Going Into Care - What now for the carer

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by EONONLY, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. EONONLY

    EONONLY Registered User

    Nov 26, 2007
    23
    Kent
    Well its a few weeks since I last posted and quite a lot has happened - The aggression has continued throughout but the Authorities have been taking notice, and the upshot is that tomorrow, Monday, he is going into a dementia unit. He will be re-assessed after 8 weeks but is unlikely to return to his home surroundings. This is really the best course for them both - He doesn't understand what he is doing and is a danger to himself and his wife - he has to have professional care.

    To that end, there is now the issue of his departure and at a particularily sensitive time (if that makes any difference), Christmas. She is clearly distressed at this and feels guilty about him having to go in to care - We've been through explaining that its for the best and that she has done more than enough already and deep down she knows that. To get this far with him going into care means that resolution took place several weeks ago - but now, reality kicks in and she has a date and its all happening very quickly.

    Advice from this site has resolved all the outstanding issues, any ideas/suggestions from experience on how to best help in this?

    Kind Regards and Merry Christmas
    Ian
     
  2. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    3,388
    Buckinghamshire
    Dear Ian,
    The Consultant placed my husband in a E.M.I. Unit in May. Although Peter is in the final stage, when I got home I actually slept for 4 days. I am disabled and would not give in, stubborness on my part but when Peter was in C.H. getting my life back into perspective was so difficult. It was only when in October my eldest son and daughter in law took me or 2 week on Norfolk Broads. I discovered ME! I had spent nearly 5 years in the world of A.D. and boy had my health suffered.
    My 4 children and 6 Grandchldren, we are very close and they have helped me through a really tough time of accepting Peter is not here anymore. Although I never call it home to me it is a house. Can you arrange special outings for your friend ?
    Although they are in Care, a Carer never stops caring it is just one of those things.
    I wish you all the best and I think you have done a really Christian things by being there for them.
    Very best wishes. Christine
    p.s. Local A.S. Branches do have days out for people in that situation and believe me they have a great time.
     
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,732
    Kent
    Dear Ian.
    I`m afraid there is no way of making this situation easier to bear. This lady knows she has no alternative, but she will feel the guilt as if she has.
    It`s a cliche but only time will tell. Once he is settled and she is able to recover from the strain of caring for so long, she will gradually be able to pick up bits of her life, feel rested and recover her own health.
    It`s something every spouse tries to avoid as long as possible, and is always a last resort.
    Just understanding how she feels will be all the help she will need.
    I hope it goes as well as it can.
    Love xx
     
  4. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    What now for the carer?

    Well, firstly, they remain a carer.

    There are varieties of caring.

    I was going to say 'levels', but that might imply depth of care - that is, care in the aspect of 'love'. When a loved one moves into care, it is horrible. The amount of hands-on caring that is done may change, but the love does not.

    My Jan went into care in November 2001, though she actually left home for assessment in May that year.

    For two years, I visited her daily, sometimes more often, because that was all I knew, after DementiaWorld had effectively closed us off from normal life for some years.

    A transition is inevitable and, to be frank, welcome. Too abrupt a change would not be good.

    Of course there are many hours outside visiting times that need to be filled in some way. At first I set myself tasks, and none of them could be mine alone - they all had to involve Jan in some way.

    So I cooked the same meals - good grief, I even set her place at the table - and then I set to, taking out photographic collection and beginning to put it into some order. I wanted to remember every stage of our [until then] 33 year marriage/36 year's of knowing each other.

    To this day I am pleased I did that.

    One passive area where I changed at once, to give me relaxation, was to watch things on TV and DVD that Jan had never liked, and thus that I had never put on - the classic thing being the "Stargate" series. That series touched little on any raw points in my own life, and so was safe for me.

    After a couple of years it occurred to me that I could allow myself to do some new things, that we had not done before - and So I did. And all the while [and still today..literally today] I have retained a policy of frequent visits to see my wife, because I could do nothing else and live with myself.

    Another member, Norman, originally said on TP to take things "Day by Day" and that is a very wise recommendation. It is probably our most oft-quoted piece of advice.
     
  5. sheila d

    sheila d Registered User

    Dec 8, 2007
    25
    liverpool
    tough decisions

    I am in the same situation. My mother ( 83) went in to hospital 2weeks ago, leaving her husband at home. He is totally devastated and just wants her home again, even though he knows that he can't care for her.

    3 weeks ago they had a normal life, going out for lunch, meeting friends, watching tv, although mum did need constant care, due to her limited mobility.

    Then she started having ocd behavioural symptoms and her short term memory went.

    Now 2 weeks later she is in an assessment ward, surrouded by elderly people in a much worse state than she is. She is depressed, has no stimulation, they put her to bed at 6pm, without a wash or toilet, her hair hasn't been washed , her finger nails need cutting, and the nurses are uncaring.

    I can't bear seeing her in there as with no-one for company and just want to grab her and bring her home, but we know that we can't care for her properly.
     
  6. chip

    chip Registered User

    Jul 19, 2005
    400
    Scotland
    Same situation for me as well. Christmas Day well! Going to my Dad's pick him up them go to the NH It will be my Dad's first time seeing my husband for 10months because of his own health. I think its not going to be a good day. Carers health does suffer due to lack of help and support,also the financil worry and also the stress.It is happening to us a lot now.
    I have been doing some checking up its only been 2 years since my husband was diagnoised and thats him in a NH this month.Last Christmas he was helping to wrap up presents this year he doesn't even no me.I am going to do my best to try and have some sort of Christmas. Hope you all can as well.
     
  7. EONONLY

    EONONLY Registered User

    Nov 26, 2007
    23
    Kent
    Well some very different experiences here, but the main theme appears to be that there has to be a kind of grieving period here, followed by a need to restart the carers life but in a different way to before. So much of her time has been occupied with looking after her Husband, and now much of that time is freed up with nothing else to do but wonder how he is getting on. My experience with him has been that he is not too aware of anything missing for the most part - He is generally only aware of things going on from minute to minute and even then he is easily distracted.

    Thanks again for all the posts - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.
    Regards Ian
     
  8. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    618
    Male
    Ronda Spain
    I put Monique, my wife, into care some 6 months ago... Truly dreadful experience... I was lucky in as much as her GP called me and recommended that course of action and the sociologist in the Alzheimer's home told me that unless I admitted her soon they might not be able to take her when a place came free... At least it was not all my decision which is a good thing as looking back I was in an emotionally dodgy state myself.

    The period of grieving was very difficult - not totally through it even now - still have dreams of the 'good old days'. I am fairly well reconciled that she will never come out of the home until they carry her in a box.... Although relatively young 67 looking at the other 52 Alzheimer's patients I can see she is in a pretty advanced state.

    Today I sign the papers that finalise the sale of what was our home here in La Rochelle.. Monique had alzheimer's all the time we were there so although it is a beautiful and charming house it has no wonderful memories of great happiness. I am making plans to go sailing next summer and reduce the visits to the home to around 10 days or two weeks during that period.

    It is difficult to replace a behaviour pattern of several years of looking after somebody 24/7 albeit with aid of employed carers. Still got the guilt monkey but less so... feel really sad about it all but I can't change it... I am hoping that a different house, another town, new start, will make my life a bit fuller and richer but the 'Monique Emergencies' like her hospitalisation for a few days just before Christmas and the really bad visits, where it all falls apart, are going to still be with me.

    I think I am saying that it is quite difficult to 'pick up' your life after the person you have been looking after goes into a home. Probably only 'death' will eventually release you and that is also very sad........

    Sorry for the morbid post - actually I am very hopeful of the future - I think..

    Michael
     

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