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Vent: frustrations in the kitchen
Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2020 8:50 AM
Joined: 12/21/2018
Posts: 761

Like many caregivers, most of the household chores are mine now.

Homemaking is not my talent. Cooking is especially difficult for me, but I am finding my way thanks to the slow cooker. I also buy several simple meals from the store that just need to be heated in the oven. DH doesn't use the oven anymore which is best for everyone.

Whats making me crazy today is DH tries to "clean the kitchen". He runs the dishwasher several times a day. He feels accomplished by engaging in activity. He is happy to be contributing to the upkeep of the house. 

However, the cups and plates in the cabinets are dirty. The handles on the cupboards and appliances are sticky.The floor is sticky. I end up redoing everything he's done when I am still tired from working my day job. Argh.

My problems are small. My frustration is temporary. I will use this opportunity to be grateful.

  • I am grateful DH is engaged in an activity.
  • I am grateful he feels accomplished.
  • I am grateful that he has such a good heart and wants to help me.
  • I am grateful he is still mobile.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2020 9:32 AM
Joined: 12/27/2017
Posts: 353

Glad that you are grateful.  DH used to put dirty dishes back in the cupboard--he was very quick to do this!  I always needed to check to see if it was clean before I used any dish.  Sadly, DH can no longer walk or talk...but I still find myself checking each dish
Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2020 9:34 AM
Joined: 5/12/2019
Posts: 31

Lady Texan,

I get it,  this disease is a challenge!  I understand being torn between wanting to help our loved ones feel empowered to make a difference, while at the same time knowing we could do a better job.  How I wish my dear one would let me get someone in to help.  Housekeeping is not my forte either and I have been the worker.  I appreciate  your abilities to count your blessings.  Best of luck.

Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2020 9:56 AM
Joined: 2/5/2020
Posts: 14

Giving up her cooking and cleaning responsibilities was really tough for my DW even now she wants to pitch in by wiping down counter tops but it just spreads the mess out further. Yesterday she was crying because she could not remember how to use a spoon to eat soup time marches on and this disease steals more of her. Its a sad journey as a caretaker but I would not trade a second of it away, after 40 years I still see the sparkle in her eye when she gets a face time from the grand kids or a well timed smart a** comment from time to time. Chin up and god bless to us all with patience.
Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2020 10:17 AM
Joined: 9/5/2017
Posts: 747

The only thing my husband can do in the kitchen is eat, and that's always a mess for me to clean.
Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2020 12:14 PM
Joined: 2/2/2014
Posts: 6145

I know how you feel but in my case the kitchen was a breeze.  I always did the cooking and laundry, I'm not sure DW knew how the appliances worked.  But when she declined I had to take over the household computer network and that was a real bear.  I set up her computer to run and auto connect just with a single letter.  I backed up all of her files offline.  That way she could not destroy anything. I disabled all purchasing on that machine by storing fake credit card information.  I bought her her own new laptop and put  6000 of her pictures on it and almost nothing else. She would spend hours looking at the pictures.

Then the day came she could not input the single letter.  This from a lady who wrote her first Fortran program at thr age of 16 in 1968.  Very sad.


Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2020 2:26 PM
Joined: 4/2/2018
Posts: 3822

Cooking has been a problem for me too. I never had to do it. If you haven't seen this thread for easy meals, check it out. I've successfully made a few of these.
Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2020 9:52 PM
Joined: 4/23/2019
Posts: 416

I went through this with DH awhile back.  If there wasn't enough in the dishwasher to run it, I would find those dishes in the cupboards in the morning, because DH always unloaded the dishwasher....clean or dirty didn't make a difference.  Now he doesn't do anything in the kitchen.  But, he did start turning on the stove burners during the middle of the night.  We turn the stove off at the breaker in the garage at night.  Honestly, being grateful is the only way to get through this.  Although, some days, it sure is hard to be grateful, lol.
Posted: Monday, February 24, 2020 1:55 AM
Joined: 7/24/2015
Posts: 613

My Peewee can still do most things in the kitchen. He washes the dishes by hand and even then I have to check them before I use them. He puts everything in the cupboards. He moves everything around in the kitchens to the point I have to hunt for everything I need when I cook. For now my kitchen looks spotless.
Katy sue
Posted: Monday, February 24, 2020 8:31 AM
Joined: 9/24/2016
Posts: 464

Lady Texan, my DH did the same thing in the kitchen at this stage also. It is so important to them because they feel useful and look forward to the praise that they did a good job, much like a child would. He would wash every dish and fork he could find laying out.  Almost obsessive. After meals I would jump in and start to wash them and ask if he would dry them, so that helped because they were clean. Problem is, while we were all eating a meal, he would want to get up and look for dirty dishes to do. Sometimes I was glad he obsessed about the dishes because he wasn’t obsessing about other more dangerous things. One thing I tried was to substitute folding clothes or towels in the laundry basket. Being busy with his hands is what he needed to do. Also coin sorting or stacking dominos. But the dishes always remained his favorite. I always praised him. I always cleaned them again after he went to bed. 

