Husband going into a Care home

JanetMargaret

Registered User
Aug 13, 2007
10
0
Yorkshire
My husband who is 83 years old has Alzheimers and I have been looking after him for 3 years. All our children leave sbroad so it has just been me most of the time. In the last month he has deteriorated rapidly. He doesn’t recognise our home, he thinks I am part of his caring team and he just wants to go home to where he was born and be with to his Mum and Dad. He doesn’t know they have died. His mobility is really bad, he cannot do anything for himself and his anxiety and agitation is getting worse.He is up and down every night and even with a carer I have taken the decision, with help from our children, to put him into a care home as mentally and physically I can’t cope anymore.
I know it is the best for both of us so why do I feel so guilty and feel I am abandoning him.
Do other people have these feelings and how do you cope with them.
 

SeaSwallow

Volunteer Moderator
Oct 28, 2019
6,986
0
My husband who is 83 years old has Alzheimers and I have been looking after him for 3 years. All our children leave sbroad so it has just been me most of the time. In the last month he has deteriorated rapidly. He doesn’t recognise our home, he thinks I am part of his caring team and he just wants to go home to where he was born and be with to his Mum and Dad. He doesn’t know they have died. His mobility is really bad, he cannot do anything for himself and his anxiety and agitation is getting worse.He is up and down every night and even with a carer I have taken the decision, with help from our children, to put him into a care home as mentally and physically I can’t cope anymore.
I know it is the best for both of us so why do I feel so guilty and feel I am abandoning him.
Do other people have these feelings and how do you cope with them.
I am not yet at the stage where I have had to make that decision @JanetMargaret but other people on the forum have and many say that the decision enables them to become a spouse rather than a carer. It must be one of the hardest decisions but I am sure that it is the best for both of you. I wish you both well.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
82,698
0
Kent
It really is the hardest decision @JanetMargaret and everyone knows and understands how much soul searching it takes before a decision for residential care is made.

You will not be abandoning your husband, you will just be allowing others to share the caring so that when you visit you will be able to give him uninterrupted care and attention.
 

JanetMargaret

Registered User
Aug 13, 2007
10
0
Yorkshire
It really is the hardest decision @JanetMargaret and everyone knows and understands how much soul searching it takes before a decision for residential care is made.

You will not be abandoning your husband, you will just be allowing others to share the caring so that when you visit you will be able to give him uninterrupted care and attention.
Thank you for your supportive words, it is the hardest decision I have ever had to make x
 

JanetMargaret

Registered User
Aug 13, 2007
10
0
Yorkshire
I am not yet at the stage where I have had to make that decision @JanetMargaret but other people on the forum have and many say that the decision enables them to become a spouse rather than a carer. It must be one of the hardest decisions but I am sure that it is the best for both of you. I wish you both well.
Thank you. I am sure there will still be hard times ahead but I know he will be safe and well cared for.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
25,514
0
South coast
Hello @JanetMargaret
I think that everyone who moves their person with dementia into a care home feels guilt. I suspect this is because we cannot talk it over with the person with dementia who usually feels that there is nothing wrong with them. There is no reason to feel guilty though. As granny g says, you wont be abandoning him, you will be doing what is the very best for him and making sure that his needs are being met. He will have a whole team of people looking after him, in shifts, day and night - not just one frazzled wife and a carer for a few ours a day. You will be able to visit and spend quality time with him while the care home does the heavy hands-on stuff.

I used to visit mum in her care home and the staff used to take such good care of her. I have fond memories of the time she was there.
xxx
 

Craftylass

New member
Feb 25, 2022
6
0
It's a natural reaction to dealing with this real hard dilemma. I am facing that exact dilemma right now and the guilt is destroying me, in fact I'm at the point of visiting care homes as we speak. I have looked after my husband for the last 18 months and because I was so busy taking care of al his needs I forgot to look after myself and became physically and mentally exhausted. On the 29th November he was admitted to hospital and remains there. He has deteriorated rapidly and now is deemed to need 24 hour care, hence the heart breaking decision to move him into care. I realise it will be the best for him as he'll have professional carers to look after him and I'll be able to be his wife once again. On the 3rd February we have known each other 50 years and married for almost 47. During that time we have only been apart for about 7 week in total and to be honest I'm finding it very difficult to cope living alone and find myself in tears often, how does anyone learn to cope with this ?
 

