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3 months in the care home

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by di65, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. di65

    di65 Registered User

    Feb 28, 2013
    772
    new zealand
    Hi all. I haven't posted on TP for a while. Adjusting to my new status has been hard. I was visiting Lex on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, but found that I was a wreck for most of the afternoon. I have now adjusted this to only Tuesday and Thursday mornings and am finding myself adjusting slowly. Unfortunately I have received criticism from his mother as a result of this decision. She tells me that she visited his Dad EVERY day when he was in care (also Alzheimers), and I should do the same.
    Fortunately I am only a two minute drive away from the care facility, and on the summer days to come maybe I will walk.
    I do find it hard to visit - Lex hardly ever has conversation and I have to have one way conversations. He is always asking how long we will be before we leave, but not how long before we go home. I think he believes we are at some hotel on holiday, as he mentions getting packed and on the road. He doesn't seem to know he has been there since May. The darling caregivers tease me about the terrible bladder problem I must have, as when I am ready to leave, I tell him I am just popping off to the toilet. Apparently he never asks where I have gone, because his memory is such now that even a couple of minutes is a struggle.
    I have been trying to re-establish my life, taking a fuller interest in activities I had let go. I hadn't realised how much I had not been doing.
    I am mainly fine during the day, but as I close the curtains and sit down after tea, the reality hits home. I am now on my own and he won't be coming home again.
    Who gave that alien permission to invade my darling husband's brain and body????
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,594
    Kent
    Hello Di

    I never knew my MiL and the open criticism from yours makes me glad. You can only do what is best for you and at least you are happy with the home and know Lex is being well cared for.
    It takes some adjustment and I hope visiting will become easier as the months go by.
     
  3. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    3,802
    Essex
    Such a sad and familiar post. :( There's no strict, carved in stone, rule about how often you should or shouldn't visit. What works for one, doesn't work for another. I used to read of other posters that sat for hours, holding the hand of their loved one - and at first, I felt so guilty.

    But I realised we can all only do what we can. Those evenings are so lonely, and I don't know what the answer is - or if there is one. This horrid, hateful alien, as you rightly describe AD, is an enemy you just can't fight.

    It's not much consolation, I know, but all your TP friends understand. xxx
     
  4. di65

    di65 Registered User

    Feb 28, 2013
    772
    new zealand
    I went today (although it's a Wednesday) because the activities co-ordinator had heard that I had done some wearable art. I posted about this in June. I took my entries for the past two shows and she paraded them to the residents. She even took them through to the Rest Home area and showed them as well. The residents had such a lot of smiles. I just wish I had more to show them. One dear old soul just took one look at the one made from rubber gloves and shouted - "what a bloody waste of good gloves - take it off!!!" I just love them all. One of the ladies gave me a big hug and a kiss and thanked me :).
    When I arrived they were all making hats for a "Spring Hat Parade" they are holding tomorrow with the whole complex. Very competitive thing apparently with all areas vying for the best hat:D. I wish I could be there to see them all, but I have my old bosses funeral. Okay - it was in the 70's, but we have kept in contact since.
     
  5. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,563
    Female
    South coast
    I remember the wearable art :D
    Im glad it produced lots of smiles
    OK, Im not asking why everyone was making spring hats :p

    You do what is best for you with the visiting di, and dont listen to what anyone else tells you about what they think you should be be doing
     
  6. di65

    di65 Registered User

    Feb 28, 2013
    772
    new zealand
    Hi Canary. It will be Spring here in September, hence making the hats. Not having a good day today. Was meant to be at a funeral for my old boss today but am at the hospital sitting with my DIL and family. Her stepfather hasn't got long - bless him.


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  7. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,976
    Suffolk
    Sorry for you Di, I found it incredibly difficult to visit OH. My ability to hold one sided conversations are very limited. And if I tried to update him with family/friends news, he didn't have the faintest idea who they were. His own speech went from not good to very poor, although the day he told me to get out was clear enough! I obliged, by the way.
    I also used to go in the mornings, mostly, and spent the afternoon sitting in a chair at home, feeling terrible, and hating dementia with a passion!
    I do sympathsize with you.
    (((((Hugs)))))
     
  8. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    10,222
    Merseyside
    Your MIL needs to be careful her halo doesn't slip & choke her.
    You do whatever is best for you. Each situation is different.
    Take care xx
     
  9. di65

    di65 Registered User

    Feb 28, 2013
    772
    new zealand
    I'm sorry , but I have often thought about that :D:D:D

    Never mind - you did bring a smile to my face on a rubbish day. DIL's dad still hanging on in there :(
     
  10. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    10,222
    Merseyside
    I'm glad I made you smile:)
     
  11. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,563
    Female
    South coast
    Ah, so it is .........
    I didnt look at your location


    Should have gone to specsavers........
     
  12. truth24

    truth24 Registered User

    Oct 13, 2013
    5,726
    North Somerset
    I assume your MIL visits every day??????!
     
