Effects of care recipients’ behaviour – Val


Val thinks her husband was in denial. He never understood how much work it took to care for him.


It would be the caregiving. It would be more to do with how my husband, the patient, reacts. To deal with people in denial, how to deal with aggressive behaviour—they’re not mad at you they’re just mad—anger issues, sometimes you don’t always know what they are. When someone snaps at you, you just say, “Don’t snap at me!” But you think, “Okay, so you’re angry. What are you angry at?” And of course I know but, “Let’s talk about it.” Or how do you get someone to talk? And then sometimes when he doesn’t talk, is he depressed? I don’t know. I just didn’t know how to deal with all of those things. Sometimes they were all together, sometimes they were separate.

My husband was in denial. He felt he, he treated his disease like he had a sore toe—it was nothing. He often would say to me, “Why are you tired all the time?” And he just never understood the amount of work that he took, even in the early stages. I had to dress him. I had to put his coat on. I had to get him in the car. Whenever we went anywhere, we’d have to walk really, really slow. Once he insisted on walking through the whole airport because “he was just fine”. He could barely breathe, and he could barely walk, but he insisted that that’s what he wanted to do. He didn’t want a chair, he didn’t want one of those carts, and just for him to be in denial like that it, it made more, for one thing, travelling difficult that day. And he did things that he probably shouldn’t have done like driving. We also had motorcycles. He shouldn’t have been riding his motorcycle. He couldn’t even get on it himself. I don’t think his balance was what it used to be, but still we wanted him to have the pleasure of riding it, so he did. I think he was in denial. Well, I know he was in denial for many things.

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