Husband opens up about wife with Alzheimer’s; ‘She doesn’t remember me most of the time’
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — About one in nine people aged 65 and older have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in America. That’s according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
And November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.
Jim Bolthouse and his wife Elaine have been through a lot during their 58 years of marriage, but nothing could have prepared him for her to never remember it again.
“We’ve been married 58 years, and my wife doesn’t remember it. Right now, she doesn’t remember me most of the time,” Jim said.
Jim and Elaine Bolthouse are both in their early 80s.
Elaine was diagnosed with in the early stages of Alzheimer’s in 2015, and it has only gotten worse.
“But, many times that I’ll be sitting next to her watching T.V. and she’ll say, ‘Who are you? I’ve never been married. I don’t have any children.’ And that gets kind of tough. But, you learn how they answer that,” Jim said.
Jim is her primary caretaker, and it’s taken a toll on him to have to see her like this.
He says she sometimes still thinks she’s living with her parents, and Jim says it’s best not to argue.
“I try to go along with that. I try not to lie. But if you start explaining too much, she gets upset — which is not good for me and not good for her,” Jim said.
Jim says he’s joined a support group for men through the Rochester chapter of Alzheimer’s Awareness, and it’s helped him a lot.
“They’re all very open to expressing their problems, what they’ve gone through. Some of their wives are in the homes. So, it’s very open and helps you understand what’s going on and at least gives you a forum to talk to people about it,” Jim said.
If you’re looking to join one of these support groups or get in contact with the Alzheimer’s Association, you can click here.