1. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    755
    Male
    Newcastle
    #1 northumbrian_k, May 20, 2019
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
    I visited my wife in her care home for the first time today. She seemed more settled than I would have thought after just a week. She talked about going home and to her gran’s but not much. She sat still for most of the time that I was there. From speaking to a staff member, it seems that my wife is still wandering (but not far), refusing to get undressed for bed, wearing multiple layers of clothing and speaking her mind about other people (in their hearing). This is only to be expected but I’m sure some of these behaviours will change over time. I was told, and noticed myself, that she seems to have bonded with another resident lady. It is strange because neither of them seems to hear/understand what the other has just said.

    Above all, my visit confirmed that there is no way that I could accept my wife coming back to live here. She is now better looked after and has more human contact and seemed to be in quite a sunny mood. The first 3 months' stay are considered a trial period and can be terminated with a week’s notice. I have a strong presumption that – unless something untoward happens – my wife will be staying at the residential home long term. If not there, she will need to live somewhere that gives her the 24 hour care she needs and that is not at home with me.
    .
    A big decision but one that was already 90% made when I dropped my wife off last Monday.
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,361
    Kent
    It sounds as if you have been reassured by your visit @northumbrian_k which is an excellent outcome.

    If there are any blips in the future, hold on to this moment.
     
  3. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,790
    Female
    Scotland
    I am happy for you both with this solution.
     
  4. Unhappy15

    Unhappy15 Registered User

    Feb 7, 2015
    131
    Hello Northumbriank,
    I am so glad that your wife seems settled and that the decision has been made. I know that moment when you admit to yourself that you can no longer look after someone, it hits you so hard.
    For me it was nearly four years ago when my husband was violent and then sectioned, I knew that I just couldn't do it anymore.
    He settled in the home straight away and always seems so happy, he is in a lovely home and is well cared for and I visit every day. As we are self funding I chose the best for his needs.
    Of course this came at a very high price, my health has suffered in the last four years, the guilt and loneliness have at times been unbearable, I just wanted him back, I wanted our life back,but that's not going to happen.
    I know I have to build some sort of a life again and when I found out that a retirement village is being built very close to me I ended reserving an apartment. It won't be completed for another 18 months but at least it's something to look forward to. Not what I would have chosen but dementia took the life I wanted.
    There will be bumps along the road but at least there are friends on TP who always understand.
    Best wishes to you Northumbriank.
    Kathy
     
  5. maryjoan

    maryjoan Registered User

    Mar 25, 2017
    1,293
    Female
    South of the Border
    and my best wishes also - you have done what was needed, and it was the right thing for you both. Well done in all your past 24/7 caring, it is a heavy burden and now, you can keep a relationship of sorts, and move on with your own life. You deserve it, and she would have wanted it for you @northumbrian_k
     
  6. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    1,487
    I am so glad that your wife has settled @northumbrian_k You have done the very best that you could but it is a hard job to do.

    Hope that she continues to be happy and you too.
     
  7. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    755
    Male
    Newcastle
    I'm touched by all your kind comments and support. I won't go so far as to say that my wife has 'settled' but the signs are hopeful. I do think that it will be 'when' rather than 'if' there are blips, though, @Grannie G
     
  8. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    5,067
    Female
    Chester
    Whilst you don't feel your wife has settled, the lack of agitation sounds a real plus to me.

    I think that you knew she wasn't coming home again, you had reached your own line in the sand.

    I hope you are coping on your own at home, and reconnecting with your cycling friends, and presumably other friends. Your dog walks will bring you into daily contact with others. We got our first dog in our 20s but OH was on shifts so we might not see each other for days/nights - he commented that beyond enjoying the dog he enjoyed seeing people when he walked her, whom he got to know, and walking regularly in the same place creates friendship bonds.
     
  9. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    755
    Male
    Newcastle
    I was free to act as marshal for my club's premier time trial on Sunday, for the first time in 3 years @jugglingmum It was good to have the time to do this and meet with many friends without worrying what might be happening at home. Knight is a great companion (even though asleep most of the time) and serves as an introduction to all sorts of people who I would otherwise never meet. Just having some time with him and a squeaky ball on the beach the other day was very relaxing. It is a big change but I remain optimistic.
     
  10. Banjomansmate

    Banjomansmate Registered User

    Jan 13, 2019
    1,086
    Female
    Dorset
    Hopefully you will quickly be able settle into your new “normal” K ., whilst still being your wife’s carer at a distance, without all the pressure being on your shoulders.
    Now you have come to accept that she is unlikely to return home, take a few days to think about what you want / need to do now and in the long term, then aim for a future in which visiting the Care Home is an integral part but still leaves you with time for joy and happiness with friends, family and of course your dog!

    Wags from Chancey and Nutmeg.
     
  11. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    755
    Male
    Newcastle
    Thanks for your advice @Banjomansmate I am not rushing into this but am hoping to reconnect with things that we used to enjoy as a couple such as theatre, pictures, concerts, meals out, going to the library and exhibitions and so on. I want to get out cycling more but without leaving the hound home alone for too long, so am looking at options for daycare or dog sitting. We have been to the global greyhound walk a few times and I'll be going to the local event again this summer. I would like to restart the work we used to do promoting and supporting Northumberland Greyhound Rescue, something Knight and I can do together. I am also planning to sit and relax.

    I have some plans that were made for when my wife was due to go to for respite breaks. I am going dog-walking in Scotland for a few days next month and I've got a cycling trip to Spain planned for the autumn. I'm hoping to polish up my rudimentary Spanish language skills which have gone rusty in the interim.

    And then there are things that I haven't thought of yet. All this and visiting my wife should keep me busy and is an attractive trade off for 24 hour caring. Five years on, I might finally start to make the most of my early retirement, guilt-free and knowing that I have done the best for my wife.
     
  12. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    5,067
    Female
    Chester
    TTs always need marshals, OH organises a few evening 10s (rotates with 3 other clubs)so you could pop down here to marshal on a Thursday :D:eek:
     
  13. Banjomansmate

    Banjomansmate Registered User

    Jan 13, 2019
    1,086
    Female
    Dorset
    Just remember to take your insect repellent if you are going up to the highlands of Scotland.
    Have fun.
     
  14. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    755
    Male
    Newcastle
    My wife was out at a coffee shop when I called in this morning with Knight. We walked along but missed her as there are 2 ways to get there. Returning to the residential home we spent some time in the lounge. The dog said his hellos to my wife and the other residents before stretching out on the carpet, where a few staff also made a fuss of him. My wife was quite calm but kept saying we should take him out. This was easily deflected by pointing out that he was fast asleep. I left when lunch was called, leaving some pocket money to cover incidental expenses. There may be a trip out to a farm next week.

    A social worker has visited my wife today to assess her for a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards order. As before when she was at the respite centre, I have confirmed that I will be her representative in this regard.

    Things seem to be going in the right direction.
     
  15. dancer12

    dancer12 Registered User

    Jan 9, 2017
    451
    Mississauga
    Hi northumbrian_k:

    I know it is difficult now but at times we have to make tough decisions in order to get the best possible outcome for our loved ones and also ourselves. You have done a wonderful job thus far and now it is time for the professionals to show us their skills. All the best to both of you. :)
     

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