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Care Home Visiting

Morganlefay

Registered User
May 20, 2014
82
0
Buckinghamshire
I'm sorry if this has already been discussed, I couldn't see that it had exactly. My OH was diagnosed with AD 8 years ago and has been just a bit odd, forgetful, a bit strange. He would not talk about it so we told only our children (two adult daughters) and two or three close friends. At New year he VERY suddenly became ill, agitated, delirious ,restless, very bad dreams, getting up six or seven times a night. We got 'waking nights' help for four nights a week since my daughters and I had been taking it in turns and were all completely exhausted. He wanted to be with me all the time so I couldn't do anything at all without him following me (he has inoperable damage to his knee and isn't safe walking for fear of falls) .In the daytimes he got dramatically worse, such that on New Year's day we called 111 and two WONDERFUL female paramedics took him to hospital, thinking he'd had a stroke. He was returned to us with the hospital saying it wasn't a stroke but 'only' the AD. Our GP refused to visit : I had asked her to come because his deterioration was so very severe I wanted to know if there could be any other cause. She only did come after I wrote to our lovely MP, now, sadly dead. We then got a live-in carer, continued with the 'waking nights' help and people coming in daily to get him up, He hated them all and mostly wouldn't let them near him. And he sometimes stopped recognising me and our girls. He got worse and worse, and eventually we decided on two weeks' respite care. Taking him there was horrible (anyone who's done it will understand the guilt you feel, the inability to be able to explain to him why you are leaving him there, the fear that he will miss you so much and that they might not look after him properly but overwhelmingly the sadness at not having the friend of 50 years at home with you)
We have now decided that he is calmer, well looked after, and altogether in a better place than he was at home so have reluctantly decided to make it a permanent placement. I go and see him every other day but sometimes he just weeps when I'm there (and when I'm not) and mutters nonsense at me. I find the visits completely and overwhelmingly dreadful. He looks like my nice OH but he isn't except for brief flashes of his old self. I chat away, drink tea, take chocolate, photos, anything I think will be helpful. But he mostly isn't interested (except for the chocolate) so my 1.5 - 2 hours there are very hard work. when I get home ai just sit and cry.
Please can anyone help me by telling me how I can manage to leave without upsetting him, and what they do to make these partings less awful. People have said 'Don't worry, he won't remember' but its so dreadful at the time: he does realise that I'm going away and he doesn't want me to - so he might not remember in 10 minutes time, but at the time I leave it is like someone sticking a knife in my heart. I don't want him to be distressed even for a minute if I can help it, but I don't know how to avoid it.
Sorry this is so long ....
 

Lone Wolf

Registered User
Sep 20, 2020
141
0
As @Cat27 says, always try to leave when there is a distraction such as being taken to the dining room or a carer coming in to attend to your husband. Hard as it is, never say goodbye or make it clear that you are leaving by, for example, putting your coat on in front of him. If there are no distractions, just say something like "I will be back shortly". It is incredibly awful when you have to leave but if you can do it when he has a happy or relaxed moment, it will be better for you both.
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
3,768
0
Southampton
did you know, i saw it in the paper that gvt have said if you take your friend/ relative out of the carehome then they dont need to isolate any more from may 4th. you probably already know but i read it today
 

Jale

Registered User
Jul 9, 2018
532
0
When we visited mum (prior to covid) we used to go before lunchtime and usually left when she went to the dining room, if we went at other times then we always had to go because I had a dentist appointment - she seemed to understand that better than saying goodbye
 

northumbrian_k

Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
1,216
0
Newcastle
Not saying goodbye seems wrong but does make it easier to leave. In normal times I would wait until my wife was rounding up other residents at meal time then just slip out. At present I am only allowed into her room and need to be seen out by a member of staff. That is enough to distract, although she seems so settled now it probably doesn't register that I am leaving. Saying that one is going to do a minor task can help (usually with me this would be bike related), leaving unsaid that you will not be coming back after doing it.

I wonder if visiting for as long as you do is causing extra stress for both of you. Shorter visits can be easier and more pleasant. Better some short, good quality time to talk or just sit together in harmony than longer visits that clearly are not working for you.
 

DennyD

Registered User
Dec 6, 2016
213
0
Porthcawl, South Wales
People have said 'Don't worry, he won't remember'
I've always found such comments very unhelpful - it may be well intended to lessen the hurt but still to me it displays a lesser regard to the partners as well as the person with dementia, and potentially makes it more hurtful especially when visits have not been good. I would echo what others have said about creating a distraction when you're leaving does appear to help. Also, as @northumbrian_k suggested it may be that reducing the time of visiting may help you with making the transition. At times I leave before my time is up because I sense the visit is not meaningful to either of us and I think that by staying it would just make it harder for both of us.
 

Morganlefay

Registered User
May 20, 2014
82
0
Buckinghamshire
Not saying goodbye seems wrong but does make it easier to leave. In normal times I would wait until my wife was rounding up other residents at meal time then just slip out. At present I am only allowed into her room and need to be seen out by a member of staff. That is enough to distract, although she seems so settled now it probably doesn't register that I am leaving. Saying that one is going to do a minor task can help (usually with me this would be bike related), leaving unsaid that you will not be coming back after doing it.

I wonder if visiting for as long as you do is causing extra stress for both of you. Shorter visits can be easier and more pleasant. Better some short, good quality time to talk or just sit together in harmony than longer visits that clearly are not working for you.
I Think You're so right, thank you. I started being there for 2 hours which was a strain as I ran out of conversation and 'props', then I reduced it to an hour and last time I was only there for 45 minutes because he needed the toilet and the carer suggested that I shouldn't wait as it took a while. I feel very guilty if I'm only there for a short while, but he was quite cheerful for all that time, and it was a good visit, better a good short visit than a longer more miserable one I now think ! Thank you.
 

Morganlefay

Registered User
May 20, 2014
82
0
Buckinghamshire
I've always found such comments very unhelpful - it may be well intended to lessen the hurt but still to me it displays a lesser regard to the partners as well as the person with dementia, and potentially makes it more hurtful especially when visits have not been good. I would echo what others have said about creating a distraction when you're leaving does appear to help. Also, as @northumbrian_k suggested it may be that reducing the time of visiting may help you with making the transition. At times I leave before my time is up because I sense the visit is not meaningful to either of us and I think that by staying it would just make it harder for both of us.
Thank you. I think you're right...I'm so new to this I'm just trying to work out the best way to proceed, but kind advice based on personal experience is so helpful, thank you...
 

Morganlefay

Registered User
May 20, 2014
82
0
Buckinghamshire
When we visited mum (prior to covid) we used to go before lunchtime and usually left when she went to the dining room, if we went at other times then we always had to go because I had a dentist appointment - she seemed to understand that better than saying goodbye
I am about to embark on nasty root canal treatment so I am going to have several dentist's appointment, which I shall use to help me slip away: so something useful is going to come out of all the trauma and toothache !!! Thank you for your advice :)
 

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