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Constant conflict

The Book Lady

New member
Jun 26, 2022
4
0
My husband has Patkinson's and has was told he has dementia 6 weeks ago. He is going down hill fast and denies he has either taken the bins out on the wrong day or left something out on
the counter that belongs in the fridge or something else odd. He then says he didn't do it and that I did it. After a while I get furious (he keeps saying "so you say"). I shouldn't get angry but he doesn't believe anything is really wrong with himself. What should I do?
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
12,716
0
Southampton
i would put it back and not tell him. he believes himself and i have learnt through experience that telling them they have done something is waste of energy and they will never believe you. its easier just to correct things yourself. you wont be able to use logic and sensible discussion because HE knows hes right.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,875
0
South coast
Hrllo @The Book Lady and welcome to Talking Point

Im sorry to say that most people with dementia lose insight into their problems and are unable to comprehend that they have anything wrong with them (a symptom called anosognosia). They also get false memories (confabulations), so in their own minds they have not done anything wrong at all and it was actually you. It seems a lot like denial and blame shifting, but it is not - it is part of dementia.

If you are asking what you can do to make him admit that it was him, then the answer is, unfortunately, nothing. He is certain that it wasnt him, you will never be able to convince him that it was and trying will probably just make him angry because he will think that you are gaslighting him.

The only thing you can do is count to 10 when you see he has got confused done things wrong, and start to take over responsibilities for the things he can no longer do - maybe start by surreptitiously checking up on things.
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
15,151
0
South Staffordshire
Hi @The Book Lady,

This ’I didn’t do it’, ‘I never said that’ will probably never go away. My husband never moved anything, I was always hiding things, I never told him anything so what was there to remember. I soon learnt to stay tight lipped and keep harmony, much easier than continual conflict. When someone with dementia gets anxious about something they will forget what about but remain possibly more anxious because they don’t know why they are feeling this way.

Then we get to love lies/little white lies. We all know how upset we feel when we hear of the death of someone we know, how much worse must it be for someone with dementia be told time and time again of a death. It will always be the first time for them so the upset strikes havoc again. My husband kept saving he hadn’t seen his mother for a while, no he hadn’t, she had died 30 years earlier but I kept her alive by saying no we hadn’t, we must get to see her next week, when she came back of holiday etc, etc.

it isn’t easy, as carers we are stressed, tired and struggling so anything to make life easier for you and your husband should be used.

Welcome to the forum.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
12,473
0
Yorkshire
Hello @The Book Lady
A warm welcome from me too

I grew used to keeping dad calm by simply apologising for anything he thought I'd done, after learning that explaining and arguing simply made things worse and made him negative toward me ... it was a lot simpler and kept life more pleasant if I just said, 'oh sorry, silly me, I didn't think ... I'll sort it out ... how about a cuppa while I go look' ... it allowed him to let it go and settle, and I got a few minutes to breathe ... somehow he didn't seem to be bothered about all my 'mistakes' and didn't hold them against me
 

Andrew_McP

Registered User
Mar 2, 2016
327
0
South Northwest
For your own sanity, you have to turn dementia into a "game". The rules are simple. Your OH is always right. Always. The game part is you trying to live in that world with him and still Get Things Done safely and properly.

As I say, simple rules! But following them? The hardest thing you'll ever do in your entire life. And you'll get it wrong. Often. Because you're human, and dementia hates humans. But once you get into the habit of seeing the world through his distorted goggles, complete with all the muddled certainty he's powered by, your life will get a little easier.

A little. Not enough to win the game by any stretch, but enough not to lose badly every day. Dementia loves to see people lose. Lose things. Lose memories. Lose hope. And lose their temper. But you win if you get to the end of the day and think "did we get through another day without unnecessary stress?"

It's far easier said than done, but it's the only way to survive. Good luck!
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
4,158
0
Dorset
”So you say!” - The Banjoman used that comment to me umpteen times before I realised how bad his dementia was. It used to really annoy me and I would reply “Yes, I do say”. Thankfully I didn’t live with him and could leave whenever I wanted to!
 

doingok

Registered User
Nov 14, 2020
16
0
I now answer yes to everything my husband says. He has no idea of the question as he’s forgotten what he asked within seconds but a yes and a smile helps him to settle and we move on to the next question. Or even the same one again. For your own peace of mind I’d just go with him .. It is the hardest thing to manage



“did we get through the day without any unnecessary stress” This is such a good phrase to keep in mind I now try to do that….after four years I’m learning how tell love lies and not feel guilty doing it..
 

