Placing a partner in a care home

maggieanne

Registered User
Oct 14, 2023
36
0
70
Morning all. My husband of 51 years went into a care home five days ago. My heart is breaking. I knew it would be hard but I’m getting worse as the days go by.
I haven’t visited yet as he was so unsettled they said to leave it a few days. The home and staff are lovely. He’s eating well and thinks he’s there staying to do a job. When he was working sometimes he would be away for a few days.
I really need to see him but at the moment I can’t stop crying. I’m afraid I will when I see him.
It’s his birthday Monday and my son and daughter are going to see him. I’ve told him I’m going into hospital. They said it’s better they go first and his brother the day after.
Any advice will be really welcome.
 

Bill mac

Registered User
May 10, 2020
58
0
Morning all. My husband of 51 years went into a care home five days ago. My heart is breaking. I knew it would be hard but I’m getting worse as the days go by.
I haven’t visited yet as he was so unsettled they said to leave it a few days. The home and staff are lovely. He’s eating well and thinks he’s there staying to do a job. When he was working sometimes he would be away for a few days.
I really need to see him but at the moment I can’t stop crying. I’m afraid I will when I see him.
It’s his birthday Monday and my son and daughter are going to see him. I’ve told him I’m going into hospital. They said it’s better they go first and his brother the day after.
Any advice will be really welcome.
 

Gosling

Volunteer Host
Aug 2, 2022
2,178
0
South West UK
Hello @maggieanne and welcome to this friendly and supportive forum.
I am so sorry to read of the fact that your husband is now in residential care, and the heartache that this is causing you. It is so so painful; to have to make that decision, even though you know it is totally the right thing, to keep him safe. I wish I could take away some of the pain for you, as understandably, your emotions are so raw right now.
It is probably sensible not to visit him for a few days, to allow him to settle into his new surroundings. It's very hard to stay away, but you can always get telephone updates from the home as to how is is.
Your upset and crying is totally natural. Try to hold onto ' you are doing the right thing' for your husband.
When you do visit, when the time comes to leave, perhaps if you can, just say you are popping to the loo, or going to get a coffee, or something plausible, so you don't actually have to say good bye and hopefully avoid any upset. Not easy I know.
Wishing you strength to get through this such difficult time. ((((hugs))))
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
7,494
0
Nottinghamshire
A warm welcome to Dementia Support Forum from me too, @maggieanne.
I'm glad your son and daughter are visiting on Monday. They will be able to tell you how he is settling in and start to make sure the home know important things about him.
When you do go and visit, try and be as cheerful as you can. Your husband will pick up on your mood and if you are sad, he will be too. Just say how lovely it all is, and how lucky he is to be there, even though that is far from what you are feeling. If he asks to go home, say something along the lines of when the doctor says so. As @Gosling says, when it is time to leave, just say you are off to the loo, don't make a big thing of saying goodbye. With my mum, I used to time my visits to end at lunchtime. Mum then went into lunch and I slipped off home.
It is beyond tough, and these first few weeks will be the worst. Hang on in there, and know there will always be someone to listen to you and lend support on this forum.
 

Bill mac

Registered User
May 10, 2020
58
0
Hi Maggieanne. So sorry to read your story, my wife went into care in March this year and i can fully understand how you are feeling, the best advice i can give you is to get out with friends and mix, try and find an a club with people have and are going through the same, i visit my wife about 4 times a week i take her out for a coffee at a local cafe, i know that is not always possible depending on your husbands illness, it is now 6 months since in away lost my wife to this awful illness and it is still not easy on my part how i feel, at least i know she is safe, and been really well looked after and i can still see her when i want to visit, be strong and look after yourself not easy like many of us on here have and are still on the journey .
 

