Dear Coleen

My partner has dementia and, at 80, can no longer stay in assisted living, so his son has taken him in.

Now my partner doesn’t want to see or talk to me, even though I have done nothing wrong.

Both his son and daughter have tried to reason with him, but with no success, although he can’t say why he doesn’t want to see me.

All I have done is love him and I just want to help him get through this. Can you advise?

Coleen says

This is very upsetting and frustrating for you and I completely understand as my mother suffered from Alzheimer’s.

His behaviour might be a result of his dementia or perhaps he doesn’t want you to see him decline and wants to protect you from the effects of his condition.

With my mother, there were some days she recognised me and other days when she didn’t know me at all or didn’t want to see any of her family, and it’s very hard to deal with initially.

I got support from alzheimers.org.uk (0333 150 3456) which also has lots of information on dementia online that might help you understand the condition.

It sounds like your partner has supportive children, so I’d keep the communication going with them to find out how he’s doing.

Perhaps he’ll have a change of heart and accept a visit from you or maybe they’d pass on a letter.

I’m sure they’ll want to help if they can. But they also have to be sensitive to his wishes and condition to help them all get through this tough time.

This is hard for you, so make sure you’re being supported by your friends and family, too.





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