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Wife with Early Stage Alzheimer’s Doesn’t Want Help; Fear of Being Judged

My wife has been seeing the same psychiatrist for over eight years. I now accompany her since she doesn’t know why she’s still going to him and doesn’t remember what he says in the session. She has many hallmarks of early stage Alzheimer’s (about 18 months now)  but has been on Celexa for many years for depression and sees him just to be monitored. She does not want to be tested for cognitive impairment or take drugs–doesn’t see purpose. Has trouble articulating/expressing herself and really hates being “interrogated” now. She obsesses whenever I tell her her appointment is coming up. Any advice on how to lessen her fear of being questioned and/or tested? I feel pretty stuck–her psychiatrist is being ethical to monitor her Celexa dosage, but I don’t know how to help her, and he has no advice so far. She knows she has memory problems and is not in denial–she just wants to avoid doing anything about it. She has short term memory limitations and can’t be persuaded to be tested. Discussions about it go nowhere–her fears/anxiety overshadow reasoning with her. Any advice or strategies on how to deal with this? Thanks. (From the USA)

A:  It is difficult to be with a loved one who has lost their sensibilities to Alzheimer’s. She is lucky to have your warm and caring presence throughout the struggle. I think it is time for you to engage with a professional organization in your area that exclusively deals with Alzheimer’s patients. Your issues concerns, and struggles have been encountered by others before you. This association can have suggestions and resources beyond her psychiatrist that I think would be helpful: http://ift.tt/2wqcK93.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral



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