maggieanne

Registered User
Oct 14, 2023
36
0
70
A warm welcome to Dementia Support Forum from me too, @maggieanne.
I'm glad your son and daughter are visiting on Monday. They will be able to tell you how he is settling in and start to make sure the home know important things about him.
When you do go and visit, try and be as cheerful as you can. Your husband will pick up on your mood and if you are sad, he will be too. Just say how lovely it all is, and how lucky he is to be there, even though that is far from what you are feeling. If he asks to go home, say something along the lines of when the doctor says so. As @Gosling says, when it is time to leave, just say you are off to the loo, don't make a big thing of saying goodbye. With my mum, I used to time my visits to end at lunchtime. Mum then went into lunch and I slipped off home.
It is beyond tough, and these first few weeks will be the worst. Hang on in there, and know there will always be someone to listen to you and lend support on this forum.
Thanks for your advice really helps.
 

maggieanne

Registered User
Oct 14, 2023
36
0
70
Hi Maggieanne. So sorry to read your story, my wife went into care in March this year and i can fully understand how you are feeling, the best advice i can give you is to get out with friends and mix, try and find an a club with people have and are going through the same, i visit my wife about 4 times a week i take her out for a coffee at a local cafe, i know that is not always possible depending on your husbands illness, it is now 6 months since in away lost my wife to this awful illness and it is still not easy on my part how i feel, at least i know she is safe, and been really well looked after and i can still see her when i want to visit, be strong and look after yourself not easy like many of us on here have and are still on the journey .
Thank you it’s so hard. It’s true what they say dementia takes two life’s not just the one. I hope things go well for you and your wife.
 

maggieanne

Registered User
Oct 14, 2023
36
0
70
A warm welcome to Dementia Support Forum from me too, @maggieanne.
I'm glad your son and daughter are visiting on Monday. They will be able to tell you how he is settling in and start to make sure the home know important things about him.
When you do go and visit, try and be as cheerful as you can. Your husband will pick up on your mood and if you are sad, he will be too. Just say how lovely it all is, and how lucky he is to be there, even though that is far from what you are feeling. If he asks to go home, say something along the lines of when the doctor says so. As @Gosling says, when it is time to leave, just say you are off to the loo, don't make a big thing of saying goodbye. With my mum, I used to time my visits to end at lunchtime. Mum then went into lunch and I slipped off home.
It is beyond tough, and these first few weeks will be the worst. Hang on in there, and know there will always be someone to listen to you and lend support on this forum.
 

maggieanne

Registered User
Oct 14, 2023
36
0
70
Thank you Sarasa, I’ll follow your advice try to get myself together over the next few days.
 

Daisymay1

Registered User
Sep 14, 2023
37
0
Morning all. My husband of 51 years went into a care home five days ago. My heart is breaking. I knew it would be hard but I’m getting worse as the days go by.
I haven’t visited yet as he was so unsettled they said to leave it a few days. The home and staff are lovely. He’s eating well and thinks he’s there staying to do a job. When he was working sometimes he would be away for a few days.
I really need to see him but at the moment I can’t stop crying. I’m afraid I will when I see him.
It’s his birthday Monday and my son and daughter are going to see him. I’ve told him I’m going into hospital. They said it’s better they go first and his brother the day after.
Any advice will be really welcome.
When you go and see how well he is you will feel so much better and it will be a weight off your shoulders. The first couple of weeks are the hardest but you have to kbow that you have done the right thing for him and for you. X
 

maisiecat

Registered User
Oct 12, 2023
446
0
Morning all. My husband of 51 years went into a care home five days ago. My heart is breaking. I knew it would be hard but I’m getting worse as the days go by.
I haven’t visited yet as he was so unsettled they said to leave it a few days. The home and staff are lovely. He’s eating well and thinks he’s there staying to do a job. When he was working sometimes he would be away for a few days.
I really need to see him but at the moment I can’t stop crying. I’m afraid I will when I see him.
It’s his birthday Monday and my son and daughter are going to see him. I’ve told him I’m going into hospital. They said it’s better they go first and his brother the day after.
Any advice will be really welcome.
Hi @maggieanne ,my husband of 45 years is also in a Dementia Nursing Home. He was in hospital for 12 weeks and has been in the home for 2 months.
It is very hard and at the beginning the grief and loss is enormous but you have to give yourself comfort that you have made a wise and brave decision because keeping them safe is so important.
Many others have said about not lingering on goodbye and I try to link my leaving to mealtimes so he's leaving me. I am very careful about emotions the one thing that is fatal is if he thinks I'm upset. I try to structure my visit so we listen to the radio,do a crossword,play snap etc so there's not too many gaps for him to wonder about home.
Don't be worried about crying when you are away from him, goodness knows I have cried an ocean but I now distance myself from dwelling on any of it because it doesn't look better.
Be kind to yourself and good luck.
 

