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Care Home

Pippa J

Registered User
Apr 16, 2017
8
0
I’m new to this but am hoping someone can help me with my decision. My husband has dementia and is currently in a care home. He’s been there for three and a half weeks respite because I reached a point where I needed some rest.
I have been looking after him for five years and he is now completely dependent upon me for all his needs. He is a lovely man and I miss him so much but don’t know whether I can cope with having him back home. He seems very happy in the care home and they all love him.
It is such a terrible dilemma and I just don’t know what to do for the best. All my family and friends are urging me to leave him there, including his carer who helps me for 12 hours each week, but feel so guilty just thinking about it.
We have been married for over fifty years and I miss him dreadfully. It seems I can’t live with him and I can’t live without him
Please can anyone who’s been through this share their thoughts with me on this matter?
 

Female1952

New member
Apr 6, 2021
1
0
Hi PippaJ

You say you feel "so guilty". I've been meaning to write about this for some time. Consider this: people say "I feel guilty" or "I am guilty". The meanings are different.
No one on this forum ever writes "I am guilty" - because they ARE NOT GUILTY. They write "I feel guilty" because that is how they FEEL.
it's two different things. Feeling guilty is very painful but it's "only" a feeling. He's well cared for and you can spend quality time together - at least when we've all had our vaccinations. It's very hard for you but I hope you'll soon have time and the opportunity to see family and friends and find other happiness in life.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
72,972
0
Kent
Hello @Pippa J

If your husband is happy where he is and you are happy with the care home, I would go for permanent residential care.

You know this is the best he will ever be and there will be only so much longer you will be able to manage care at home. If you have been lucky enough to find such a good home and can see how contented your husband is with them, why not count your blessings and realise this will be as good as it gets.

You have no need for guilt. Making this decision will avoid a possible crisis.

When the virus is under control, you will be able to visit whenever you want and have some quality time with your husband, which you have been unable to have while exhausted being the full time carer.

This happened to me. My husband went into respite care and was happy. I brought him home and he was back in permanent care after two weeks at home. With the best will in the world, it was just too much.
 

Old Flopsy

Registered User
Sep 12, 2019
167
0
Hi @Pippa J . I have the same situation as you. My OH went into a care home last week after 10 days in hospital following multiple falls. The intention is for him to complete 6 weeks respite but then to stay in the same home permanently.

Like you I was exhausted from years of coping- in my case with no help. I am relieved of the day to day responsibility but I so miss looking after him. But I feel lost- I have no purpose and I keep breaking down in tears, worrying about how he is feeling, and what he thinks about me arranging this move for him- against his wishes.

I know that I must stick with this new normal and I desperately hope that he will adapt and settle- I wish so much that I was at the point you have reached in that your OH is happy in his new home, but I also wish I could accept this new life which is so different to my life with him for over 50 years.

I hope that you will decide to let him stay in the home- realistically it is the only way as the dementia will progress and you will get older and less able to cope with his needs.

If you know he is happy and well cared for be thankful, and do what is best for both of you- though it is so hard to do, I know.
 

blackmortimer

Registered User
Jan 2, 2021
92
0
I’m new to this but am hoping someone can help me with my decision. My husband has dementia and is currently in a care home. He’s been there for three and a half weeks respite because I reached a point where I needed some rest.
I have been looking after him for five years and he is now completely dependent upon me for all his needs. He is a lovely man and I miss him so much but don’t know whether I can cope with having him back home. He seems very happy in the care home and they all love him.
It is such a terrible dilemma and I just don’t know what to do for the best. All my family and friends are urging me to leave him there, including his carer who helps me for 12 hours each week, but feel so guilty just thinking about it.
We have been married for over fifty years and I miss him dreadfully. It seems I can’t live with him and I can’t live without him
Please can anyone who’s been through this share their thoughts with me on this matter?
Hello, @Pippa J and welcome. My experience almost exactly echoes yours. We have been married 48 years. Margaret started with symptoms of what we now know is Lewy body dementia six or possibly more years ago and I cared for her single-handedly for five or so. Eventually we got a diagnosis after referral to the Memory Clinic and last year things became so bad that Margaret had to go first into a mental health unit and after several months there into permanent nursing home care. I felt terrible for a long time, I shed a lot of tears and was racked with feelings of guilt. Then I joined this forum and found that so many others have had the same experiences, the same feelings and, for me at least, that helped enormously. It didn't stop the grief (I suspect it never will) but it reassured me first and foremost that this is normal, secondly that only those who have been through it can really understand it and thirdly that I couldn't have realisticallys have carried on caring and how much better and, I hope, happier she is in her present surroundings.