AbbyGee

Registered User
Nov 26, 2018
574
0
Portsmouth, South Coast
How do I care for thee? Let me count the ways ... (Apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
I am actually learning NOT to care. That is, not to care too much about what doesn't really make a monkey's in the greater plan of things.
Auto pilot lets me answer the daily questions. A little voice within the auto pilot makes me aware of changes and new fears that need to be calmed and soothed away.
Something not right? I'll be in the wrong. I'll take the blame. I'll be the bad person. I'll apologise for the perceives whatever. That's OK. It's mostly forgotten in a moment as your fury, anxiety, and confusion subsides. I'll leave the room and come back with a cheery 'helloooo!'.
I'll tell you Therapeutic Untruths, AKA Love Lies, if that's what it takes.
You can wear the same old clothes so long as you have your 'safe pants' on at night. You don't notice I sneak the dirties into the laundry when you're asleep. I've become the stage magician with a sleight of hand that would get me into the Magic Circle.
So you look like a shabby old tramp? OK. Are you a settled and whatever passes for a happy shabby old tramp? Better to be that than a smart-looking miserable suicidal aggressive shadow of the man I once knew.
Don't want your food? No matter. I'll eat what I want and tempt you with tasty morsels that are the same as the ones you rejected earlier. So long as you have a decent and varied diet then breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper can be interchangeable.
I go with the flow, these days. It's less stressful and I feel more peace.
Give and take? Nah, give, give, give, give and take.
BUT! If you start to do something unsafe I'll try and deflect, redirect, cajole and all stations south but failing that then I will rise like a lightly muzzled yet snarling harpy.
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
12,716
0
Southampton
i always enjoy reading your posts. @AbbyGee so down to earth and honest. i wish i could be more like you but ive learnt to go with the flow and not bother tell him what he hasnt done but welcome what he does do. im lucky that he must be the only PWD on here that likes a shower every day and likes clean clothes to put. there maybe a time when he doesnt but for now im grateful even if i have to remind him to have a shave and he spills rice krispies on the floor.
 

MaNaAk

Registered User
Jun 19, 2016
8,002
0
Essex
Hi @The Book Lady,

This ’I didn’t do it’, ‘I never said that’ will probably never go away. My husband never moved anything, I was always hiding things, I never told him anything so what was there to remember. I soon learnt to stay tight lipped and keep harmony, much easier than continual conflict. When someone with dementia gets anxious about something they will forget what about but remain possibly more anxious because they don’t know why they are feeling this way.

Then we get to love lies/little white lies. We all know how upset we feel when we hear of the death of someone we know, how much worse must it be for someone with dementia be told time and time again of a death. It will always be the first time for them so the upset strikes havoc again. My husband kept saving he hadn’t seen his mother for a while, no he hadn’t, she had died 30 years earlier but I kept her alive by saying no we hadn’t, we must get to see her next week, when she came back of holiday etc, etc.

it isn’t easy, as carers we are stressed, tired and struggling so anything to make life easier for you and your husband should be used.

Welcome to the forum.
I remember being accused of moving things by dad and our house ended up with signs everywhere. It was so difficult.

MaNaAk
 

AbbyGee

Registered User
Nov 26, 2018
574
0
Portsmouth, South Coast
i always enjoy reading your posts. @AbbyGee so down to earth and honest. i wish i could be more like you but ive learnt to go with the flow and not bother tell him what he hasnt done but welcome what he does do. im lucky that he must be the only PWD on here that likes a shower every day and likes clean clothes to put. there maybe a time when he doesnt but for now im grateful even if i have to remind him to have a shave and he spills rice krispies on the floor.
@jennifer1967 Thanks, hunny. I'm a Pompey girl and we're pretty well 'What you see if what you get'. I have a series of tee shirts that I probably shouldn't wear. One says PEOPLE SAY I ACT LIKE I DON'T CARE. IT'S NOT AN ACT.
Another says I CAN EXPLAIN IT TO YOU BUT I CAN'T UNDERSTAND IT FOR YOU.
The most dubious one says PATIENCE. IMPORTANT TO HAVE WHEN THERE ARE TOO MANY WITNESSES.
My dear old OH - well, they're all dear to us one way or another - but I'd no sooner cause him deliberate hurt than stamp on kittens.
My invisible shield, built over many years and in previous lives, is under siege. The daily trebuchet of woes, both real and imagined, constantly eats away at its fabric. But I will rebuild, regather my forces, stand firm, and remain upright and strong for us both.
Here endeth the diatribe. I'm gonna find me another beer!
 

