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Dear Miriam,

My husband has dementia and it is getting worse, but he doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with him. Every time I raise the idea of bringing in care, he gets very defensive, saying that he doesn’t need a babysitter. I can’t leave him alone, though, and I really need a break. I’m looking at in-home care, but what can I do so that he doesn’t reject every person I bring in?


Hi Victoria,

Your challenge is very common. Many people with dementia think they’re fine, and from their perspective, they are. Arguing or trying to reason with them won’t work. Instead try approaching things from their reality.

Try going along with him when he says he doesn’t need a babysitter. Tell him that you’re interviewing caregivers because you’re the one that needs help. A trained person should be able to engage him without making him feel like he’s being babysat. And when you’re interviewing caregivers, talk about his reluctance. Ask them how they would engage him.

Glad to see you’re taking these steps to prioritize your own self-care.