maggieanne

Registered User
Oct 14, 2023
36
0
70
Hi @maggieanne ,my husband of 45 years is also in a Dementia Nursing Home. He was in hospital for 12 weeks and has been in the home for 2 months.
It is very hard and at the beginning the grief and loss is enormous but you have to give yourself comfort that you have made a wise and brave decision because keeping them safe is so important.
Many others have said about not lingering on goodbye and I try to link my leaving to mealtimes so he's leaving me. I am very careful about emotions the one thing that is fatal is if he thinks I'm upset. I try to structure my visit so we listen to the radio,do a crossword,play snap etc so there's not too many gaps for him to wonder about home.
Don't be worried about crying when you are away from him, goodness knows I have cried an ocean but I now distance myself from dwelling on any of it because it doesn't look better.
Be kind to yourself and good luck.
When you go and see how well he is you will feel so much better and it will be a weight off your shoulders. The first couple of weeks are the hardest but you have to kbow that you have done the right thing for him and for you. X
Thank you Daisymay1.x
 

mickeyplum

Registered User
Feb 22, 2018
237
0
I know exactly how you feel and from the replies here it seems so many of us have, or had, the same feelings of loss, loneliness,guilt, and everything else. You must alwasy do what you feel is best but my advice would be don't put off visiting your dear husband. You are prolonging your upset by delaying. I don't know your husband's level of understanding but this it what I did.
The first time I visited ( sadly he died 6 months ago at the age of 94) the day after he went into the Home he said he didn't understand what he was doing there. I told him I hadn't been well and the Dr had said I need a complete rest so he was in this nice place, which is a bit like a hotel, where people would look after him for me and make his nice meals.
On every visit, I wept all the way there and all the way home but always put a smile on my face to greet him. I constantly reassured him how much I loved him. And from day one when it was time to go I never said I was going HOME so as not to remind him of home. I said the same thing every time, 'Well, I'll get going now cos I'm going to the shops for some milk.' At first he'd say something like, 'Am I coming?' I'd say 'No you're going to have your lunch and it smells really nice. I'll see you later.' He'd say, 'Well get going then before it rains.'
The family followed my idea and never spoke of HOME as they were leaving. He soon accepted this as normal. I'd hug him goodbye with a cheery smile - till I got outside his room. The main thing was to keep him from worrying about me.
I visited every 2 days and family visited on the other days. Sometimes I stayed just for 15 mins if he seemed tired. He had no concept of time so he wouldn't know if I'd been there 15 mins or 50. Please try and visit him soon and try and paste a smile on your face even though it's so hard You will feel better after seeing him and so will he. Good luck
 

