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My husband has been a master craftsman his entire life. He has moderate dementia and now finds these projects impossible to finish without my help. I am not a craftsman. He makes china cabinets and furniture, carves, reconstructs and remodels and a plethora of other wonderful things. We have been blessed with his talent all over our home. I do not work with wood . . but he continues to push for help until I acquiesce. It always causes severe tension and ends up with us not speaking to each other. I don't want to discourage him from doing things he loves. I am trying to encourage him to tackle much less complicated projects. He is relentless. We have spent a small fortune on accessories for his new (3 years old) dove tail jointer . . he has never used it. The directions are to complicated and he want me to show him how to use it. I have no idea and frankly I don't want to know. If I do..than every time he has a project that requires dove tail joints - I will once again be pulled into the mix.

How do I support him and get out of this?

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That's funny. We watch them all the time and he always has remarks, which is engaging and great. Here is the problem..if he sits in front of the TV he falls asleep. Of course he insists he is not sleeping (guess there is a strange man in our home that likes to snore...lol) Then he asks me what did they say what did they do (he wears hearing aids, which he insists he doesn't need). The more he sleeps during the day the less he sleeps at night. TV is a blessing and a curse.

I know that at this stage keeping him mentally and physically moving is important. It is like swimming upstream without the rewards.

I will happily try anything. But this one...I've tried. Thanks so much for your input
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Gorlin, is hubby interested in any of the cable do-it-yourself or flipping houses shows? There are a lot of good ones on TV. You could have him sit there and critic-it what they are doing :)

For the first time yesterday I saw a show "House Crashers" and enjoyed it, the host has a great sense of humor, makes you laugh. This show features contractor Josh Temple who goes to home improvement stores and while going up and down the aisles will ask people if they need a contractor.... for those who say yes, he will remodel what they need for free. It's a half-hour show, and he shows the homeowners how to use power tools for wood working projects.
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Over the years I do know how to operate this equipment. We have built many things together. But this is his love not mine..working on a project with him is frustrating for both of us. His brother is also talented (not as good as he was) but bull headed and they fight for the right to be right. When he lived close I had to intervene. Now he lives in Oregon so they only talk by phone. I went to the senior center and got him in a carving class...he was not able to complete even the most simple projects and stopped going. I was hoping it would be a social connection. Didn't work. I too am running out of things to suggest. If he doesn't keep busy he will sleep alllllll day and complain he can't sleep at night. All suggestions would be appreciated
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I have a similar situation with my Dad. We are oth retired electricians but Dad is 85 with mild to moderate dementia. He is desperate for stuff to do around the house but his skills are just not there any longer. In some cases I've found that he will mess around with something for a couple days and give up when he gets bogged down.

Recently he kept messing around with an old post light in the back yard, trying to make it work. He would go to the hardware store, buy this and that, but just couldn't figure it out. When I was visiting recently I realized the circuit was still hot and the wiring was old and shorting out. I disconnected the circuit in the house so he wouldn't get hurt. He still putzed around with it for a couple hours and finally gave up.

I've disabled his chainsaw and I'm slowing stealing some of the more dangerous power tools. I was worried that he would go buy new stuff but so far he doesn't seem to realize the stuff is missing. He tried to start the chain saw but gave up after an hour or so.

This approach is working for me so far but I'm at a loss as to how to find things for him to do that he is capable of and are not dangerous for him.

Is there someone in your husbands life who is also a woodworker? Maybe someone could mentor him into attempting less complex projects. Tell him they need a dozen bird houses and ten cutting boards. You could also try hiding some tools and accessories for the equipment that would allow only simple operations.

I also think you may have to stand up to him when he demands that you figure out these complicated machines. I sure wouldn't want to deal with it. I'm getting old and lazy. Learning new stuff is hard work.
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