It will be replaced by other behaviors in the future. It is difficult to live with, though, as you are already tired and overworked. I remember my son got more upset than I did when he would find a dirty bowl in the cupboard. I told him to just wash it and not point it out to his dad. In the end, a few dirty dishes never killed us. But the disease did kill him.

Posted: Monday, February 24, 2020 8:46 AM
Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 2633

We are here for you frustrations / vent. We all have them, its called caregiving. Anyway, what I've not seen mentioned is the garbage disposal. Most of them have an electrical cord and plug under the sink. Even though its a pain, unplugging the disposal is a very good idea. Then as another distraction (since the disposal isn't working) place the cord on one of those peal and stick hooks. That way if per chance your LO looks under the sink they won't see a plug laying there. Is it a pain to do - yes of course it is, but LO's safety is first.


Posted: Monday, February 24, 2020 5:12 PM
Joined: 12/1/2019
Posts: 121

My DH was a great cook and I think he really misses being in the kitchen.  He asks me if he can help all the time and I made a lot of mistakes early on by giving him things I thought were simple, but he would fail and feel bad.  I did have one major success though - after the dishwasher is finished, I pull out the silverware basket and sit it on the counter by the open silverware drawer and he puts away all the silverware and I thank him profusely.  He feels very accomplished.  I don't mind that nothing is were it goes and I have to dig for the right tool.
Posted: Monday, February 24, 2020 8:29 PM
Joined: 6/12/2016
Posts: 1375

LLady Texan, you are an inspiration to me because of the way you always try to look on the good side of things and you are mindful of your blessings. I try really hard to stay mindful but sometimes I slip. Thank you.

PS. A housekeeping hint to share. I recently discovered using airasol glass cleaner with foaming action. I have started using it to clean my stove top, appliances, kitchen sink, toilet, shower doors, lavatory, anything glass. Everything is sparkle clean with no streaks. I use flour sak dish towels to clean. It cost less than 3.50 a can. Give it a try.

Posted: Monday, February 24, 2020 8:32 PM
Joined: 6/12/2016
Posts: 1375

I also use it on all my counter tops! That's what makes me crazy, dirty greasy grimy counter tops. Now they are shiny clean.
Joe C.
Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 5:30 PM
Joined: 10/13/2019
Posts: 507

Lady Texan, I have been trough the dishwasher and dirty dishes in the cupboard episodes. The one that really drove me crazy is when DW start putting regular dish liquid in the dishwasher, the kitchen would get a bubble bath.

DW was a great cook, my saving grace was I watched her cook for 35 years so I had some idea what to do when I had to step in. Tonight I made Baked Mac & Cheese. I had her stir the cheese sauce once I had it together so she felt she was contributing to the preparation.

Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 8:44 PM
Joined: 12/21/2018
Posts: 761

Thank you for all the great ideas! And thank you for holding my hand as I trudge this path.

Some days it is so overwhelming that I am about a half a minute away from a panic attack. 

I made it through another day, thanks to y'all.

Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 9:03 PM
Joined: 7/12/2017
Posts: 1774

My DH and son in law, no dementia, out away dirty dishes aint just a demetia thing, its a dude thing
Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 11:59 PM
Joined: 6/3/2016
Posts: 90

What is the brand name of the aerosol cleaner? It sounds like something I could definitely use!
Posted: Friday, February 28, 2020 6:49 PM
Joined: 6/12/2016
Posts: 1375

Espy, the brand I use is Sprayway Glass Cleaner with foaming action. I buy it from the local dollar stores, Family Dollar and Dollar General.
Posted: Friday, February 28, 2020 8:52 PM
Joined: 12/21/2018
Posts: 761

Greetings abc123 - Thanks for the Spray-Away foaming glass cleaner tip. The stuff is great!

On a separate note, I made dinner tonight and DH liked it! It was bowtie pasta plus bottled spaghetti sauce plus Italian sausage. And here's the bonus - we have a couple days of left overs.

Its a win!