My husband is 71-years-old and his mood swings and behavior are stressing me out. Do I agree with him on things that he thinks is right?

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my husband is in very early stage of Dementia, I can't hold a convasation with him like i use too. his understanding is very bad, and when I try to correct him, he just goes into a rage. do you think it would be better too just agree with him even if he is wrong?

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Top Answer
Yes.

Or perhaps not agree with him exactly, but don't get into confrontations with him and don't argue about who is "right." He is losing his ability to reason logically, so you are not going to win any arguments that way.

If breakfast was a half an hour ago and he says, "I haven't eaten for hours!" you don't have to correct him. Instead say, "Should I make you some toast?" or "Would a glass of tomato juice and some crackers tide you over until I get lunch ready?" of "Why don't you take an apple out of the fridge?"

He is not doing this to aggravate you (though he is succeeding at that, isn't he?) He is doing this because his brain isn't working correctly. Once you accept that, it is a little easier to deal with his errors and stubborness. (At least it was for me, dealing with my husband.)

It would be helpful, I think, to start reading up on what you can expect of a person with dementia, and helpful tips on how to deal with some of the common behaviors. You are in very early stage now, and the road to the end is bumpy. It is a stressful journey. You can't change that, but knowledge of what to expect can at least reduce some of the shocks.

Not being able to hold a conversation with a partner you've conversed with for years is a truly distressing loss. There will be other losses along the way. Allow yourself to mourn them. The man you married is still in there, and you will see glimpses of him even in the last stages. Cherish those. And try not to take his changes toward you personally. They are definitely beyond his control.
Thank you so much,I will start reading too find more helpful tips.it's helpful to know Iam not the only person going through periods of lonely times.
Madea, you are definitely not alone, and I empathize with you. As my dad became more disillusional and tried to continue maintaining his role of absolute ruler of the family, we would try to correct him and challenge him into believing we were right and he was really off in his thinking. Arguing a point (over and over again) and not any chance of him changing his views or understanding only made us frustrated and angry. After storming out and saying things that shouldn't have been said there was quite a bit of guilt on our part because we couldn't accept that he was no longer in his right mind. I would always, later on after calming down and his forgetting what the arguement was about....apologize to him. All the arguing did was make things worse. This was extremely upsetting to my mom. She still has trouble accepting his decline and often defers to what he says, even though she is fully aware and in her right mind! ( 65 yrs of marriage ....some things take a while!) Now I have come to totally realize that he doesn't have the control over his thoughts and it is not about trying to make him change. We are the ones to change our views. When I see and hear him go on with his thoughts...(he's planning on getting his license back so he can drive...this will never happen and besides he can no longer figure out how to use the phone) I look at him and smile to myself with LOVE IN MY HEART FOR HIM, remembering him as the intelligent man he always WAS. This is not a time for me to feel frustrated at him, only show him the love and respect that he so deserves. He is still alive and I am thankful for this even though he is changing and in another dimension of his world. I have dropped the negative frustrations and look at him now with a better understanding of my role in his life. I am in a much more accepting place and it is so less stressful for all of us. As he continues to decline, his attention span has too. What we now do is try to change the subject with things that redirect his thoughts....such as " Oh! I have to go to the bathroom, or I think I heard the......whatever comes to mind like phone ringing , doorbell, knocking, dryer buzzer, radio, I have an itch, I forgot I have to do".........and excuse myself out of the room...so I can maintain my calm, allow him time to forget and keep his dignity. When I come back I try to bring something to him that I think he would like....juice, coffee, newspaer or magazine, pictures or something I can have him help me with like opening a bottle, cutting an article out of the paper, folding some dishtowels (that were already folded but that I bunched up for him to help with). We all have a need to be NEEDED. Try to think of this as his transitioning (which you know will never improve) and that as he changes, you need to change your thoughts and actions as well. Do all of this with love for him.Remember how you choose to deal with this is in YOUR control...not his.
For what it is worth, I hope this helps.
One thing I say often is, I have to go to Sonny's world, he no longer lives in mine... Alz/dementia is a horrible disease that robs a person of thier humanity and dignity... we have to provide a safe place for them to be themselves... Sonny is nothing but a sweetheart, but has started not wanting to take a shower, so I have to go about it different than I used to... one thing about this disease is the caregiver has to be flexable, and use our imaginations.... now I get him to help me get his clothes ready, let him pick his shirt, and put toothpaste on the toothbrush... sometimes it's a mess, so what.... it's only toothpaste....he seems to be more relaxed now so this will work until something new comes up.... I try to find things for him to do that are "guy" things, like helping me take out the garbage, ect... when he is in the 'helping' mood I let him help.... I do not argue with his reality.... I find it fascintating sometimes how he perceives something.... I shared on another thread yesterday about him putting his underwear on his head thinking it was his tshirt, then later , after I did something to his electric razor to cause parts to fly everywhere, HE is the one that put the razor back together... I watched him, he would put a piece together, then set and think for a minute, and on and on until he had it together.... I would have went and bought a new one.... so, with all that being said, a hundred years from now does it matter who was right....in his world he is right, and that is where he lives...None of us like to be told we are wrong, even under the best of circumstances...so learn how to adapt and adjust... it makes it easier for everyone... hugs to you on this journey you are on. Please come back and share, it is VERY important for us to know we are not alone.... prayers....
Madea, don't argue with him. What's the point? he won't remember that he's wrong anyhow.

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