My husband is 75 and at Stage 4/5 dementia. He tells me that that doctor has never diagnosed him, that doctor never stated that he couldn't drive, that he just has trouble remembering names. I am exhausted by his constant verbal sparring. Most recently, the doctor told him he could not drive anymore. I attend all doctor appointments, so I am with him when the doctor tells him these things.

Find Care & Housing
Ok fine, he doesn't have dementia. Disable the car and lose the keys so he is unable to drive, and that's the end of that. Don't agree to the verbal sparring either because it will go on continuously, in an endless cycle, until you're ready to rip your hair out by the roots. Just agree with whatever DH says, then change the subject. When the going gets too difficult, look into Memory Care Assisted Living or at least respite care on a regular, ongoing basis so you can have a break from the chaos.

Please remember there are TWO lives being devastated by dementia here, not just one. Everyone tends to only worry about the 'poor soul' with the dementia and how he's doing? What about YOU and the nightmare you're subjected to every day? Please take care of yourself and ask for help and support to care for your DH as needed.

Good luck witha difficult situation
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to lealonnie1

If he insists on saying these things, let him. There is no point to trying to explain or argue with him. That's just going to anger one or both of you and result in frustration. He isn't being difficult, he just doesn't remember he was told anything.

It is also common for those with dementia to deny there's anything wrong with them. For your husband, he just "has trouble remembering names." For my mother, she'd repeat statements and questions and if you said anything about forgetting, she'd get her dander up and say "Yes, I forgot things sometimes. But I'm old, so I'm entitled to forget sometimes!" Sure mom, but the problem is she was forgetting all the things she was forgetting! I NEVER used the "dementia" word around her, for several reasons: her definition of dementia was wrong (you're off your rocker, aka crazy) and because there was nothing wrong with her. She was fine. She was independent. She could cook. Nope. Nope. Nope!

Topics of discussion that should be avoided, if possible, are any that relate to these activities he is no longer safe doing, such as driving. For issues where safety is involved, you'll need to be proactive. Many suggest Uber or public transportation, but not all of us have those "luxuries!" I'm more rural than mom was. but she didn't have any transport in her area either.

For the car, taking the keys may not be sufficient (having license revoked is even less helpful - they won't remember, just like they don't recall the doc saying it isn't safe!) Assuming you need a car to get around, there are ways to disable it that can work well:

The Club
Having a kill switch installed.

The Club will require keeping its key protected from him.
The kill switch should be in a place he won't notice AND should only be deactivated when he isn't able to watch.

It is too easy to get into spats over these topics. It will take some time and effort, but just try to ignore him when he says these things. Or try to change the subject or redirect his focus onto something else, like a beverage or snack. It's best to just walk away if nothing else works.
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Reply to disgustedtoo

You are amazing dealing with your life but please take a step back and think about it. He can’t remember what the doctor said and he can’t comprehend that he can’t remember. I realize that doesn’t make it any easier to take the car keys from him.
‘In your jam packed life, try to find the time to visit a certified elder attorney to advise you on how to proceed when you have to find help to care for your husband and your daughter. It’s important that you understand what help is available and what is needed to insure the better outcome. This issue with the driving will pass. It’s a big one. I’m not trying to discount how hard it is for him and for you. do what you have to do. Sell the car, take Uber..park it at a friends. Whatever you need to do until this time passes Other things will happen that will also be hard. I don’t mean to imply that you don’t already realize this. Of course you do. I’m just reminding you that your dear husband not driving is small in the scheme of things and that a clear idea of just how you will manage your life going forward will help you deal with all the issues that will arise. They each are depending on you. You need professional help to guide you. Let us know how it goes. We care.
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Reply to 97yroldmom

I started recording my Mother’s Dr visits. Used my cell phone and no one was aware. It was also helpful for me to be able to go back and listen to when things were in question.
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Reply to Bamagirl88
JLyn69 May 11, 2021
I totally agree with the recording. Unless you can write down everything that is said, quickly, I know of no other option to keep it all straight. It helps you, and it works!
IMHO it is futile to argue in this sort of case (if lack of memory, lack of reason or lack of insight).

This will take tume to adjust to - to find new patterns of communication.

Ignore conversations that lack reason but work behind the scenes instead to arrange what you need to.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Beatty

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