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  1. #1
    New User
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    6

    Struggling with partner going into care

    My partner with early onset d went into a dementia home a week ago. I was warned it would be difficult but it has been extremely stressful and upsetting for me. I go to visit and he's standing on his own staring at the floor. The staff work long shifts so do 3 days on and there seems to be different staff on each time I go. They don't seem to understand my partner has real problems with his visual perception. I have to speak with each new member to show them how to care and communicate. I seem to be constantly on edge looking for all the things I don't think they are doing the right way. Any suggestions to help me accept the situation would be appreciated. I feel worse than when I was caring for him at home on my own although I've been told for over 6 months that the care I was giving was unsustainable and I would end up in hospital. I feel so distraught.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    8,875
    It's a huge wrench when our "other halves" have to go into full time care. Or when anyone we have been caring for have to be given over to be cared for by others - that's a huge trust issue. Of course we feel that we know the person better and therefore know how to care for them better. But we didn't learn how to care for them overnight. It will take time for the staff at the home to get to know your partner, and time for him to get to know his new home. Meanwhile, it's very stressful. The settling in period is awful. And yes, of course there would be different staff on when you go to visit. That's because none of them are doing what we were doing at home - doing 24 hour/7 day shifts! As time goes on, you will start to see familiar faces. And as your partner starts to become familiar with his new home, hopefully things will get better.

    It took my late husband probably 6-8 weeks to fully settle in his nursing home. The first four or five weeks, he would cry every time I visited and want to come home with me. But I could clearly see he was better cared for by then than I could do by myself at home. He was cleaner, his pads were being changed reglarly (he wouldn't allow me do personal care, which was one of the issues), and he was gaining weight - he wouldn't eat at home either. TBH, my husband, once he settled in, thrived in his nursing home. He felt more secure there -even with his late stage dementia, he knew I was struggling on my own, he wasn't even sure who I was, and he felt much safer with the uniformed, male carers to take care of him. One thing you could do is write up a "This is me" introduction to your partner, which could be left for the staff to read? A way for them to get to know him - like a Life Story book. Telling the staff about him, his history - what he used to do for a living, his hobbies, interests, about his family, pets, food likes/dislikes. That sort of thing.

    It's still the early days, and you need to grieve this "loss". So be kind to yourself. And don't be afraid to take a bit of time off, and give yourself a break.

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