Placing a partner in a care home

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
24,669
0
South coast
Hello @GKB

I think that everyone who moves their loved one to a care home/memory care home feels guilty. We have been caring for them for so long that we become engulfed in caring and then when they dont understand and just want to come home it makes us feel we have left them down.

The guilt monster whispers in our ear - "look, look, he is so upset, how can you bear it. You gave up too soon, you should have tried harder. If you bring him back now it will be different now". Lies all lies. Dont listen to it. Knock it off your shoulder.

Think about what it was like before he moved there. I'll bet you tried everything and went above and beyond to make it work before you realised that it just couldnt. The simple truth is that dementia progresses to the stage where it takes a whole team of people to look after them, not just one frazzled and sleep deprived person, no matter how loving and willing.

Im sure you know this really. Its just that the knowledge hasnt travelled from your head to your heart. It takes time for the carer to adjust too
 

GKB

Registered User
Jun 4, 2023
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London
Bless you….bless you….. I will try to remember all you say. I don’t know how to keep your thread as I need to keep reading it and reading it….
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
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Dundee
You can bookmark a thread @GKB. In that way you should be able to find it easily.

If you scroll through the information in this link you’ll get to the instructions about bookmarking!

 

maggieanne

Registered User
Oct 14, 2023
30
0
69
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.
I can relate to everything you say. My husband seems to be settling. Myself and our family have visited him every day for the last week. He’s coming up to being in there two weeks tomorrow so it’s still early days yet. Before I visit my stomachs in knots worrying about how he will react when he sees me.
We took him out to lunch today my daughter and her husband and my two grandchildren. He was very quiet then when we took him back he went straight to his chair in the lounge and didn’t even notice I was leaving.
I understand when you say you don’t want to be without him because I feel exactly the same. I really couldn’t cope anymore but now he’s not here I’m completely lost without him. I know he would want me to Carry on enjoying my life so I feel I have to try for his sake. It’s like living in limbo they are still here with us but not always in spirit. I grieve every day for the person he was. He’s still in there somewhere so when I’m with him I tell him how much I love him.
This disease is so cruel.
 

sunshine chrissy

Registered User
Apr 1, 2022
472
0
Cheshire
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..
❤️
 

sunshine chrissy

Registered User
Apr 1, 2022
472
0
Cheshire
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.
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.
 

sunshine chrissy

Registered User
Apr 1, 2022
472
0
Cheshire
I agree with this canary,he's been there for 4 weeks now and though he's not settling,wanting to go home etc,he seems to have become attached to a couple of carers there,talks about how he likes them but there's one he doesn't like..He still begs to be taken home and for that reason I only visit twice a week,I time that for an hour before mealtimes,they like you to leave when meals are served so it's easy to slip away,he loves his food! It's still a strange world I live in right now,on my own which if I'm honest I'm enjoying after the last few months of hell but the sadness and guilt,yes I know I shouldn't feel guilty but I do,I feel I've abandoned him🥲
 

maisiecat

Registered User
Oct 12, 2023
217
0
My husband has now been in a Dementia Nursing home for nearly 3 months and its all very mixed. I have days where he is very sleepy,days where he is very angry and days where we just go through our routine and he is fine. I now tend to take the visit by the throat so have a plan of how we spend the time. I find that it doesn't go so well if I leave opportunity for him to think too much. The carers are lovely and he is very fond of his particular ones. He asks to go home but now only to visit and he no longer calls it home so I say well you can ask if you could come to lunch and that keeps hime calmer than trying to explain the horror that is our life.
I agree the guilt is crippling but I say to myself that I didn't give him this disease and its kinder for him to be well looked after in a home than the catastrophe we were trying to manage. Mostly I try not to think too much about it all because I can't mend it both social services and the psychiatric team were plain about our future.
Take the good days that all I can suggest,if the Home has activities join in some with him and always escape when a meal comes as they lose interest in you then
 

sunshine chrissy

Registered User
Apr 1, 2022
472
0
Cheshire
Hello @GKB

I think that everyone who moves their loved one to a care home/memory care home feels guilty. We have been caring for them for so long that we become engulfed in caring and then when they dont understand and just want to come home it makes us feel we have left them down.

The guilt monster whispers in our ear - "look, look, he is so upset, how can you bear it. You gave up too soon, you should have tried harder. If you bring him back now it will be different now". Lies all lies. Dont listen to it. Knock it off your shoulder.

Think about what it was like before he moved there. I'll bet you tried everything and went above and beyond to make it work before you realised that it just couldnt. The simple truth is that dementia progresses to the stage where it takes a whole team of people to look after them, not just one frazzled and sleep deprived person, no matter how loving and willing.

