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@dorisena

I also understand that controlling people who fight with their spouses for years, can suddenly become very nice people after the spouse dies, because they "won" any disagreements permanently, and winning at all costs is the name of the game, according to a psychiatrist who counseled me briefly. If you can recognize that winning is everything to some people, at any cost to the relationship, and it must happen often if they are to feed their obsessive nature, then you can address dementia early on by not trying to reason or resolve any issues, but to merely step away as the professional nurses do in facilities where the patient is being unreasonable. I learned this idea from them. Eliminate the emotion, the drama, the hope for reconciliation, and leave the room because there is work to do elsewhere. This trick works more often than not, and I wish more people could get the hang of it. But no, I cried through the six years of my mother's stay in the nursing home after her bleeding stroke in her brain. She could never understand or forgive me for not taking her home to care for her.
I could not lift her, manage her care, and keep her safe and secure. I had to give the job to the professionals. In the beginning, with MCI, strategies must be planned and carried out for reasonable care for the provider's well being as well as respect for the declining person. It is a family effort that must prevail.
You must begin to see yourself as a caregiver, not particularly a spouse, and you must have respite care yourself. It is no a fun life. It will end some day and you will want to know that you did the loving thing and did not contribute to making matters worse. Dorisena

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Replies to "I also understand that controlling people who fight with their spouses for years, can suddenly become..."

@dorisena – good tip on avoiding becoming engaged in an argument and learning to "step away" in those situations. Sounds like you've encountered more than your fair share of challenging caregiving situations. Thank you for sharing your experiences with others!

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