maggieanne

Registered User
Oct 14, 2023
36
0
70
I know exactly how you feel and from the replies here it seems so many of us have, or had, the same feelings of loss, loneliness,guilt, and everything else. You must alwasy do what you feel is best but my advice would be don't put off visiting your dear husband. You are prolonging your upset by delaying. I don't know your husband's level of understanding but this it what I did.
The first time I visited ( sadly he died 6 months ago at the age of 94) the day after he went into the Home he said he didn't understand what he was doing there. I told him I hadn't been well and the Dr had said I need a complete rest so he was in this nice place, which is a bit like a hotel, where people would look after him for me and make his nice meals.
On every visit, I wept all the way there and all the way home but always put a smile on my face to greet him. I constantly reassured him how much I loved him. And from day one when it was time to go I never said I was going HOME so as not to remind him of home. I said the same thing every time, 'Well, I'll get going now cos I'm going to the shops for some milk.' At first he'd say something like, 'Am I coming?' I'd say 'No you're going to have your lunch and it smells really nice. I'll see you later.' He'd say, 'Well get going then before it rains.'
The family followed my idea and never spoke of HOME as they were leaving. He soon accepted this as normal. I'd hug him goodbye with a cheery smile - till I got outside his room. The main thing was to keep him from worrying about me.
I visited every 2 days and family visited on the other days. Sometimes I stayed just for 15 mins if he seemed tired. He had no concept of time so he wouldn't know if I'd been there 15 mins or 50. Please try and visit him soon and try and paste a smile on your face even though it's so hard You will feel better after seeing him and so will he. Good luck
Thanks for your advice. I went to see him for the first time a few days ago. My anxiety was through the roof. When I arrived he smiled and said hello. He was fine. Joking with the care workers. I had lunch with him. We timed it so his brother would arrive as I was leaving. When I left he hadn’t even realised I’d gone. Went again yesterday and the visit went well. I’m still really anxious and sad but it’s a bit easier. The staff have been lovely. Just hope it lasts.
I’m so sorry for the loss of your dear husband. It’s a hard road ahead for you.
 

sunshine chrissy

Registered User
Apr 1, 2022
476
0
Cheshire
Morning all. My husband of 51 years went into a care home five days ago. My heart is breaking. I knew it would be hard but I’m getting worse as the days go by.
I haven’t visited yet as he was so unsettled they said to leave it a few days. The home and staff are lovely. He’s eating well and thinks he’s there staying to do a job. When he was working sometimes he would be away for a few days.
I really need to see him but at the moment I can’t stop crying. I’m afraid I will when I see him.
It’s his birthday Monday and my son and daughter are going to see him. I’ve told him I’m going into hospital. They said it’s better they go first and his brother the day after.
Any advice will be really welcome.
I'm going through this right now,my husband is in for respite for 6 weeks,it's looking like he won't come home,we're 3 weeks in now and it's no easier,Icant visit on my own,I need one of our family with me,all he says is"have you come to take me home,am I going home today,I want to go home now" it's heartbreaking💔I left it for 5 days before the 1st visit on their advice but he's not settling at all.I know it's out of my hands now and my own life is better regarding sleep( he didn't sleep more than 3 hours a night)and peace with his constant pacing all day long but it leaves me with an underlying sadness for him and the life he has now.🥲
 

maggieanne

Registered User
Oct 14, 2023
36
0
70
I really feel for you. It’s so sad when they ask to go home. I’ve visited my husband twice since he first went in. It’s his eleventh day today and I’m going with my daughter this afternoon.
He hasn’t asked me to go home but he’s asked others in the family who visit. He’s sundowning in the afternoon and the carer has said that’s when he asks to go home. He used to do that with me and he was home.
It was either him or me and I decided I had to find a home while I was still able. The guilt has been overwhelming and I cried constantly for the first week.
You have to finally put yourself first. That’s what I tell myself. Hopefully your husband will finally settle. I’m not going to see him every day because he has to get used to being there. Im Trying hard to get some sort of life back. Being on your own is horrible. I keep telling myself he would want me to have a life and I need to do it for him.
Make sure you talk to friends and family every day if your able to that’s what’s keeping me going. Take care of yourself.
 