  13. di65

    di65 Registered User

    Feb 28, 2013
    772
    new zealand
    Oh dear - this post is keeping me in fits! She has visited twice!!! Once on his birthday and the other one because I think she was embarrassed by a neighbour. On his birthday she was dolled up to the nines, wearing jewellery I have never seen before, faux fur collar on the jacket and heels. I haven't even seen her out of her slippers in years:eek:
    We think she was scared they would think she was one of the residents and not let her out:D:D
    I have offered (as have my two sister in laws) to take her over in a wheelchair (she has a walker) or arrange one of the staff to do so, but she insists that she will walk. Hilarious, she can't even make it to her letterbox! She lives in a townhouse in the same retirement village that the dementia unit is.
    Writing this down makes me realise what a Prima Donna she is, but actually that isn't a shock - she has been hard to come to terms with all my married life.
     
  14. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    13,520
    Ireland
    Oh di! Never mind your mother in law. My dau's grandmother (her birth father's mother) used to visit her husband not just every day, but TWICE every day in the nursing home. Every afternoon, for a couple of hours and then go back again in the evening. Fine, if she wanted to - but she didn't drive, and there wasn't a bus service, so someone had to bring her and collect her!
    I usually went to see William every other day, sometimes would pop in every day, but I only stayed about 20 minutes to half an hour. Longer than that, and we found he was more inclined to get agitated when it was time for me to leave. Later, when he had deteriorated more I would spend the afternoon watching TV while he took a nap.
    It's not necessary to keep up a conversation all the time. You wouldn't talk non stop if they were at home, would you? It's fine to sit in silence! Or read them bits out of the newspaper, or look through magazines together.
     
  15. di65

    di65 Registered User

    Feb 28, 2013
    772
    new zealand
    Thanks LadyA.

    I normally visit around morning tea-time, when most of the residents are in the lounge area. They are doing exercises when I arrive, and the activities co-ordinator gets me to join in. The newspaper gets read to them after morning tea, so Lex and I often chat about some of the articles in that. He gets anxious after about 3/4 hour, so I usually leave then. He can't figure out what he should do with his cup when he has finished his drink, and keeps shoving it at me whilst I am still trying to drink mine. I feel so helpless and sad to think that this formerly self assured and capable person is reduced to this:(

    I have had a very eventful 48 hours. My DIL's step-father passed away last night, and have been on child minding duties off and on for the past two days as things deteriorated. I don't mind a bit looking after them of course - they keep me sane. Then it is our oldest grand-daughter's 15th birthday tomorrow, so off to tea with them tomorrow night.

    Thank you all for your support - I am very grateful. I recommend this site to all the people I encounter with a family member suffering from this disease - you are all so very helpful. The care homes and legal bits are very different from here in New Zealand, but the disease is exactly the same wherever you live.
     
  16. Lois Mary

    Lois Mary Registered User

    Nov 24, 2014
    1
    My husband has parkinsons and dementia. He has been in a nursing home for 11 months and ut seems like yesterday. I had a pretty dreadful breakdown which set it going but his medical team decided he needed 24 hour care so he became a resident. I still find visiting difficult esp when he talks about coming home, and his paranoia about other residents is hard to hear. Its such a grim disease and i am not happy on my own. My eldest son reacted in a very angry way but is more resigned now. I have lost a lot of confidence in myself. Think i was keeping going on adrenaline and when i crashed it seemed like i had nothing left. I tried taking photo albums. Along to talk about the good times in the past --that worked ok for a while but then he got upset. Im glad to uread about other people who have the same issues. I try and go 3 times a week but even after all this time its agony.
     
  17. Tiller Girl

    Tiller Girl Registered User

    May 14, 2012
    91
    I would imagine visiting your OH's in a CH is very difficult. It's a difficult choice to put them there in the first place but then having to visit them knowing that they may never come home again must be heartbreaking.
     
  18. di65

    di65 Registered User

    Feb 28, 2013
    772
    new zealand
    I had a "sort of" win with my MIL in the last couple of days.:D She lives in a villa in the same retirement village that Lex is in, and I had phone call from the staff last night. Murphy's Law dictates that I had just drifted off to sleep (a relatively early 10.30pm) when the call came. Apparently she was in excruciating pain and they were going to call the ambulance, but she wanted to let ME know first:D:D:D:D I spent quite a few hours at A&E with her whilst they did bloods, ultrasound and poked and prodded her, until they decided to await the results and keep her in until the morning. I didn't ring her eldest son and his wife until this morning as they live an hour away, and could have done nothing at that hour. I also didn't ring the younger son and his wife as they were burying SIL's mum today and they had more to take care of. We told them after the service. We went to the hospital on the way to the funeral and she was away having her second lot of x-rays, so we didn't stay, but called in on our way home this afternoon. They couldn't find anything broken or cracked (first suspicion) and suspected a sciatic nerve or muscle strain. They released her only on the condition that someone stay with her for the night, and they had found a bed in the hospital wing at her retirement village. Guess who she wanted!!!! Older SIL said that I needed to go home to have a good night's rest, as I have another funeral (DIL's dad) tomorrow. She reluctantly agreed, so SIL traveled back to her home to pack a bag. The hospital arranged for a wheelchair taxi, loaned us a wheelchair and a warm blanket (she only had a nightie on) and sent us our way. I thought was a wonderfully kind thing to do, as all we had to do was hand the things back to the taxi driver, and ensured a warm trip back home:)
    Long may her warmth towards me last:)
     
  19. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    10,222
    Merseyside
    She's very lucky to have you Di.
     

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