Historian

New member
Jan 28, 2023
4
0
I too find myself crying a lot. My husband is 74 years old and we have been married for forty years. We have two sons and one lives a long way away. My husband was admitted to hospital two weeks ago. I had cared for him for four years and am lost without him. I think constantly how he used to be and of how much he loved me and looked after me. I think of how he would feel if he knew what had happened to him, oh how strong and clever he was. It makes me so sad I can’t bear it. No one understands and I find it hard to talk to friends who want to cheer me up. I am in despair. I miss him so much.
He will not be discharged home but will have to go into a care home. He too needs 24 hour care and wandered about the house at all hours of the night . I am still exhausted and broken. I understand how you feel completely. I’m so sorry
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
2,410
0
76
Devon, Totnes
I too find myself crying a lot. My husband is 74 years old and we have been married for forty years. We have two sons and one lives a long way away. My husband was admitted to hospital two weeks ago. I had cared for him for four years and am lost without him. I think constantly how he used to be and of how much he loved me and looked after me. I think of how he would feel if he knew what had happened to him, oh how strong and clever he was. It makes me so sad I can’t bear it. No one understands and I find it hard to talk to friends who want to cheer me up. I am in despair. I miss him so much.
He will not be discharged home but will have to go into a care home. He too needs 24 hour care and wandered about the house at all hours of the night . I am still exhausted and broken. I understand how you feel completely. I’m so sorry
Hello @Historian and @Craftylass
I’ve read your posts and can understand your grief as I’ve been through this and still do.
My wife has been in a care home now for 3 1/2 years and I miss her like it was yesterday she left here.

In the end I had no choice but to let her go as she was trying to escape and wanted to live elsewhere. Didn’t recognise me as her husband. It was awful.

Now she’s looked after day and night, all medical wants cared for, surrounded by activities, completely calm and content. She ok I’m not.

I miss her and sometimes think what’s the point without her. I will never want another women now as no one could replicate the past 30 years. So I’m on my own and lonely for her. But I’ll never get her back and although life goes on it’s empty without her no matter how many things I try to fill the days.

I cry occasionally and that frightens me.I feel vulnerable. But with all we have gone through and still face we are allowed any emotion. You ask how we cope. Well, we don’t really. I find I just get through the day to blessed sleep and even there I have wife related nightmares of loss and longing. In my dream she’s normal but I know she has to return to the home. There no escape
 

Historian

New member
Jan 28, 2023
4
0
I’m so sorry for the loss of your wife. I now think all the time of how important my husband was to me. I took him for granted . I’m desperately lonely and lost. I can’t see the point of my life. The weight of sadness is unbearable. I still can’t believe this has happened . I can’t bear to think of how he used to be. It’s only since he’s gone into hospital that I have had time to think and dwell on what I have lost. I too don’t want anyone else but I wish I had friends who understood. I have two sons but they have their own lives and I don’t feel I can keep asking them for help.
 

northumbrian_k

Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
4,785
0
Newcastle
Hi @Historian and welcome to DTP, a community of people who understand what you are going through. My wife has been in a care home since May 2019 and - over time - I have adjusted to life without her. In some ways things are better. I was unable to provide for her needs in a way that a team of carers can. She has settled and seems relatively content. I am no longer the person who asks her to do things such as attend to personal hygiene. When I visit this afternoon she may be sleepy or wide awake. We'll share some of the chocolates she got for Christmas. She says little but seems to recognise that I am somehow important to her. Touch is now more important than words. We have got back just a little of our former relationship. That is about the best that anyone can hope for with such a cruel disease.

I hope that some of this might help you at this difficult time. Please come back at any time if you have questions or to find solace in sharing. There is always someone listening.
 