Chocco

Registered User
Aug 9, 2021
76
0
My husband has Patkinson's and has was told he has dementia 6 weeks ago. He is going down hill fast and denies he has either taken the bins out on the wrong day or left something out on
the counter that belongs in the fridge or something else odd. He then says he didn't do it and that I did it. After a while I get furious (he keeps saying "so you say"). I shouldn't get angry but he doesn't believe anything is really wrong with himself. What should I do?
I haven't got the hang of it yet either @The Book Lady and feel annoyed almost daily at the false accusations etc. The 'F' word under my breath has never been used so much in my whole life but it helps me get momentary relief!!
I have been practising the advice here though and it really does work just agreeing with him and ignoring the wrong things he does and says. It's just so hard to do after a lifetime of battling against him thinking he was right about everything all the time!!
Come here when you get frustrated or need help, the solidarity and support is first class.
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
12,716
0
Southampton
@jennifer1967 Thanks, hunny. I'm a Pompey girl and we're pretty well 'What you see if what you get'. I have a series of tee shirts that I probably shouldn't wear. One says PEOPLE SAY I ACT LIKE I DON'T CARE. IT'S NOT AN ACT.
Another says I CAN EXPLAIN IT TO YOU BUT I CAN'T UNDERSTAND IT FOR YOU.
The most dubious one says PATIENCE. IMPORTANT TO HAVE WHEN THERE ARE TOO MANY WITNESSES.
My dear old OH - well, they're all dear to us one way or another - but I'd no sooner cause him deliberate hurt than stamp on kittens.
My invisible shield, built over many years and in previous lives, is under siege. The daily trebuchet of woes, both real and imagined, constantly eats away at its fabric. But I will rebuild, regather my forces, stand firm, and remain upright and strong for us both.
Here endeth the diatribe. I'm gonna find me another beer!
im just up the coast in southampton and we can be direct as well. the only thing you can do is carry on. enjoy your beer
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,875
0
South coast
There is a member here who has a parrot that sits on her shoulder, but only she can see and hear it.
This parrot says everything that she would like to say (and it uses the most shocking language), but she doesnt dare say it out loud.
I have borrowed the parrot at times and found it most therapeutic...
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
12,716
0
Southampton
There is a member here who has a parrot that sits on her shoulder, but only she can see and hear it.
This parrot says everything that she would like to say (and it uses the most shocking language), but she doesnt dare say it out loud.
I have borrowed the parrot at times and found it most therapeutic...
theres also a bashing stick to knock guilt monster off the shoulders. ive used both at times.
 

AbbyGee

Registered User
Nov 26, 2018
574
0
Portsmouth, South Coast
im just up the coast in southampton and we can be direct as well. the only thing you can do is carry on. enjoy your beer
The perishing beer ran out. There was just two measly little 400ml cheapo low alc cans. Pah! And here we are on a 'conflict' thread. Pompey/Southampton har har. Oh my goodness. No conflict where the heart matters are.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,895
0
Victoria, Australia
I anticipate. He used to put the bins out (mostly) but f I simply asked if the they had been put out, he would retaliate. It was I was just about to do it, stop picking on me, you’re always criticising me.

So now I quietly put the bins out and don’t mention it. Have done that for years. He dribbles tea over the cupboard doors, the floor, leaves his plate on the dining table and I just pick them up and put them in the dishwasher, clean up after him.

It takes two to argue so even though everything is quiet and peaceful now, I don’t do anything that might trigger a reverse of his current state of mind. It really doesn’t matter, those silly little things so I just do anything so I don’t run the risk of upsetting the apple cart.

It doesn’t matter who is right, just what happens if you insist on pursuing something that isn’t that important.
 

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