sunshine chrissy

Registered User
Apr 1, 2022
476
0
Cheshire
I really feel for you. It’s so sad when they ask to go home. I’ve visited my husband twice since he first went in. It’s his eleventh day today and I’m going with my daughter this afternoon.
He hasn’t asked me to go home but he’s asked others in the family who visit. He’s sundowning in the afternoon and the carer has said that’s when he asks to go home. He used to do that with me and he was home.
It was either him or me and I decided I had to find a home while I was still able. The guilt has been overwhelming and I cried constantly for the first week.
You have to finally put yourself first. That’s what I tell myself. Hopefully your husband will finally settle. I’m not going to see him every day because he has to get used to being there. Im Trying hard to get some sort of life back. Being on your own is horrible. I keep telling myself he would want me to have a life and I need to do it for him.
Make sure you talk to friends and family every day if your able to that’s what’s keeping me going. Take care of yourself.
It's so hard isn't it?I'm lucky I have a good family around me who love him and friends to talk to but it's when I'm on my own,thinking about how he feels in there,although the way he's been this last few months, he's had no empathy or emotion at all for anything or anyone.He won't join in with any activities or make friends,all he does is walk around all day long,he was such a sociable man,he'd make friends anywhere,he's a shell of the man he was,it's heartbreaking but he's getting more care than I could give him,I'm holding on to that even though he doesn't realise it❤️
 

mickeyplum

Registered User
Feb 22, 2018
237
0
My husband, who died a few months ago at 94, was sundowning for a long time when he was at home with me, believing we were in a hotel, waiting for a taxi to take us to the airport to go home, or asking things like, 'where did we get this house/is it paid for/ where did we get the money to buy it/it doesn't seem like where we usually live?
I learned that 'home 'doesn't necessarily doesn't mean the place where they live, it's more of a concept of where they felt safe. So if he was stuck on that train of thought I'd keep saying, 'All that matters is that you are here with me and you're safe.' When he first moved to the home and it was time to leave and I told him I was just going to the shops, he'd say something like, ' Well where's my shoes then?' and I'd have to tell him he wasn't coming, that I wouldn't be long, and that the young ladies would make sure they looked after him for me till I came back. Five minutes after I left he didn't even know I'd been.
I'm not sure I agree with Care Homes thinking it best not to visit often though I guess this makes it a lot easier for busy staff not having visitors constantly disrupting the day. With my husband's failing memory I felt it important to try and reinforce his close-family in their minds. He soon forgot his grandchildren as they were not able to visit as often.
I suppose it's like if a young child was in hospital and parents were told not to visit as often. That child would be better fretting each time they left rather than fretting that they'd been abandoned. My husband had a visit most days as we were all quite near so we were able to check on his care or if he needed anything to make his life better.
I really feel for all of you with a loved one In Care. It's almost unbearable even when you know in your heart you made the right choices. The only thing you can do is try and be brave for their sake and shower them with love when you visit, remembering that the strong handsome man/woman you married is still in there somewhere if you look hard enough..
 

GKB

Registered User
Jun 4, 2023
28
0
London
I am so sorry for your pain. I truly understand. I just put my husband into memory care home and I am gutted…simply gutted. I cry all of the time. I have been visiting every day for the first week, and now the home wants me to start visiting every other day, and then spend a week away week after next so he can get truly settled. He does not understand why he is there or why he can not come with me. He keeps saying, “all I want is to be with you….why can’t I be with you?”. I tell him I have to work and travel so I need to make sure he is very safe and well taken care of. Work was so much a part of our lives he seems to understand that. But, he is so sad…that just kills me. I keep thinking I could do more, but I can’t figure out how. At the moment I just feel as though I don’t want to live without him. I know it takes time…that is what everyone says, but I can’t imagine ever feeling ok about all of this…..maybe just coming to some level of acceptance at some point. Does the pain ever go away? This is truly heart breaking…truly.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
25,529
0
South coast
I'm not sure I agree with Care Homes thinking it best not to visit often though I guess this makes it a lot easier for busy staff not having visitors constantly disrupting the day.
Thats not actually the reason @mickeyplum

They often suggest to not visit all that often to start with so that the new resident can learn the layout and routine of the home and also start to transfer their dependence from their main carer to the care home staff. Quite often, when residents first arrive they are totally attached to their main carer and wont let anyone else do anything for them. If their main carer is there too often it reinforces the feeling of home and their main carer doing things for them and so it takes them longer to settle and learn to trust the care home staff.

But everyone is different - what works for one, may not work for another.