Rushing People with Cognitive Decline Simply Increases Anxiety
Dear Carol: Last year, my husband was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Our current challenge is that he still wants to be Mr. Fixit around the house. Unfortunately, his recall is challenged enough that a project that would have taken him ten minutes before will now take an hour. He often forgets tools that he needs or skips steps in a once-automatic process. Since I’ve watched him for years, I’ve learned how to do minor things around the house. He used to be proud of that, but now when I try to help him move along with a project, it makes him anxious and even angry. I’m just doing it because I hate to see him struggle, but obviously, that’s not the right approach. Thoughts? – GS
Dear GS: Your heart is in the right place, and I know that making this kind of adjustment is tough. Still, stepping back and letting him do what he can, even if it’s more slowly than before, is a necessary part of preserving your husband’s sense of self. Put yourself in his place. Someone hovering…
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