JayDeeEmm

Registered User
Mar 29, 2020
26
0
My husband who is 83 years old has Alzheimers and I have been looking after him for 3 years. All our children leave sbroad so it has just been me most of the time. In the last month he has deteriorated rapidly. He doesn’t recognise our home, he thinks I am part of his caring team and he just wants to go home to where he was born and be with to his Mum and Dad. He doesn’t know they have died. His mobility is really bad, he cannot do anything for himself and his anxiety and agitation is getting worse.He is up and down every night and even with a carer I have taken the decision, with help from our children, to put him into a care home as mentally and physically I can’t cope anymore.
I know it is the best for both of us so why do I feel so guilty and feel I am abandoning him.
Do other people have these feelings and how do you cope with them.
Hi JanetMargaret, I understand how you feel. My husband was diagnosed in March 2019, In August 2021 he was admitted to hospital for assessment. It was then determined that he really needed to be in full time care, plus the Social Worker advised that the local Home Care group were not willing to restart the service. As he had become aggressive, other care companies would not take us on either. After 14 months in hospital, he was finally transferred to long term care, and there was only one place for him to go. He's now been there 3 months. He seems to have settled so I have to take the positive from that. However I don't think I'll ever get over the feeling of guilt that I'm not the one caring for him, even although my brother tells me that guilt is a useless emotion and that I've done everything I possibly can for him. I realise that I couldn't do it all myself - before he went into hospital a day felt much more than 24 hours. Now he has care 24 hours a day by a team who go home at the end of their shifts and get refreshed for the next day which as a home carer we would never be able to do. It takes a while to get used to the home's way of doing things but through time they'll get used to me and I'll get used to them. There's times when I just want to take charge to get things done faster, but that's not my role any more. It's the letting go of the responsibiIity that I find hard. I try to enjoy the time I spend with my husband and take heart when I can get a smile from him or a kiss and cuddle. Hopefully, I'm getting back to being his wife and soul mate rather than his carer, although I still miss him madly at home. Just take one day at a time - that's all any of us can do. Hopefully, through time your husband will settle and you will be able to enjoy the time you spend with him. Take care and remember to still look after yourself.
 

JanetMargaret

Registered User
Aug 13, 2007
10
0
Yorkshire
Hi JanetMargaret, I understand how you feel. My husband was diagnosed in March 2019, In August 2021 he was admitted to hospital for assessment. It was then determined that he really needed to be in full time care, plus the Social Worker advised that the local Home Care group were not willing to restart the service. As he had become aggressive, other care companies would not take us on either. After 14 months in hospital, he was finally transferred to long term care, and there was only one place for him to go. He's now been there 3 months. He seems to have settled so I have to take the positive from that. However I don't think I'll ever get over the feeling of guilt that I'm not the one caring for him, even although my brother tells me that guilt is a useless emotion and that I've done everything I possibly can for him. I realise that I couldn't do it all myself - before he went into hospital a day felt much more than 24 hours. Now he has care 24 hours a day by a team who go home at the end of their shifts and get refreshed for the next day which as a home carer we would never be able to do. It takes a while to get used to the home's way of doing things but through time they'll get used to me and I'll get used to them. There's times when I just want to take charge to get things done faster, but that's not my role any more. It's the letting go of the responsibiIity that I find hard. I try to enjoy the time I spend with my husband and take heart when I can get a smile from him or a kiss and cuddle. Hopefully, I'm getting back to being his wife and soul mate rather than his carer, although I still miss him madly at home. Just take one day at a time - that's all any of us can do. Hopefully, through time your husband will settle and you will be able to enjoy the time you spend with him. Take care and remember to still look after yourself.
Hi JayDeeEmm,
I am sorry that you also are going through some tough times . My husband is now in a wonderful care home and has settled realty well. I have had my siblings around for a few days, but I am not looking forward to when I am on my own.
One day at a time. X
 

Craftylass

New member
Feb 25, 2022
6
0
I too find myself crying a lot. My husband is 74 years old and we have been married for forty years. We have two sons and one lives a long way away. My husband was admitted to hospital two weeks ago. I had cared for him for four years and am lost without him. I think constantly how he used to be and of how much he loved me and looked after me. I think of how he would feel if he knew what had happened to him, oh how strong and clever he was. It makes me so sad I can’t bear it. No one understands and I find it hard to talk to friends who want to cheer me up. I am in despair. I miss him so much.
He will not be discharged home but will have to go into a care home. He too needs 24 hour care and wandered about the house at all hours of the night . I am still exhausted and broken. I understand how you feel completely. I’m so sorry
Hi, I'm so sorry to read of your plight, it practically mirrors my own. I have eventually found a really nice care home for my husband which is only 1.5 miles away from out home so visiting him will be easy, He will very soon be discharged from hospital and moved to the home and I'm really hoping that he settles in . I know it's the best for him as he'll have every need catered for and then the time we spend together will be quality time. I'm desperately sad that our life together is ending as it is but I really did do my best. I'm trying to adjust to living alone but finding it hard and I'm being positive that I may get some "me" time to begin to get back to full health. If you ever feel like a chat we could exchange numbers, we may just feel better after chatting to someone totally unconnected to our individual situations
 

