I stated previous my husband has demetia and sometime dont recognize me we have been married 47years ,He relate me to his sister who has passed on or another relative.I hve some what adjusted because i dont want to upset him.He thinks I leave him during the night or has gone to another house that says look like our present bedroom. How can I be present in his space? 




0 Kudos
AARP Expert

@m150349s So sorry to hear about your challenges. My grandmother had Alzheimer's disease (she used to think I was stealing her things) and my Dad has it now and he lives with me. Interestingly, he hasn't had many of those type symptoms, but many other difficult ones. 


I think you are doing the right thing - trying to join him in his space. He just isn't able to reason through all of these things due to the damage happening in his brain. At some point in the progress of the disease, it becomes counter-productive to try to correct him or convince him that he's wrong, or negotiate. It becomes more effective to use strategies like:

  • Validation - if he calls you his sister's name, respond by saying something like "I love you!" or "It's good to be with you!"), 
  • Distraction - if he becomes anxious, upset, fixated on something, unwilling to cooperate, scared etc., try to distract him with something else - a hug, a song (that works with my Dad every time - I just start singing and he joins in), doing something he enjoys, pointing out something else in the room etc.
  • Replacing - If he becomes stuck in a routine or pattern or is grasping something (my Dad does this a lot - like grasping our hands tightly because it makes him feel secure and in control when he is scared, I will bring his hand to the grab bar and replace my hand with the grab bar, or give him a kleenex to hold etc.). Replacing can help too in terms of activity - If he is pacing the floors walking around, get him involved in another activity rather than trying to just convince him to stop walking. If he wants to go somewhere, direct him to somewhere you want him to go. 

Hope this helps! You can contact your local Alzheimer's Association chapter to find out about support group meetings in your area for caregivers of those who have Alzheimers and they have lots of great tips too. Also contact your local area agency on aging to find out about respite care so you can get a break when you need one. 


Here are a couple of my articles that I wrote for AARP that might help you as you care for your husband too! 



Sending you a big hug from your fellow Alzheimer's caregiver - please take care of yourself too! 


Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

ABAAARP_JuggLfWkCaregvg_cover web 2.png



0 Kudos
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Need to Know

NEW: AARP Games Tournament Tuesdays! Achieve a top score in Right Again! Trivia and you could win up to $300 in prizes! Learn More.

AARP Games Tournament Tuesdays

More From AARP