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Hello...husband refuses help with home maintenance

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Claire322, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. Claire322

    Claire322 Registered User

    Feb 16, 2015
    We have a large house and grounds. They are deteriorating and need care. He cannot, will not do it. He blames me. I am tired of devising plans to have him gone so the work can be done. Which I have resorted to in the past. Is this Alzheimers or control...maybe they are one in the same
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hello Claire

    I`m sorry to say your husband will not help because he may have lost his organisational skills and simply is unable to.

    He may give you all the excuses under the sun but probably hasn`t a clue where to start.

    You don`t say how long your husband has had Alzheimer`s and he may present as quite capable but organisation was one of the first things to go when my husband was diagnosed and he couldn`t manage even the most simple tasks without confusing himself.
  3. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    I too had this and it came on very sudden. We were giving the kitchen a fresh coat of paint and I noticed my husband watching me and then starting to paint. After a couple of strokes on the wall he asked me what now. After half an hour of this I told him we were finished and we put the paint away. I finished it when he was at the day centre.

    I stopped mentioning jobs because he said he would do them and was not having anyone in to do what he could do. Like you I brought people in to do maintenance and always when he was at the day centre and they knew they had to be finished or at least tidied away for the day before he came home.

    It is very sad when someone who could do just about everything, and do it well, can no longer make sense of how to do anything. Dementia is a thief that is never punished.
  4. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    Last week I painted the cloakroom and kitchen. John had no objection to this but wanted to go out as soon as I started! So I painted during the long spells of him eating breakfast, lunch etc and when he slept. I did give him a job to do sitting on the floor sand papering the skirting but it was very sketchily done. My husband was in the building trade for almost 50 years and did all of this kind of work. Changed days but you have to take charge and think your way around it.
  5. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    There are two issues here - practical and emotional.

    The practical side should be easier to deal with, get him out of the house somehow and get people in to help out during that time.

    The emotional side is more difficult to deal with - you feel betrayed and think he is doing it on purpose. He is not. It's the illness that has robbed him of certain abilities, he doesn't understand what needs doing anymore, how to do it and why it's important. I know it's hard but try not to be resentful. It's a new reality now and he might be fearful too - he might know there is something he ought to be doing but can't quite put his finger on it. Try to reassure him that everything's ok and will be done.
  6. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    OH lost DIY skills very early on. He was absolutely ace at it and it has cost me a fortune over the past few years to do the things that he would have done with one hand tied behind his back. It doesn't help that I don't have full mobility.
    Dementia rules, you are nit your own person any more.
  7. stanleypj

    stanleypj Registered User

    Dec 8, 2011
    North West
    I agree with others. This is a common experience with the disease. As it progresses there will be more and more things that he will be unable to do. As this happened in our case, I found it helped - a bit - to think about and be grateful for the things that Sue could still do.

    There are still things like this. Examples: She can stand. She can walk. She can understand most of what is said to her. She can swallow. She can sit and stroke the cat. All these things are very important. Far more important to me than the state of the house and garden, though I do understand your frustration.
  8. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    Near Southampton
    The trouble is that we don't realise the reason for what appears like obstinacy in the early days.
    I thought my husband was being awkward by not showering.
    It was so much later when I realised that he had probably forgotten how he did this and maybe, as our shower is over the bath, how he even got into the bath.
    Sadly, he was by then not living at home so I could not remedy my mistake.
    I am so much wiser now when it is too late.
  9. irishmanc

    irishmanc Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    We all get things wrong, Saffie - don't be too hard on yourself. It may be too late for your husband but now you are on TP, helping others with your advice and experiences.
  10. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    My Mum has moderate Alzheimers and Dad has cognitive impairment.
    They say he doesn't have any form of dementia but sometimes I wonder.

    Dad refuses any home maintenance where it involves money, or something he feels he can do himself.
    Often something he decides to do himself, doesn't turn out quite right or he breaks something, and we have to fix it or put it right.
    Mums eye for attention and mess in the house has gone by the wayside.
    Dad who would do little home maintenance jobs like touching up paint, is now questionable, using the wrong kind of paint or doing a half pie job.
    Their house needs cleaning on the outside with high windows, but he won't hear of paying someone to do it, he can do it.
    He proceeds to get the garden hose and hoses the bottom half of the house only.
    His vegetable garden is a mass of weeds and he never waters it properly, but thinks its the best thing ever. If you suggest netting to keep the cats and birds out, he refuses and ties bits of wool around his plants.

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