JanetMargaret

Registered User
Aug 13, 2007
10
0
Yorkshire
Thank you all for your kind words. My Husband is now in a lovely care home. He has settled quite well but I am heartbroken. He was such a great presence in our home that it now feels soulless.
I have met a lot of other wives/ husbands and relatives at the home and we talk when we are visiting, they are all going through the same emotions.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
2,410
0
76
Devon, Totnes
Thank you all for your kind words. My Husband is now in a lovely care home. He has settled quite well but I am heartbroken. He was such a great presence in our home that it now feels soulless.
I have met a lot of other wives/ husbands and relatives at the home and we talk when we are visiting, they are all going through the same emotions.
I’m so sorry in one way that you’ve lost your husband to a care home but in another I’m pleased that he’s well looked after and you don’t have to cope with all the stuff that the professionals are now responsible for.
My wife has been in care for nearly 4 years now and I miss her every day and tell her so when I visit. The house is empty of her vibrancy and her making noises, and just taking up space.

I don’t think the longing ever goes away. I have a little cat that occupies some space. A little substitute but how I miss my wife and my friend.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
2,410
0
76
Devon, Totnes
I’m convinced the unhappiness and sadness I feel is the result of the tension between the way it is and the way I want it to be.

I went yesterday to see her and to help her with her evening meal. She was up and down like a jack in the box wanting to walk and then sit and then get up. When I’m with her I want so much for her to recognise me as Peter but she can’t, and I want her to remember some of her past life but she doesn’t.

I hold her and kiss her and try to imagine that it’s my normal wife again but she reacts nervously and doesn’t understand why I’m almost in tears. She understands only that the home is her life and I’m probably just someone who comes in. I’m different perhaps because I kiss her and hug her and sit with her holding her hand.
And then I come home and face all the memories, good and bad, and try to process it all
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
2,410
0
76
Devon, Totnes
My husband who is 83 years old has Alzheimers and I have been looking after him for 3 years. All our children leave sbroad so it has just been me most of the time. In the last month he has deteriorated rapidly. He doesn’t recognise our home, he thinks I am part of his caring team and he just wants to go home to where he was born and be with to his Mum and Dad. He doesn’t know they have died. His mobility is really bad, he cannot do anything for himself and his anxiety and agitation is getting worse.He is up and down every night and even with a carer I have taken the decision, with help from our children, to put him into a care home as mentally and physically I can’t cope anymore.
I know it is the best for both of us so why do I feel so guilty and feel I am abandoning him.
Do other people have these feelings and how do you cope with them.
I was where you are now almost 4 years ago. At the time I felt I’d let her down, abandoned her, was weak, pathetic and a bad husband. I felt guilt, remorse and sheer terror at what I’d done .
But the way I look at it now is this—- she left me for the home in the August. How much longer would’ve had lasted at home? 2 weeks, 2 months, 6 months. Eventually she would have been very ill with it and I would’ve had a breakdown.
Now all her cares are catered for and she’s settled. A hairdresser comes in, a chiropractor, doctor on call, home monitored by Social Services, night staff there to check ( she sleeps all night).
She’s settled and as content as I can make out. Me? Well, I grieve over my loss, miss her like mad, cry and can’t really accept what’s happened
 

sadgirl

New member
Jan 22, 2024
2
0
It's a natural reaction to dealing with this real hard dilemma. I am facing that exact dilemma right now and the guilt is destroying me, in fact I'm at the point of visiting care homes as we speak. I have looked after my husband for the last 18 months and because I was so busy taking care of al his needs I forgot to look after myself and became physically and mentally exhausted. On the 29th November he was admitted to hospital and remains there. He has deteriorated rapidly and now is deemed to need 24 hour care, hence the heart breaking decision to move him into care. I realise it will be the best for him as he'll have professional carers to look after him and I'll be able to be his wife once again. On the 3rd February we have known each other 50 years and married for almost 47. During that time we have only been apart for about 7 week in total and to be honest I'm finding it very difficult to cope living alone and find myself in tears often, how does anyone learn to cope with this ?
My husband of 50 years entered a care home in Oct 23 due to his advancing Parkinson dementia and I'm still numb and in tears alot of the time.I know he must be there(for his health and safety and my health)but I feel I'm in mourning.I miss him terribly and he is over an hour from home so I only see him about twice a week.In my case,I don't know if I will ever effectively cope with this situation.I being Debbie Downer here and I'm sorry but I saw him today...when I return home from the visits, the sadness and longing for his presence peaks.