Placing a partner in a care home

maggieanne

Registered User
Oct 14, 2023
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I don’t have any answers but just wanted to send you love and hugs. 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👩
It’s so hard isn’t it. Hopefully both our partners will at some point settle.
I’m here if you ever need to chat. It helps when someone else is going through the same thing. I don’t think anyone can quite understand how emotional it all is until you actually go through it yourself.
 

maggieanne

Registered User
Oct 14, 2023
33
0
69
Hi @maggieanne

I am sorry to hear about your situation but it is still early days. My wife went into a care home in May 2019. At first, she seemed to settle in very quickly. I didn't visit for the first few days then got into a routine of visiting for about an hour 3-4 times a week. I knew that it was important to break her dependency on me and transfer it to the care home staff. For a long time she continued to ask where K was, but she had asked me (K) that when she was at home. Eventually she stopped asking for me, talked less about going 'home' and seemed to accept that the care home was where she lived.

It wasn't all plain sailing. She was mobile and active, roaming around the small home rattling door handles, going in and out of other residents' rooms, transferring clothes and belongings from one place to the next. For a while she became quite aggressive, to the extent that she was referred to the challenging behaviour team.

I could see how much better she was being cared for than I had been managing at home. I missed her but knew that the hardest decision I had ever made - to admit her to a care home - was also the best for her and for me too. But I was worried that her challenging behaviour would lead to the home giving her notice to quit. By that time I was making friends with the staff. I voiced my fears to a senior member of the team who said that they'd dealt with this sort of thing many times. She reassured me that my wife would not be asked to leave.

Within a few months, as she became used to her new environment and routine, the extra support of the challenging behaviour team was withdrawn. Now, she is settled and content and is very clearly loved by the staff. Her dementia has progressed and - coming up for 83 - she is no longer independently mobile and says very little. I visit twice weekly or sometimes more if there is an event of some kind. She is sometimes sleepy or asleep, sometimes ignores me, and sometimes bright and lively. She seems comfortable in my presence and I still get glimpses of the person she was before dementia.

Looking after her at home I had become reduced to the role of constant and inadequate carer. Now, with the caring done by others, we have time to sit and enjoy each others company.

Writing this tale of my experience has been more emotionally draining than I thought. One can only do what is best to cope with a bad situation. What has worked for us may not be what works for everyone but I hope that my perspective is helpful to anyone who faces similar challenges.
Thank you. It certainly helped reading what you have gone through.
Im so sorry you feel emotionally drained by writing that. It shows we never actually recover from being a carer.
 

SMBeach

Registered User
Apr 19, 2020
291
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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 was feeling exactly like this just 4 weeks ago when dad moved into a care home. I stayed with him all day. Joined in activities with him. Are meals with him. Sat in the lounge and bedroom with him. There were some issues I wasn’t happy about and met with the manager twice to discuss. Nurses, and activities team email and call me. I’m 500 miles away. I cried every night for dad. My stomach turned. I couldn’t eat. And I felt awful leaving him to return home for a couple of months. 4 weeks on and I’m starting to let go a little. I’ve gone from doing absolutely everything for dad to now just focussing on selling his home and keeping in touch with dad and the care home. Sometimes I call and he moans, although he never actually tells me what he’s moaning about. Other times I call and he’s fine, always forgetful but fine. I’d pop in and visit though. I’d be worried dad felt I’d just forgotten him. But after the 3 days, I had no choice but to return home for work etc. so dads kind of gif to get on with it. He’s very happy when I tell him the nurses and I are in touch regularly with them updating me and me updating them with dad’s feedback. I think that just confirms for him that he’s not forgotten.