1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. Chrystle

    Chrystle Registered User

    Feb 15, 2018
    OH diagnosed 2 years ago, coping fairly well but there have been a lot of significant changes (for the worse) in last three months. Judgement and Decision Making (JDM) in dementia sufferers don't get much coverage from my limited reading, but I find it really difficult to handle, as I feel I'm always challenging his plans/decisions. He's a long- suffering man, but I'm sure he thinks his manhood is being challenged too, especially as I have taken over many executive tasks, some of which fall 'naturally' to a man - from putting the bins out to having a new circuit board installed!
    Any general comments welcome but a current problem is giving us serious grief, and I'd love ideas on how best to handle it. My husband still drives, loves his car, and is very relieved to still be driving. His record was unblemished until he scraped the car in a car park about a month ago. We have had a range of quotes for the damage, but he is resisting getting it done, and the need to make a decision of some kind is making him v anxious. He is seriously considering not having the work done, and alongside forgetting the detail of the info we have already gathered, is looking for a black and white opinion that the damage either does represent a risk to the car (i.e. Worsening rust) or it doesn't - and if he can get the latter opinion, he won't get it done. I think we're unlikely to find any one in the business who will give us any such opinion. It seems obvious to me that we must get it done, and quick, before winter. But I am very reluctant to make the situation worse for him by arguing (we already argue enough about other decisions, should we move, what sort of kitchen to get, should we look after the grandchildren so much) with him. I have my own car, and couldn't care less if he wants his to have worsening paint work. It's probably the last car he will own, so why shouldn't he ignore the problem if he wants to. Eventually he will probably forget the damage, and it won't make him anxious.
    BTW, we can afford the repair, or try an insurance claim (delay won't help) although his default position is that he hates spending money!
    Better comms skills than mine are needed to negotiate these subtle relationship issues - anyone out there tried couples counselling when one half has dementia?
    Thank you in anticipation, sorry to write at length!
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Hi @Chrystle My OH has frontal lobe problems and making decisions and performing tasks are the main area of his problems. I too have taken on most of his tasks and I find myself regularly thinking - if I dont do something, it never gets done. For this reason I either just get on and do it, or I persuade my OH that it was his idea all along

    I did try a couples councellor when it was thought that he had depression/marital problems, but found it a complete disaster. OH was unable to work with the counsellor and constantly just blamed me. The counsellor also believed everything that OH told her. The trouble is that people with dementia are unable to change their behaviour - in fact they often dont even realise that what they are doing is unreasonable. I have found it much better to see a counsellor on my own so that I can get help in dealing with it all.

    PS - I am ashamed to say that my car has scratches and dents on it that date back many years, but they dont seem to have rusted.
  3. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    I doubt couples counselling would help, as @canary says your husband will not be able to engage with it. You can't reason with someone who isn't operating on a rational basis to start with.

    Yes, exactly - it's making him anxious because he does not feel equipped to make the decision. So as Canary said, you have to make the decisions yourself, it's kinder to him and it's also the only way things will get done. If you can do it without giving the appearance of doing so, all the better. The one thing you want to avoid, for your own sanity, is going round in ever decreasing circles without any decision being made.

    If it's a fairly minor scrape, I'd leave it (and use his reluctance to spend money as a lever - "yes you're right, we don't want to spend money on that, no need". If it's a more serious one, get it fixed. You decide, then congratulate him on having made a good decision. Then don't talk about it again. As you have said, it really doesn't matter either way, it just needs a decision made.

    (I scraped my car down the side about six years ago and absolutely nothing has happened, all looks exactly the same and not worth paying to repair it.)
  4. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    I try to avoid arguments mostly by just going ahead and doing everything as I think it should be done. I do find that once something is done, OH tends to either accept it, give in or have a minor moan. I often prepare him by having a 'pretend' discussion about something first, already knowing what I am going to do. That way I can move the discussion in a particular direction but half the time he forgets what we talked about anyway.

    When he lost his licence, I found I was being pulled up by police because the car was registered to a non licence holder so I decided to switch the car over to my name. Once done, I told him that the car was in my name and was promptly accused of stealing his car, But he got over it.

    While you are obviously showing a great respect for your husband by trying to include his preferences into your decisions, sometimes it just doesn't work. If you wanted a five year old child to come to your point of view, you usually manoeuvre things to get the result you want. If we do start arguing, I usually shake my head, say something like "I give up. You do whatever you want to do. I couldn't care less." He usually caves in and does what I suggested in the first place. I think PWD are often indecisive because they don't know what to do but it signals a loss of independence and control.

    I would go ahead and get it done mainly because it will help resale value in the future.
  5. Jilly606

    Jilly606 Registered User

    Dec 7, 2017
    Totally like my dad, he won’t have things fixed in house it started with it’s fine doesn’t need fixing to it’s your mums fault it’s like that she’ll break it again so no point fixing, I’m trying to sneak plumber in to fix leaking tap, and hit my boyfriend to trim a five tree that’s over grown whilst dad wasn’t there, I’m constantly reminding mum not to question him if she wants a quiet life we’ll find a way round, my dad drives a car I scratched years ago a deep one, it’s rusting but fine and will last him until he can’t deuce no more, choose your battles best of luck xx

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