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I have arranged for an excellent maintenance guy to visit us next week.  He'll do a lot of strimming of overgrown stuff, (hedges, shrubs etc); close the pool;  put up shelves;  repair a wall; change electric plugs... you name it, he can do it.

This isn't the first time we've used this excellent person.   I told OH (early Alzy) that this 'help' would be turning up this week.
I got this in response -

'Why ?  Why have you asked him to call.  I can do everything.  I can do it all.   We don't need him.   Wish you'd asked me.  I can do everything that needs doing......'  

This, from the man who has damaged the light fittings; who swears all the time he has to open/close the pool (because he doesn't understand which hoses go where so I have to 'advise' him - which he hates, and doesn't listen anyway);  the person who has destroyed the cable wall socket and the surge protector to our satellite box/tv. among many other things.

When I say, tactfully and gently, than our maintenance man has got the professional gizmos, and the strength, to get on and sort everything out.....

I get the rant.......along the lines of 'I can do it all, why don't you ask...'   Except when I do ask, I get the Huge Sigh....the 'I'm busy'...and then I have to watch what he does because he gets things wrong.  He's no longer competent at DIY and I worry (especially when he fiddles with the light sockets when the power is still on, and he's balancing precariously on a footstool to reach the light fitting).

Why don't men like accepting help ?   Or is it just my OH ?  

Or is the miserable state of the world just getting to me ? !!

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I don't have that problem with this man here, Chessie.

Whenever a little job needs doing, that's been getting worse and worse for ages without him taking any notice until eventually I can't bear it any longer, and I say "Have you got a screwdriver dear?" you can see him starting to get all stressed, until I make it crystal clear that I am asking him to give me a screwdriver so I can tighten up the hinge on the kitchen cupboard before the door falls right off, rather than asking him to equip himself with a screwdriver in order to perform some technical manly feat.

But if you need to know anything about Ancient Greece, he's your man.

I guess you just have to take them as they are!

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I am very grateful that the fella I live with would just as soon have someone else do most things.  Of course he is fine with the basic maintenance things; hanging curtain rods, framed art, light fixtures (just the fixtures not the electrical work), yard work, putting together furniture and that sort of thing.

However, anything involving electricity, maconerie or plumbing goes directly to the licensed professional.  We've seen too many of our friends mess things up royally. 

Now, finding a really good expert - well if you have, don't let him/her go anywhere.

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My OH is reasonably competent with most small DIY jobs but it is wonderful, just once in a while , to employ someone for the day to get all those outstanding jobs done in a fraction of the time and, more importantly, he doesn’t argue and he just does whatever I ask !!!!

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You've all cheered me up - thanks.
ET - if I approached my OH with a screwdriver he'd probably think I was going to use it on him as in attack him !
Lori - you are lucky if your OH is competent in the minor DIY skills - and that he's sensible about calling in the experts when needed.
Manon - you have the right idea - that's what I've been trying to do.

But the problem is my OH's bad temper.  French electrics are different to UK; OH could always 'sort out' UK stuff - but out here .....oh boy.   He's always struggled; but sadly the early Alzy is making it more difficult for him.  He tries - but in the process because he no longer really understands what he's doing - he damages things; a trail of destruction - honestly, I am not telling fibs.

So I have been doing what Manon does - call in a super maintenance guy.
But the problem is the bad temper I get from OH about the whole business.   Along the lines of 'Why....not necessary...I can do everything' moan, grizzle, rant.....
It's the bad temper over everything - he can no longer do the little DIY; he gets furious with me when I am not happy because he's broken something - and then I have to cope with his bad temper about calling in someone to do all the 'catch up' jobs.

I was just feeling so very stressed; and wondered how others coped, if they had similar problems with reactions of OH when 'another man (!) is called in !!!!!!

I've also just discovered that he's tipped the contents of the kitchen bin - into the bag I had which contained the plastic and tins for re-cycling.......!!
Is it any wonder I say I could just cry...........

Chessie (now on the hunt for the Gin bottle)
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I feel for you Chessie.

It sounds like in actual fact you are both getting angry about the same thing - the Alzy. But it's hard to direct anger at something you can't see, so it is getting directed at each other.

Sorry, I know armchair psychology doesn't help. But that is how it appears to an outsider.

On a more practical note, have you tried Gordon's Lemon Gin? Proper lovely. Bizarrely, on the amazon.fr website it is called Sicillian Lemon Distilled Whisky so it's not easy to find if you don't know where to look!
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I have enormous sympathy for your predicament, Chessie. You can't let maintenance things slide but if I'm correctly translating Alzy as dementia (of whatever type) you'll be looking for a whole new set of coping / managing ideas over time.