Im sure you know this really. Its just that the knowledge hasnt travelled from your head to your heart. It takes time for the carer to adjust too
Oh I feel better reading your post
Hello @GKB

I think that everyone who moves their loved one to a care home/memory care home feels guilty. We have been caring for them for so long that we become engulfed in caring and then when they dont understand and just want to come home it makes us feel we have left them down.

The guilt monster whispers in our ear - "look, look, he is so upset, how can you bear it. You gave up too soon, you should have tried harder. If you bring him back now it will be different now". Lies all lies. Dont listen to it. Knock it off your shoulder.

Think about what it was like before he moved there. I'll bet you tried everything and went above and beyond to make it work before you realised that it just couldnt. The simple truth is that dementia progresses to the stage where it takes a whole team of people to look after them, not just one frazzled and sleep deprived person, no matter how loving and willing.

Im sure you know this really. Its just that the knowledge hasnt travelled from your head to your heart. It takes time for the carer to adjust too
Oh canary,I love this post,it's the very words in my head every day,it's going to take a long time for me to adjust to this new me if you know what I mean,I think about him everyday,the guilt's still there,I wish I could have coped better etc but I just couldn't💔I have to keep reminding myself he's getting better care than I could give him in these last few months,like you say I need it to get out of my head and into my heart❤️
 

JanJanis

New member
Apr 7, 2022
1
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, I totally know what you are going through, but from a daughters point of view. I have been visiting, but I am broken inside and feel like I have abandoned her, my mum thinks there is nothing wrong with her and can just go home again for my step dad to look after her. She gets upset when he visits and wants to go home with him. Its heartbreaking and just not home. Staff are lovely, but the home is a little run down and got other residents with all different types of problems. I had this ideal in my head that a home would be full of little old ladies singing and doing crafts. Mum has been in now for around 3 weeks and I can say it has got a little easier, although for my mum some visits are better than others, depending on her mood. Hang in there and keep remembering he is safe and getting the care he needs. Take him something nice that reminds him of home. My mum loves chocolate rolls.
 

Christy21

Registered User
Oct 9, 2016
30
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.
You’ve had some good advice. A friend whose husband has Parkinson’s said to me ‘whatever you do you’ll feel guilty.’
My wife has PCA and we’ve had 10 years together with increasing difficulty. I get respite breaks and I’m reasonably supported.
My plan now is to have a weeks respite with S in a care home in January, and I’ve been advised to let the professionals get on with it as I fear visits could be disruptive.
Best wishes, caring is demanding and ever changing. X
 

Agzy

Registered User
Nov 16, 2016
3,718
0
Moreton, Wirral. UK.
Hello @GKB

I think that everyone who moves their loved one to a care home/memory care home feels guilty. We have been caring for them for so long that we become engulfed in caring and then when they dont understand and just want to come home it makes us feel we have left them down.

The guilt monster whispers in our ear - "look, look, he is so upset, how can you bear it. You gave up too soon, you should have tried harder. If you bring him back now it will be different now". Lies all lies. Dont listen to it. Knock it off your shoulder.

Think about what it was like before he moved there. I'll bet you tried everything and went above and beyond to make it work before you realised that it just couldnt. The simple truth is that dementia progresses to the stage where it takes a whole team of people to look after them, not just one frazzled and sleep deprived person, no matter how loving and willing.

Im sure you know this really. It’s just that the knowledge hasnt travelled from your head to your heart. It takes time for the carer to adjust too
❤️
 

Saddy

Registered User
Jan 27, 2020
33
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.
I didn’t visit my Husband for the first month. I only go once a week now. I find it upsetting when I come back. Remembering good times. Sometimes he thinks I am his dead Sister. He thought he was in a hotel. Asked for a G&T when I took him in. He is always happy and smiling. It doesn’t get any better I just try to get on with life see friends etc
 

Abysmal

Registered User
Oct 17, 2021
12
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 Maggie, you’ve done the best thing for both of you. When my husband went into a nursing home a year ago I cried almost continuously. Anybody who spoke to me when I ventured out was met with a barrage of tears. I still cry now. The guilt is something that never leaves you but it gets easier. If your husband thinks he’s staying away for work then play along with that, if needs be tell him you’ve come to spend some time with him and when you go as someone else has said make an excuse to go to the toilet etc or just tell him it was lovely to see him but you’d best let him get back to work. He may get upset when you leave which makes the guilt worse but be assured that he’ll be okay. It’s a bit like leaving your child at school they cry when you leave but soon settle. After a while, may be a month or so, he will think of the home as his home which will make visiting easier. Visit different times of the day so that you can see he’s fine, by doing this you will feel happier which will make it easier to visit. You will feel at times that you could still be looking after him especially when you’re not so tired but you have done the right thing. He may be worried about you going into hospital which can be unsettling. It’s best not to share any woes/concerns with him. Take a deep breath and go in with a smile. Have a tissue ready and pretend you’ve got a cold or say you’re going to the loo so you can compose yourself. Big hugs, stay strong, visiting will get easier.
 

