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First, I appreciate the responses about my kids helping out. I now have 3-4 hour windows with a caregiver for my husband. It allows me to schedule time to see my mother, meet with my counselor or other Drs as well as attend a tai chi class! My husband is ok as long as he has the same caregiver. Consistency is so important. His dementia has a negative behavior element to it now. It’s not physical but is verbal. The best I can do is say ok dear and move on. We’ve been married 39 years. I love the man I married. It’s a completely different life now. The “new normal” is what I’ve been told it’s called. How do I set a schedule and expect to stick to it?

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Sticking strictly to "How do I set a schedule and expect to stick to it?"

1. Double, possibly treble, the time you allocate to everyday tasks such as washing, dressing, eating. The only way not to get stressed over how long it takes him to clean his teeth, say, is not to expect it to take less time than it actually does take.

2. Revise your battle-picking threshold. Say he doesn't want to clean his teeth. Should he clean his teeth? Yes. If you have the time and energy to bribe, coax or trick him into it, great. But if not, drop it. It won't kill him.

3. Trust other people to cope. E.g. husband is in mid-rant, and you want to settle him down and reassure him before you leave the house. But (within reason, obviously) the caregiver will manage; and what's more it is essential that you do not allow yourself to be seen as indispensable by yourself, by your husband, by those around you. So leave the house. Sensei is waiting, and DH will come to no harm.
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Katleb Sep 25, 2018
Excellent ideas! Thank you!
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OMG. I hear you. I’m glad you’re getting “me” time! My husband doesn’t have dementia but he does have obsessive behaviors. I mentioned the front yard needed weeding and now he’s obsessing about getting him in his wheelchair, out the door,and down ramp, so he can order me around like I’m some idiot who doesn’t know how to pull a weed. Then, the chair won’t go back up the ramp so I have to push nearly 700 pounds of him and power chair up the ramp. He can’t control the chair so getting him through the door is awful. When I told him all this, he got angry at me so he’s been nasty and sulking since yesterday.

The thing is, you can’t set a schedule. Drop in classes are a Godsend. If you try to regiment your life in the new normal, it won’t work and is frustrating. You can only do the best you can. And it sounds like you already are.
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