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Topic Destructive Behavior Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By mrsmop On 2010.11.17 00:11
I have continued to stay with my spouse (PWP) because there is really no one else to help him. He certainly is not the man I married. I have posted in the past about messiness and disorganization. What is becoming more and more upsetting to me is the fact that he has destroyed, ruined or lost several of my possessions. New, expensive furniture is marred and stained, silverware that I have had for 45 years has gone missing, numerous other items can not be found (?thrown in garbage...who knows), wires and electric cords are left for me to trip on. Some of my important papers get lost because he mixes them up with other things. I am finding it more and more difficult to share the same living space with him. He is not as physically disabled as some others I read about but he can not comprehend how his behaviors upset me, and is obviously incapable of change. The caregivers who remain do deserve a medal of honor. Do we ever reach our limit and say "no more"? People say you have to look out for your own health, but I don't know how to do this and remain in this environment. Yes, I do get out for a few hours most days, as he has a companion/attendant, but then I have to return home to more of the same. What to do next?


By karolinakitty On 2010.11.17 00:49
I am so sorry you have to go through this. I don't know if you have considered this, but, i worked in several assisted living homes and most have a seperate area for folks like your husband.
That is to say, physically able but mentally not all there and not just Alz. Patients. They are usually closed areas so patients can't "escape". I believe they need to be deemed incompetent. Check with your local seniors center or social service off.
I know your heart is torn but sometimes we have to decide what is best for all.

By Emma On 2010.11.17 05:18
I too am sorry that you are going through this. Only you know what your limits are, if it's too much for you it's too much. I've had days when I've wondered the same thing ... how much longer can I do this? His doctor and I have talked to him about going to an adult daycare for a couple of days a week in addition to having someone come in. That would give me an opportunity to have the house to myself to organize and reboot. The whole house and possession thing is funny (not funny haha). It does become important for some reason. I get up very early every morning, usually around 3:00, and quite often I go around fixing the house up; taking all of his papers and putting them away, getting canes, etc out of the way, taking the plastic tablecloth off the table and the blankets off the furniture just so I can look it for a while. Crazy? Probably but it makes me feel better.

As kk said, sometimes you have to decide what is best for all.

By Pearly4 On 2010.11.17 06:00
We all need some personal space -- even without the caregiving duties on top of everything. My husband (who is not a PWP) firmly believes what is his is his, and what is mine is his too. We've finally worked things out but basically I had to set limits and get a good strong lock! Add Parkinsons to the mix and you may have to go directly to the good strong lock! Is it possible for you to set aside one room in the house, maybe even a closet, where you can install a good lock and place your things in there? With that one place of order and possession maybe you can tolerate the chaos elsewhere more easily. I fully understand your 3 a.m. orderliness -- I used to occasionally hide all the medical equipment, all the timers, the medication, the other objects of my mother and regain possession of my house for just an hour or so some days.

By Reflection On 2010.11.17 06:58
I'm sorry this is frustrating. Pearly4, Emma and karolinakitty have given good suggestions. A couple of additional thoughts:
- do consider medications (and possible alcohol use?) When my husband was on requip, he had more of the behaviors you are mentioning than he does now, even thought his PD is several years more advanced now. Silver disappeared, his "office" looked like something out of the TV show "Hoarders", an antique table was shattered. At the time, I thought this was his PD, and I was stuck with it - now, I know a lot of it was the requip. I hate that drug. It made years of our lives way harder than they needed to be.
- Ways to deal: I "childproofed" as much as possible (I really like Pearly4's lock idea!)
- He uses the wooden dining room chair, vs. the fabric-covered ones -fortunately, he prefers the wooden ones.
- inexpensive slip-covers you can get on-line or in stores can cover stains, protect upholstery
- I discovered that one can search for silver on e-bay - you put in a search for the pattern, and ebay will e-mail you when items come up. I was able to replace forks of my discontinued pattern that had gone missing, probably in the trash, during the requip nightmare years that way. This otherwise would have been very frustrating - I love my silver pattern!
- I found I could deal with it if we have "zones" - some where his chaos reigned, some where my order did. Locks could help here, too. I don't know how your space is laid out - this may or may not be practical - but it sure helped my mental health.
- I've found folks with PD break stuff. So, he's left the refrigerator open many times, broke the oven and dishwasher, toilet - I think by pushing the electronic buttons too hard, shutting the door too hard, not sure - but as fine motor skills get harder, somehow, stuff gets broken. I replaced the units with Sear's least expensive models, on the theory that they might get broken again, and it would be less painful. Compared with assisted living, it's economical.
- Part of what you need is psychic, as well as physical personal space. Consider whether you can have outdoor space that is "yours" -depending on where you live. It's getting cold here.
Good luck.

