Gradually understanding what he can't do

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by jenniferjean, Jan 26, 2019.

  1. jenniferjean

    jenniferjean Registered User

    Apr 2, 2016
    345
    Female
    Basingstoke, Hampshire
    While out shopping this morning my husband wanted some flowers, so I bought a bunch. He carried them home while I pulled my shopping trolley. When we reached home he asked me where he should put the bunch of flowers. As I was pulling the trolley into the kitchen I just looked up and said "lay them on the counter in front of the toaster and I'll sort them out in a bit". He just stood and looked about the kitchen, then looked at the toaster and waited. So I then just told him to lay them on the counter which he eventually did. I realised that he was struggling with a two fold command. One, to lay the flowers down and two, to find the toaster.

    It's like using the words "and then". I'm trying not to do that now. He can't cope with a two fold command. "Put your jumper on and then comb your hair". The truth is he'll probably only do one of those, whichever is the most important one for him. It's all taking a bit of getting used to and I must admit that sometimes I feel he's just being difficult but he isn't. It's down to me to do everything in stages, one step at a time.
     
  2. RosettaT

    RosettaT Registered User

    Sep 9, 2018
    158
    Female
    Mid Lincs
    Yes I found the same. Once I realised I was over loading him with too much info at a time and started to simplify instructions we got on much better.
    I now only ask 1 thing at a time, Would you like a biscuit? If he says no I then ask if he would like a slice of cake, I don't ask which he would like any more.
     
  3. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    2,142
    Yes, one thing at a time. That's is quite a enough, complex instructions just do not work. Xxx
     
  4. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    4,773
    N Ireland
    I'm another advocate of the 'one thing at a time' theory. I discovered that necessity very early on, along with repeating commands with the exact words to ensure they are heard/understood.

    I have also found that it's useful to point if I want something put somewhere specific as words like counter may not be taken on board.
     
  5. Martarita

    Martarita Registered User

    May 11, 2018
    112
    Hi there ,after reading these posts I've realised ,that is what is happening to my OH I must be overloading him when I'm giving instructions as to what I want him to do , I'll remember now ,one thing at a time .thank you all ,for posting this I've learnt something else from talking point .take care all .x
     
  6. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,671
    Female
    Scotland
    Absolutely right. "Sit down on the bed and take your socks off and put them in the laundry bag" is two too many instructions. " Sit down John". " Take your socks off". " Now put them in this bag".

    It took me a while to realise he couldn't process several instructions at once.
     
  7. WA123

    WA123 Registered User

    Jan 20, 2018
    85
    We're on holiday in Orlando at the moment and have just been to the supermarket. In the past this has been great fun as it's so different from home and we were both laughing and joking as we went in. It didn't take long before I realised my husband had become monosyllabic and irritable and I started to get cross. Then I realised that he was on sensory overload. there was so much choice, I was talking non-stop while pointing things out to him and he just couldn't cope. I shut up and walked on in silence leaving him to work through it all on his own and after around 10 minutes he was back to normal. Just shows how important it is, as Rosetta T says, not to overload with information whether instructions or noise or people. Whenever my husband is irritable I now really try to look around for the reason. There always is one.
     
  8. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    2,142
    There was a good programme about autism overload, I think there are similarities, sounds became too loud and too many diverse noises, light was too bright, too many people and too much going on.
    Not only one thing at a time, but I find a good pause in between helps too.
     
  9. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,663
    Female
    South coast
    Yes, my OH is the same.
    If we go somewhere where there are lots of people,or lots of things happening, or to a place with bright sunshine or a lot of noise OH just goes into shut-down; you can almost see his brain grinding to a halt.
    Holidays are a no-go now because of this and he is beginning to dislike going out of the house. He likes silence, routine and predictability.
     
  10. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    2,142
    Just the same here,
    Quiet routines, mine does like going out if cake is involved however comes back and sleeps. Very little interaction knocks him out.
     
  11. PalSal

    PalSal Registered User

    With all of you here....single directions, no distractions.
     
  12. Justmary

    Justmary Registered User

    Jul 12, 2018
    32
    Female
    West Midlands
    Even that doesn't always work. Yesterday I asked him to get me a plate and he came back with 2 wine glasses!
     
  13. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,880
    Suffolk
    Hope you followed up on the hint!
     
  14. WA123

    WA123 Registered User

    Jan 20, 2018
    85
    We can still do the holidays as long as I plan carefully. Out of season, self catering and, interestingly, somewhere neither of us has been before. Think the last one is because there's no expectation on him to remember anything from before and it means we're discovering together. This time I also plucked up courage to suggest assistance through the airport (on the basis that we would get seats together and fast track through security without having to pay extra) and he agreed!
     
  15. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,663
    Female
    South coast
    Treasure the holidays as long as you can @WA123

    The last time we went on holiday (small self catering cottage, somewhere quiet where we hadnt been before) I had to pin post-it notes to all the doors and cupboards so that he could find his way around (there were only 3 rooms including the bathroom) and work out where things were kept. He spent his whole time indoors in front of the TV. I left him one day and went into the nearby town, but couldnt do it again and I thought to myself - we could be doing this at home and saved a fortune!
     
  16. WA123

    WA123 Registered User

    Jan 20, 2018
    85
    I do realise it won't last and it's the reason we've come to Florida this time as I think it will be our last trip here. It's still not the sort of holiday we would have done in the past but am most definitely making the most of it. So far the planning seems to be paying off and currently he's better when we're away than when we're at home anyway. He starts to relax as soon as we're out of the drive but this is all about living in the moment isn't it so will do the usual of watching and waiting to see how things develop. This is definitely a learning experience.
     

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