My father stopped driving when he and my mother accepted that he was having problems with remembering even short, well-driven (over years) local routes and eventually he gave up his car and licence. Ma had a very good neighbour who'd drive her into the supermarket each week but Pop got more and more irritable about it even declaring he would drive her in... despite having sold the car.

It reached the point where Ma would only tell him on the morning of a supermarket run - ie, a few hours in advance - so that he had less time to fret. She developed a lot of these little ways that prevented Pop getting too distressed and prevented her getting too much of an earful. IIrc, she would tell him firmly on the morning of the trip that she was going shopping later and when he objected, she said firmly that she could not possibly cancel Tom (neighbour) as it would mess Tom about and it would be wrong to do that... which Pop would accept. Perhaps a plan like this would help your OH accept the situation, Chessie.

It's extremely sad for the person undergoing the changes but it is as bad - possibly worse - for the person who has to watch the changes and manage them. Imo.

ps: I have an exceptionally competent OH who can successfully deal with most things. Of course, motivating him to do so is a whole different campaign. [:D]

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My mum was never the world's most patient person but she was very transparent and forgiving. If she wasn't pleased about something she would tell you so in no uncertain terms, and as soon as she'd said her bit it was forgiven and forgotten. She sadly developed Alzheimers and in the early days my brother was her carer and she stayed at his house. One day I went round to see them and Our Kid had obviously done something to upset her and she was hurling the contents of the fruit bowl at him - apples, oranges, bananas and the lot flying across the kitchen when I opened the door.

Things like that you have to try to see a funny side of, but it was a very long time before I could get Our Kid to laugh about that. Laughing about it doesn't make it any less sad of course but it's a kind of way of coping. I think it turned out on that occasion that he was being pelted with fruit because she'd decided she didn't like what he'd prepared for lunch. You have to laugh or you would cry.
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ET & Catalpa - thank you both for making me smile - just what I needed.
As for the Lemon Gin - ooooh yum - and I have looked that one up on Amazon; why on earth is it described as 'whisky' - how weird.
But that was a lovely, practical, idea - I shall try it.  

Yes, I wish I could laugh at things.  I have managed to in the past - but that's becoming difficult.
It's the terrible temper that I have difficulty with;  the fact he can 'kick off' so quickly - and then he's become more and more threatening as well .  At that point I have tried laughing at him and walking away - which makes him madder still !!!   Just can't win.
Maybe I should indeed have a large, filled fruit-bowl;  I have smashed a cup before now just to get his attention when he's in full scale rant - maybe I should get some second-hand china from charity shop to use instead of our good china.

Just wondered if there was some kind of trigger for some men about having another man around who can sort out problems which OH can no longer do.  Whether there was some sort of machismo thing going on, which would be intensified because of OH's early stage Alzy.

Think I maybe just needed to reach out for kind words......

Don't think there's a section on the new 'permit' that covers 'just need to get out of the house and away from partner, running away or escaping from the country' is there ? !!!!

Thanks - new Gin bottle ordered -

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I think everyone finds it hard to accept that there are fewer and fewer things they are still capable of doing.

In a lucid moment my mum once said with real despair, "I feel so useless, I'm no good to anyone, I can't do anything, what's the point of going on living.".

We tried to convince her it didn't matter, we understood and we still loved her, but we couldn't stop her from getting distressed and frustrated with herself.

The trigger for your man may be the same, he hates not being the man he used to be and he doesn't want to admit it, and seeing someone else doing the things desperately wants to be still be able to do is hard for him to bear. Nobody wants to feel they belong on the scrap heap.

I hope you enjoy the gin !

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[quote user="chessie"]

Don't think there's a section on the new 'permit' that covers 'just need to get out of the house and away from partner, running away or escaping from the country' is there ? !!!!

That's when you use the walk for an hour within 1km of your house option.  Get some air and hopefully some sunshine.  Does wonders for clearing the mind.

I feel for you Chessie.  I think some forms of dementia (or even just natural aging) can exacerbate even the smallest of negative traits into huge ones.  I think part of it is sheer frustration and anger on the part of the person suffering from the dementia.

Hang in there.  I'm going to look up that lemon 'stuff.' 

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It's good that you are letting loose on us, we did say we are all happy to be your battering ram if need be.  I think you are being very brave .. I don't have the same levelof difficulty here, yet, but the signs are there ... as for DIY - who was it said, it's geting them motivayed that is the problem as sadly, as they get older, the declining skills (and I'm as bad, needlework and me with arthtitis in fingers and less brilliant eyes is no longer hte pleasure that it was, but just a chore).

Keep smiling, ans as Lori says, take that time out ..

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