Can I help my husband?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by MrsMoose, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. MrsMoose

    MrsMoose Registered User

    Oct 1, 2014
    152
    My father in law is in a care home - recently having moved from sheltered accommodation. And he's also been in and out of hospital.

    My husband has been very good at all the practical tasks associated with moving my father in law. He is also dutiful, visiting my father in law regularly. Though he keeps the visits short his manner to his father is patient.

    The difficulty I have is that I feel there is also an inner level on which he just cannot accept his father's dementia. He's angry and frustrated and I suppose that I pick up on it and find it hard to live with. I suppose there's a level on which he just wants his father to have the level of ability that he had months or years earlier.

    At one point in my youth I worked with people who have dementia - and I also spend time hanging out here. I think I am both more detached and more practical. For example, my husband was getting in a state because his older brother is visiting, but it's no longer really practical for my brother in law to take his Dad out for the day. (Partly because he is so frail and confused, and also my husband was worried about various practical problems - for example the steps on the ground floor of our house, if he comes here, and also about the practical and emotional issues that might arise if there was an incontinence-related accident.)

    Anyway I asked the staff at the care home when we both visited earlier today about a possible outing. They felt it might do him good as long as he went in a wheelchair. He can only walk a few steps unaided now. And as he now wears incontinence pads, as long as they changed him before hand they thought an outing to our house (which is only a mile away) would be feasible.

    I do think my husband is doing a great job on all sorts of levels. I suppose I just wish he didn't feel angry. Although I am an angry person in all sorts of ways, I think there is a level on which I am more accepting of the illness.

    Is there anything I can do that make his anger diminish? I do encourage him to do lots of the things he enjoys so that he doesn't feel too trapped by it all.
     
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,621
    Female
    London
    I think anger is one of the stages of grief. It can be very hard to accept seeing his father so diminished. He might benefit from some counselling or CBT sessions.
     
  3. MrsMoose

    MrsMoose Registered User

    Oct 1, 2014
    152
    Yes, I think you're right about grief. How do you persuade a 'stiff upper lip' type that counselling can be helpful, I wonder...?
     
  4. MaryH

    MaryH Registered User

    Jun 16, 2016
    120
    Ottawa, Canada
    Mrs Moose,

    Do you think your husband's anger is more about the disease seeing your dad decline, grief, being overwhelmed, or unhappy with getting a greater burden of care than the brother in law?
     
  5. MrsMoose

    MrsMoose Registered User

    Oct 1, 2014
    152
    It's a good question. I think he finds dementia very frightening. So the anger is a reaction to the fear. Perhaps he is worried that he too will suffer from this illness as he gets older.

    He's a very energetic person, who likes to effect changes. He gets quite aggrieved even when he has a cold which lasts more than a few days - so the fact that dementia can't be fixed or controlled probably angers him.

    I am not sure that he is that angry with his brother. Some of that is knowing that his brother has poor health and also a partner is not well. He is also aware that, though more help can be a real blessing, people often disagree about how to deal with ill relatives. So there's a level on which it's simpler making all the decisions himself.
     
  6. MaryH

    MaryH Registered User

    Jun 16, 2016
    120
    Ottawa, Canada
    Do you think you can persuade him to go to a support group meeting? I have made some friends there and we now meet over coffee, drinks or a bite to eat and compare notes and it helps.

    I also had some semi professional conselling but by 2 social workers that specialize in that but not by a psychologist.. The first was very good, the 2nd a little less so but it give an outlet to discuss the issue and for me to work through some of the issues.
     
  7. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User


    My OH's mum had Alzheimer's and he has told me how bad she was - getting ready to go home, not recognising anyone, etc and I know that it frightens him to think he could end up that that. He had that fear before he himself was diagnosed and I believe it has contributed to his denial about his own illness.

    So for your husband, he is dealing with grief and fear so it is sometimes easier to let things out by being angry. Remember the stiffest upper lip has the wobbliest bottom one. Emotion has to come out somewhere.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.