Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
Last April I put my mother on a list for a shared room in her nursing home. I was offered one a couple of months ago, which I declined, as her roommate would have been an agitated schizophrenic and I honestly wouldn't have wanted to listen to the fallout from my aunt rabbiting on about how horrible the roommate was.

Now I've been offered a room back on her former unit. I'm thrilled - one of the nurses on that unit is an absolutely wonderful woman, so good with all the residents. Plus, it will definitely make a financial difference. My mother has several sources of income, but one is going to run out in less than a year. This will help keep things on an even keel.

But I feel guilty. Even though Mum is past all communication, she no longer speaks except for the odd word or repeating what someone has said, I feel badly. She's no longer aggressive as she was.

I will get over this but I know I'll feel guilty for a while. My sister is backing me 100%, as is my husband.

On an unrelated note, my stepfather died Monday. He was in a nursing home in BC for the last year. His son says his decline started when I had to move my mother to Ontario but we couldn't do anything about that. At the time, my stepfather was totally mentally and physically exhausted by my mother. She was physically and verbally attacking him, she spat on him, he had no choice but to let go.

I guess it's just another thing gone. So it's a sad day.

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Joanne.

Changes, changes, each one a result of some level of deterioration.

I imagine your mother wouldn`t have dreamed of accepting a shared room at one time, and that`s what makes it sad.

But the positives, in that she will be back on a unit which gave you confidence in the quality of her care, should ease the guilt. And the stage your mother seems to be at now, leads me to believe she won`t be put out by having to share.

Be sad for your mother Joanne, but please don`t feel guilty. You are not hurting her.

So sad about your stepfather too. It`s not the way any of us would choose to end our lives. Please accept my condolences.

Love xx


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Dear Joanne

Firstly let me say how sorry I am about your step-fathers death. I hope that it's simply his son's grief that has casued him to assign blame for his father's decline: people do say the strangest things when they are upset. I doubt it's true, but even if it is, you did what you had to do.

My mother always swore she could never share a room with a stranger, and it never came to that, but honestly, at the end, she could have been sharing a room with a dozen people and I very much doubt she would have noticed, provided they were reasonably quiet. You're going to feel guilty: whenever financial considerations rear their ugly head, even if they are only a very small component of the decision, I think it's inevitable. You will get over it - you know this, you don't need me or anyone else to tell you this, but it bears repeating.


Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
My stepfather's son wasn't assigning blame. He was correct - my stepdad did start pining when my mother moved. He did come out to visit her and my husband & I visited him but my mother's absence was the start of his decline. I could see that clearly. Alec was being very matter of fact about it. It simply was sad in how their marriage had to end. My mopther's happiest part of her life was with my stepfather, so it's simply a sad thing.

You're right, my mother probably wouldn't notice a brass band going through her room. It's just acknowledging another step down.

Yes, I know I will get past this, I'm just a little melancholic today.


Registered User
Aug 9, 2007


I feel for you. Another goodbye to your step-father and really another to your Mother. Every change feels like a step closer to the inevitable I know.

The logical considerations have to be considered now and to be honest the important thing is that you can keep your Mum in loving care and safe until the time comes. Do no worry about the shared room, there will still be privacy with a curtain I am sure. But it will be good for her to be with caring staff that you trust. The weight that takes off you is incredible.




Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Joanne, huge sympathy for the loss of your step-father.

But well done for arranging the room for your mum in her former unit. Absolutely no need to feel guilty. Your mum will be happy wherever she is well cared for, and has you to visit. You have faith in the unit, and you'll continue to visit, so what's to feel guilty about?

I understand the melancholy ( and join you in it), but please, no guilt.

Love and hugs,

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