.  Never married and no family.  I have mainly friends here.  I have some distant relatives (a cousin's husband's side of the family) who I'm not close to at least not yet.  Who knows if any relatives might move into the area in the coming years.  So it definitely makes me think what should I do.  The bank where my mom had some accounts has been helping me in thinking about my financial future.  And my estate attorney has talked to me about setting up a trust.  As for my health, already dealing with some health issues but trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle.  All of this is so overwhelming right now.

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No hurry to do all at once, you're giving it some consideration and thought and I'm sure you'll make wise decisions.  Health issues can overwhelm us!  Sending you caring thoughts...

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