Unfortunately it's a long road, there are no quick fixes, but do continue to post - you are amongst friends.

God bless,
 

DennyD

Registered User
Dec 6, 2016
182
0
Porthcawl, South Wales
Please can anyone who’s been through this share their thoughts with me on this matter?
I think my feeling of guilt came from, what I now realise to have been, unrealistic expectations of my ability to cope. For me thinking back at the times when I wanted to walk away, that there were occasions I could have done more and better, have become even more strong. It has been only 3 months, and I recognise emotions are high. I recognise my energy levels are non-existent at present and I need to give myself time to regain energy to continue and recognise that I need to rebuild my life. This is going to be a long road and the emotions are strong especially where relationships were close and loving ones. I’m a private person and naturally resistant to sharing feelings, or accepting support, yet I also know I must not bottle up my feelings. I’ve surprised myself in being to keep up some sort of daily routine, and am hoping this will lead to rebuilding life that includes supporting and caring for my husband in a different way. The knowledge and feeling that we had a happy and loving life together will never leave.
Don't feel rushed, and you will know what is right, take care PippaJ.
 

Orchid orchid

Registered User
Dec 1, 2020
49
0
Please don't feel guilty about your husband.He will be well cared for in the home.If it is too much for you you can become ill,and that won't help him.You need to now give yourself some care.
 

Suzy C

Registered User
Sep 16, 2019
55
0
Hi Pippa
I hope this doesn't seem like a cruel thing to say given all that you have been through, but I wonder if you know how lucky you are that your husband seems happy in the care home? So often it goes the other way. Of course you feel guilt and I can tell you that it will always be there but with different levels of severity. I am in a similar position I had to put my husband of 45 years in a care home and I had to try 3 different ones before i found one that seemed anywhere near bearable, but having him home for 2 weeks before the third one reminded me just why I felt I had to put him in one, it is so exhausting and whilst the sense of loss and grief is overwhelming sadly he is not going to improve. There is also some guilt I know of not being able to cope. I always thought I can cope with whatever happens because I love him, well sometimes love isn't enough and we need to accept that practical reasons come to the fore if we hope to keep our sanity intact. Shed your tears, there will be many and it doesn't stop though gradually in time they subside a little. Time to take care of you, be kind to yourself.
 

northumbrian_k

Registered User
Mar 2, 2017
1,148
0
Newcastle
Hello @Pippa J and welcome to Dementia Talking Point. Two years ago I was at a similar point with my wife. She had a carer who came in 1 day a week to give me some time to myself and had some respite overnight stays. But for most of the time I was alone and tackling the seemingly impossible task of keeping her safe and cared for every hour of the day and night. It became too much for one person to handle. After a great deal of thought I took the fateful decision of seeing how she would get on in full time care.

It wasn't about my needs or wants but what was best for her. If you look at it from that point of view you will realise that for him to come back home would be the worst possible solution for both of you. It is hard, but I think that you have reached the point of no return.

It may help if I go on to say that I do not regret taking such a momentous step. Her initial care home stay was described as a trial period but I knew on the first day that it would become permanent. It was not the end of our life as a couple. Freed of the overwhelming caring duties I have been able to rebuild our relationship, to the extent that her dementia allows. When I saw her on Saturday we had a lovely time talking nonsense and sharing some of the good things about our 40 years together.

Beyond that, she has formed strong relationships with the staff and other residents. She is well kempt, properly looked after and safe. She has accepted that the care home is where she lives and is more content than I could have hoped for. It has not always been easy but I know that it was the right thing to do.

I hope that you find this encouraging and helpful. Keep posting here whenever you need support.
 
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Pippa J

Registered User
Apr 16, 2017
8
0
Thank you all for your kind words of support and for sharing your experiences. My husband has been in the care home for nearly five weeks now and I am finding it easier to accept that he is no longer at home. He is still officially in respite care but I am becoming more convinced that I should make it permanent. He seems settled and happy and I am thankful for this, especially since some of you have pointed out that this is not always the case, but I just have this nagging feeling that he knows more than I am able to discern. He is so sweet and accepting it breaks my heart to see him. His carer came with me to see him today and she felt the same. I don’t think he actually misses me, for which I am grateful but wish I could be sure. Hopefully I will be able to spend more time with him before too long and thus become a part of his life in the care home. Take care all of you and thanks again for your kind words.
 

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