This may seem a bit trivial, but it’s an issue in our house. I’ve bought a new Samsung tablet for my wife who has had a stroke. She knows nothing about IT, but has a problem with me setting it up for her as she fears I will ‘control’ it and she wants it to be completely ‘hers’ (as do I). I’ve tried to explain that she is unable to set the tablet up but still she hesitates. I want her to have the best experience possible, but not sure how to convince her I’ll do the setup with her interests in mind.
Anyone have similar problems and if so how did you handle them?
Your wife’s need for control of the tablet and independence with it is great.
I don’t know how much or how little you know about strokes, but my mum has had some TIAs and I get where your wife is coming from. For those of us caring, we want to help and it’s hard to have to stand back.
Let her try, encourage - if it fails you can reset it back to factory settings and try again.
Encourage, even if you have to go back to factory settings make light of it and suggest trying again from a reset.
Your wife knows how she wants it and might not be able to convey that hence wanting to set it up herself. As long as she knows you are there to help if needed and if you are needed keep checking with her if that’s how she wants things - like making a sandwich - what bread? butter or spread? what filling? salad? sauces? condiments? salt/pepper? cut in two diagonally or square? quarters or triangles?
This tablet and setting it up is precious to her, it is something she wants to have control of and to master and use. It is more than a tablet set up, it is getting the better of the stroke and sticking the fingers up at it in defiance. This is survival, recovery, rebellion and resilience happening here. It is amazing.
During my mothers recovery we celebrated all achievements and milestones no matter how small.
The problem is not so much the physical setup of the tablet. She is simply not capable to do so. The dilemma is the fact that she doesn’t want me involved–sad, because I’m perfectly capable of doing so to her specifications. She also doesn’t comprehend that if something goes wrong, I’m the only one available to rectify most common problems.
After 50 years of marriage, her suspicion of me and my motives is soul destroying. Nevertheless, I want her to enjoy the tablet and she can learn to do that (but unlikely to let me assist).
It’s probably everything to do with the stroke and nothing to do with you.
A stroke can cause personality changes, it is a brain injury and causes brain damage in various ways.
For my mother it increased her humour and switched off her over cautiousness.
It also took away her cognitive skills of the 3 R’s but fortunately she trusted me to do all things for her in admin work but was very insistent on independence whether she was capable or not for practical things.
It is hard to step back and see them struggle but sometimes it is better for them to realise/learn/find out their limitations and concede to assistance, accepting the fact. A stroke is immense, it has a lot for both of you to deal with and you wife has probably got a lot more going on inside her than she is letting on.
If you haven’t been in touch with one, look up the local stroke club as you will find it helpful for both of you and if you can’t get there or your wife doesn’t want to go, contact the leader for a chat and some advice.
I appreciate it is hard going for you, but bear in mind that certain things are probably the stroke and not your wife.
Has your wife had a Needs Assessment from Social Services?
Does she have any outside support or interests since the stroke?
Are you claiming Attendance Allowance for her, and considered claiming exemption from Council Tax on the grounds of “severe mental impairment”? I hate that term, but very often a stroke has severe after effects.
Have you had a Carers Assessment from Social Services?
This is supposed to include “help with your caring role” and it certainly sounds as if someone other than you to assist your wife would really help with the tablet?