Hello my 66 year husband is getting to the stage where he doesn't remember how to do things he’s done his whole life, power washer, riding lawn mower, laundry, etc. it's not so much he doesn’t know how to do, it’s how to get things started, the process.

I'm learning but don’t know it all yet but he gets mad at me, takes it out on me, then pouts when I can’t get something I working or don’t know how to do something

Yes we can get friends to help but in the moment it is so hard. I don’t know what to say to him to calm him down, to understand cutting the grass right now isn’t imperative, we’ll figure it out.

I also realize part of his frustration is his own realizing he doesn’t know how to do, but I sure could some advice how to deal with these kinds of situations.

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Thank you all for the wonderful advice and I have discovered teepa snow. Her videos are a breathe of fresh air

thank you for listening
Helpful Answer (2)

Going through the same thing right now. I didn't really know how much it took to maintain everything. What a smart husband I married. People mean well when they tell you: "If you need any thing, let us know." Well that is a good thought but circumstances and life changes and sometimes there is no one to call but a professional. I'm looking at all the responses too.
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Monica: You would be wise to listen to BarbBrooklyn's stellar advice. And thank you, Barb!
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Seems your hubby is frustrated and needs an outlet for his frustration - not you. Do what you can do. Get help for the things you can't do. And help your hubby focus on whatever he can accomplish.

Some folks find making checklists helpful.
Some folks diversion to another activity helpful.
Some folks find that vitamin supplements help.
Some folks find that an anti-anxiety medication helps.

Try a little of all the suggestions until you find what works for you.
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My comment might not apply, but when my husband started forgetting the steps, for example to get out of the car, it turned out he was low on folic acid and vitamin B complex. His executive functioning returned within a few days of starting to take supplements.
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I'm so sorry for this painful transition you and your husband are experiencing. It sounds like your husband is losing executive function - the ability to do something that requires a series of steps. His frustration comes from not only the decline but his ability to recognize he cannot do something he has been doing all his life. Telling him everything is fine may actually make things worse as he realizes it's not going to be fine. A distraction, hopefully one requiring his help, may be your best bet. Moving something heavy, getting something down from a shelf, helping you change a light bulb; any single task where he can help you do something and feel useful to calm the situation, then moving on to sharing a cup of coffee, taking a walk, listening to some music, watching the news, reading the paper.

Usually at this stage he retains the ability to do each individual step but cannot put the steps together anymore. You will need to become the "manager" or enabler/encourager to assist him. Making lists can be a bridge to allow him to continue to function while he retains the ability to do individual steps. I used a word processor to make check lists so I could print a fresh one each day. Consider making a list with a check box of each step needed to mow the lawn (Check the lawn mower (oil, undercarriage, add gas, etc), walk the lawn and remove any obstructions (cans tossed from road, toys left out by grandkids, etc), start the mower and mow in a pattern, allow the mower to cool, place mower back in garage). Eventually you will need these lists for morning routines or taking a shower. As your husband's ability to do some tasks (like mowing the lawn), please consider what tasks your husband could still do with a list supporting him. Sweeping the porch? Take out the trash? Washing or peeling/dicing some vegetables? Dust a room? Run the vacuum? As my mother's short term memory declined, tasks you can see need doing and can see what you have done were very workable. Completing a morning list of simple chores allows your husband to continue to feel useful and may reduce his frustration level and your stress.
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jacobsonbob May 2020
This looks like an excellent approach!
When my husband became disabled and eventually bedridden, and I became responsible for everything but feeding him, I tried to understand that he wasn’t happy with himself and since it is just him and me in our home,I was guilty by association. I tried to live in the moment with him but when he became frustrated with himself and took it out on me, it was darned near impossible not to become hurt and angry and shout back. My noble wish to be the long-suffering wife went out the window.

in the years since my husband has become disabled, I’d become responsible for 100% of everything. I did yard work and even took it upon myself to sell his wonderful riding mower when I almost rolled it over on the hill in our yard. When things became too difficult for me, I hired a landscaper. The things you mention can be done by others. I’m getting lawn mowing for free now since I sent up a distress signal to a Facebook group in my city that helps out Senior Citizens.

One thing that helped my husband was Occupational Therapy. This therapy works on the mind, helping a person do day to day activities. You can also do puzzles with him and card games. It’s difficult to help someone understand that they need to accept that things are changing for them. When you see your husband becoming angry and frustrated, set the chore aside for a while. Plowing along until he’s angry and at his wits end can cause hard feelings for both of you. Sending hugs and understanding.
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I'm so sorry that you are having this problem with your husband. It must be very frustrating for you both!

There is an amazing Occupational Therapist named Teepa Snow who has videos that you can watch on YouTube. Very good advice about how to manage people with dementia. Give that a try and let us know if it helps!
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