How best to deal with ongoing problem

John Mitchell

New member
Sep 28, 2020
My 85 year old wife has dementia and memory loss. However it is false memory which troubles me more. How best does one deal the fact that although my wife no longer cooks normally she believes we have to put stuff in the oven two hours in advance? Any time after 3.30pm she will bring out examples of food so we can decide what to eat. She immediately forgets and does it again and again (even if I am out in the garden). Almost everything we eat is supermarket stuff which takes less than 45 mins to prepare. I have shown her the cooking time on every package - but it doesn't work. She shouts at me that she has always cooked and knows it takes at least 2 hours to cook any meal. (She was an excellent cook and I did not cook at all and she reminds me of that) .
It sounds ridiculous but I dread the afternoons - I often have to physically stop her from turning the oven on.
We do little in the evening but watch TV and she is always convinced we have seen any programme yesterday. If I agree with her, she wants a different programme - if I point out that we have not seen it she tells me I am wrong and get pretty annoyed.
I wonder if there is a standard way of deflecting this problem

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello @John Mitchell. Welcome to your first post. I hope you will continue to post, there is a lot of experience on Dementia Talking Point and people willing to share

My first thought on reading your post is if it would be possible to have your main meal earlier, around the time your wife wants to put the dinner on. If she insists on cooking a ready meal for 2 hours, obviously that won`t work, but if you can get away with eating early and having a small snack later it might solve a problem.

The other thought is your wife might be experiencing sundowning which is common at that time of day.

As for your wife being unable to accept a fact, this is familiar too. The enclosed link might help.

Please don`t think you are expected to follow it to the letter. It is simply a rough guide to communication


Registered User
Apr 21, 2021
Not sure about the food. Could she wash vegetables for salads and put in bowls etc. since it’s summer.

Could you agree with her about the tv programme but if you do want to watch it, say you really enjoyed it yesterday and please could you watch it again?

I’m really sorry this is happening.