I had many years as a teacher of primary school age children and it has been of great assistance in managing my husband. - most of the time but we have our bad days too. I sometimes think that people with dementia often develop childlike behaviour and I use all my know how gained from my time as a teacher, a parent and a grandparent, and as a nanny to families in my years in UK. I had a lot of teaching experience in the toughest school in our city and it was essential to set boundaries for those kids.Hi everyone, its so lovely to write something and have you warm and understanding responses. I was so touched that other people have seen their darling plants wrecked by uncontrolled pruning, I dont know why, but of all the things that have gone wrong recently, that seems oddly the worst. We planted the roses ten years ago and every year they have been wilder and lovelier and now it is a few sticks. I suppose it is poignant because its what the marriage is coming down to - the bones when all the beauty and frivolity and silliness and prettiness is cut off. It's terribly hard to understand what to do in this new world, I'm not strong on boundaries like you are - Lawson 58 - I feel like I don't know where I should draw a line, because he does not understand that he is bullying me. I would not tolerate violence but I spend a lot of time soothing him and retracting things that I have said, and keeping quiet. Then he says that since I contradict him all the time he'd rather not speak - and I think we are in two completely different worlds here, one where the roses are well pruned and the wife is insanely argumentative and the other where the roses are ruined for this summer and terrible things are said and forgotten at once.
So now I set boundaries for my husband and am fortunate that he still is functioning well enough to to understand that. The thing that helps most with my husband is my tone of voice. He responds much better if I can keep my requests/instructions at a level of normal conversation. As soon as I show annoyance, frustration or stress, he tunes in immediately and then proceeds to find ways to push my buttons! Just the same as kids do.
But I consider that my training and experience have been my greatest asset in the years since my husband was diagnosed. No one comes prepared to cope with this role and there are no manuals or DIY books, and none of the fact sheets are a perfect fit for all the people who have dementia in all shapes and forms.
But I do what I do so I can survive and of course it makes things better for him, even if he cannot see that.