By susger8 On 2010.11.17 08:01
My dad has been very hard on his home and belongings. I feel so sad when I see the furniture that my mother cherished get stained and broken...but it's not my stuff, I just have to deal with it.

Dad went through a stage of looking through his papers for something (not sure what). He ripped up some things that we needed, and sometimes he would put the files back in the wrong places. I ended up locking the file cabinet and the desk and putting the key where he can't reach it.

I know he can't help it. It's not his fault.


By mylove On 2010.11.17 09:14
My first thought last night on seeing your post is what everyone has done a much better job of detailing. I call it "compartmentalizing". It makes it easier to be sane if you don't have to have chaos in EVERY area you go. Keep 'zones' for yourself, and swap out your treasured items for more ordinary items that you don't mind replacing in the other areas. We 'babyproof' and 'petproof' rooms. This is just another related concept.

I would, however, do it quietly. I don't know how on the ball your husband is but it may make him feel bad if you have to explain the why of what you're doing. I agree that it's hard to tell what's the condition and what's the meds, but at any rate, it isn't what they would do if they had the choice, most of the time. It's to his benefit too- you're giving him a 'safe zone' where he doesn't have to worry that he's going to accidentally drop and break something treasured that will upset and dismay the both of you.

Hang in there, and I hope you can find something that makes this situation easier to bear. Hugs!

By lurkingforacure On 2010.11.17 20:40
I really get this. I dont' know why, but it is very stressful to me to come into a chaotic room. With kids and pets and PD, it is really hard to have "calm" in our house with the "everything in its place" mantra. I try, but am realizing that as soon as I get the kids trained to mostly keeping up with all their stuff, my husband is going the opposite direction. It's crazy.

My last attempt at spatial sanity was to mentally declare my car "my space". I thought that of all the space we have, I could at least have my car clean, without crap and stuff everywhere. Wrong. I get in, and the kids have left books, shoes, cups, all kinds of stuff in there and it's just an extension of the chaos in my home. Back to square one.

I guess my point in posting is this seems to be universal, with or without PD. A non-PD friend told me that if she walks into her house and there's clutter on the counters, it makes her very upset , she doesn't even want to come in (I get that, too!)....but if the counters are clean and clear, she is very happy to come in and it's relaxing to her. Sort of like a clean house allows clear thinking whereas a cluttered unorganized one just makes me miserable and I don't know where to start to get organized.

I also think the busier we are, the more critical this becomes because we can't FIND anything if the house is a mess! Then that is stressful because it's time for some activity and the dance shoes can't be found, the library book is missing, etc. etc. etc. I dread when things are worse and honestly don't know what we will do.

By parkinit On 2010.11.22 17:17
I can sooo relate to this posting. We just remodeled not too long ago and I cover my ears as I hear the powerchair going down the wall raking the paint and scarring the trim work as he goes along. There are also several holes in the wall. I've allowed his office to be in our bedroom for ease of mobility for him.

I've come to the conclusion that I will have to live like this for awhile because he really can't control it. Sometimes I calmly tell him (okay and maybe not so calmly at times, too): "Put the powerchair in reverse." He stops and pauses for several seconds and it appears it takes this long to register what I have said and for him to take action upon it. He really has difficulty driving his powerchair at times. BUT, without it, he would have such great difficult getting around. I am thankful that he has this mobility otherwise I fear that he would be constantly asking me to help him move from one location to another and leaning upon me. I couldn't take that very long - not only emotionally, but physcially. It is amazingly scary as this man continues to tell me he should be driving a car. Thank goodness he no longer has his license!

I will paint and cover up the gouges another time. For now, I get stains out occasionally to cover up the scarring and live with the rest - including the losing papers and constantly losing one thing or another.

By daisy On 2010.11.22 17:36
Boy, can I relate to all of this. During the last few months, my house has become a pig sty! My lol has moved all his paperwork, files, stationery into the kitchen, despite having a perfectly good office space and it is all sitting on the floor. He seems unable to do anything with it, except move it from corner to corner and with that and the kids things everywhere, I sometimes feel like I'm drowning in clutter.Every room I go into seems to have "stuff" in it that cannot be moved for some reason. I know it's a little gripe, but I have always kept liked to keep our living space neat and uncluttered.Now I just close my eyes and try and clean around the mess.

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