Almendros

New member
Sep 14, 2020
8
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. I am sorry your husband went into a care home recently. My husband too is in a care home here in Spain where we have lived 18 years. Crying is natural I was the same. Unlike your husband my husband settled in so well from the day he went in in June last year. This made things a little bit easier for me and I now know it was for the best. He is getting the professional care I couldn’t give him after looking after him 18 months. I do hope your husband settles and that you are able to visit him. It is so hard. It took me a year to get used to my topsy turvey life and I still hate it as I have lost the man I married 57 years ago. Please try to think that your husband is in a safe place and in his own little world. Life is so unfair nobody deserves Alzheimer’s or dementia, especially as your husband is so very young. This is a difficult time for you and I sincerely hope you can go and visit him very soon. If you cry it doesn’t matter I was just the same. Take care.
 

Slipstitch

Registered User
Jun 17, 2022
43
0
The posts on this thread, (together with those on the earlier one entitled Still Here) have been so close to my heart. It really helps to know that so many of us in this situation are wrestling with the same complex emotions. Special thanks to Canary for once again being wise & helpful.
For me it’s still this awful sadness , but this week I did manage (just) not to cry in the car on the way home after visiting - that’s a first.
 

sunshine chrissy

Registered User
Apr 1, 2022
472
0
Cheshire
My husband has now been in a Dementia Nursing home for nearly 3 months and its all very mixed. I have days where he is very sleepy,days where he is very angry and days where we just go through our routine and he is fine. I now tend to take the visit by the throat so have a plan of how we spend the time. I find that it doesn't go so well if I leave opportunity for him to think too much. The carers are lovely and he is very fond of his particular ones. He asks to go home but now only to visit and he no longer calls it home so I say well you can ask if you could come to lunch and that keeps hime calmer than trying to explain the horror that is our life.
I agree the guilt is crippling but I say to myself that I didn't give him this disease and its kinder for him to be well looked after in a home than the catastrophe we were trying to manage. Mostly I try not to think too much about it all because I can't mend it both social services and the psychiatric team were plain about our future.
Take the good days that all I can suggest,if the Home has activities join in some with him and always escape when a meal comes as they lose interest in you then
Hi Maggie, you’ve done the best thing for both of you. When my husband went into a nursing home a year ago I cried almost continuously. Anybody who spoke to me when I ventured out was met with a barrage of tears. I still cry now. The guilt is something that never leaves you but it gets easier. If your husband thinks he’s staying away for work then play along with that, if needs be tell him you’ve come to spend some time with him and when you go as someone else has said make an excuse to go to the toilet etc or just tell him it was lovely to see him but you’d best let him get back to work. He may get upset when you leave which makes the guilt worse but be assured that he’ll be okay. It’s a bit like leaving your child at school they cry when you leave but soon settle. After a while, may be a month or so, he will think of the home as his home which will make visiting easier. Visit different times of the day so that you can see he’s fine, by doing this you will feel happier which will make it easier to visit. You will feel at times that you could still be looking after him especially when you’re not so tired but you have done the right thing. He may be worried about you going into hospital which can be unsettling. It’s best not to share any woes/concerns with him. Take a deep breath and go in with a smile. Have a tissue ready and pretend you’ve got a cold or say you’re going to the loo so you can compose yourself. Big hugs, stay strong, visiting will get easier.
Oh I love your post,you said everything I feel right now!We're 5 weeks in now,the care home post pics and videos on fb each evening,there was one yesterday of my husband sat down with crayons colouring in a book and today they had live music and he's dancing and singing in the background,this is a really big thing for our family,he's not interacted with anything at all,all he does is pace all day long with his big coat on,he won't take it off,his comfort blanket I'm thinking,always ready to come home💔I'm really hoping he's starting to settle in but we'll see,I feel upbeat though after seeing him today for the first time since he went in.
 

sunshine chrissy

Registered User
Apr 1, 2022
472
0
Cheshire
The posts on this thread, (together with those on the earlier one entitled Still Here) have been so close to my heart. It really helps to know that so many of us in this situation are wrestling with the same complex emotions. Special thanks to Canary for once again being wise & helpful.
For me it’s still this awful sadness , but this week I did manage (just) not to cry in the car on the way home after visiting - that’s a first.
It's so many mixed emotions isn't it? I was so down last week thinking of him lost in there,he's been there 5 weeks now,he won't connect or talk to anyone,they post pics and videos every day on fb showing all the activities etc,he's never there🥲Tonight I checked and there he is,they had live music and he's in the background dancing and singing away❤️All the staff were dancing round him shouting "go eddie,go eddie"it made me so happy to see this😊
 

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