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Dealing with an empty home

Glenn66

New member
Jul 16, 2020
5
I'm posting this on behalf of my mum. Dad has late stage Alzheimers but my mum was caring for him at home as best she could until it became too much and eventually he was unfortunately sectioned 7 weeks ago. With hind sight we were too late in getting help.

The good news is that the local specialist EMI ward have been amazing and they have managed to greatly calm his anxiety and today he is going into an EMI nursing home. This is probably the best outcome for my Dad.

However this post is about my mum and the dreadful loss she is experiencing after 57 years of marriage. Its not helped that the care home and the hospital ward are in lock down so we cant' visit. We understand why but thats a different thread entirely.

How do I help my mum ? How does she fill this void and loss in her life ? I've suggested that she talks to people at age uk but she says she isn't ready for that. She just now has too much time on her hands (she only sleeps for 5/6 hours a night). How do you rebuild your life at the age of 81 when you are generally fit and healthy but restricted by covid?

Any suggestions welcome.

many thanks.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,961
Kent
It`s the hardest question @Glenn66.

Usually when people go into residential care their wives or husbands can keep themselves busy by visiting, checking they are all right and generally recovering from years of exhaustion brought on by caring.

Now there is a great big break with nothing to fill the gap.

Does your mother have friends or neighbours she can chat to, either on the phone or by text if she uses a mobile.

There is a new facility Demential Connect which might be able to help .

 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
686
Hello @Glenn66 . Good to hear that your Dad has the help he needs and sounds to be settling.

Does your mum have any pets? I was wondering, as you mention that she is fit, whether a dog would be a good idea. They are very life enhancing creatures and encourage getting outside for exercise, which is very good for lifting the mood.

Gardening is very therapeutic, if your mum has access to a garden?

Apart from that, perhaps taking up a new hobby like painting, drawing, even writing? Something absorbing like that might perhaps help fill the time and help your mum to relax and can all be done despite the current restrictions.
 

Glenn66

New member
Jul 16, 2020
5
Thanks @Grannie G and @lemonbalm for your quick replies. I'm encouraging my mum to use the phone to call her friends and she has picked up cross stitch again. I'm trying my best to give her the emotional support that she needs and will continue to talk to her about getting as much help as possible.

Its just such a difficult time and I think that she needs counseling of some sort but its difficult to get her to take the first step. She has an elder brother who since the death of his wife 2 years ago has not left his kitchen , he won't go into the lounge as it holds too many memories. I don't want her to become like that.

I'll keep making gentle suggestions and hopefully she can pick what she wants to do.

many thanks.
 

Bezzy1946

Registered User
Jul 18, 2017
42
73
Watford
I do sympathise with your mother my husband who is 80 and I am 74 went into a home in January. The loss I have felt has felt like bereavement I have a lovely family who are very kind and loving but when I am on my own I keep crying. It’s hard when you have been together for 55 years and have never been apart especially as his home is back in lockdown so can’t see him. Give your mum my love even though she doesn’t know me xx
 

kindred

Registered User
Apr 8, 2018
2,511
I do sympathise with your mother my husband who is 80 and I am 74 went into a home in January. The loss I have felt has felt like bereavement I have a lovely family who are very kind and loving but when I am on my own I keep crying. It’s hard when you have been together for 55 years and have never been apart especially as his home is back in lockdown so can’t see him. Give your mum my love even though she doesn’t know me xx
That is so kind. My husband of 50 years died last year and I do so agree how hard it is to pick up the threads again.
I find the important thing is to be satisfied with small things, just ten minutes gardening, ten minutes sewing. And then gradually extend ... with love Kindredx