My husband has Alzheimer’s and is recently not knowing me as his wife. Or that our home is our home. This period is increasing in frequency but not in actual time it lasts… like 20 minutes but every other day. What can I expect? Is this indicator of he should be living in assisted living? -June W.

Hi June-

I’m sorry. It’s a sad moment when our loved one doesn’t know us. You don’t mention what that 20 minutes is like. Is he puzzled, and you are able to gently bring him back to the moment, or is he distressed and making you fearful?

You can probably expect some fluctuation in this for a while. But, dementia eludes exact predictions. I’d say knowing the time for assisted living is less about what he remembers than how you are able to manage his changes, both emotionally and physically. Do some research on assisted living options so you have knowledge to guide you as the situation changes. Take advantage of education available locally and area support groups.

You may also want to consult some of the resources available about assisted living from St. John’s. Reviewing the reference “Questions to Ask About Enhanced Assisted Living” could help you with your decision-making. You can also read about St. John’s Enhanced Assisted Living Services at the Hawthorne on the St. John’s web site.

This is a hard road to travel with someone you love. I do believe that even when they forget exactly who we are, we do remain important to them. Don’t neglect to take care of yourself.

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