1. Mother of three

    Mother of three New member

    Jul 2, 2019
    3
    My husband was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's at the beginning of 2016, though it had been obvious he was struggling with memory problems for at least a couple of years before. (His GP wouldn't accept he had a problem, and throughout he has been of absolutely no help whatsoever on the mental health side, though he is a good GP in other ways.) Now I have just agreed to have my husband admitted to a home for full-time care. He had become increasingly angry and threatening, particularly at 'bedtime', and my family were becoming increasingly anxious about my safety. Earlier this year I had an emergency operation, which they feel was caused by stress. My husband had to spend a month in care while I recovered, but for the past four months or so he has been back home with me. But this aggression has been frightening at times. He was at first given medication from the Memory Clinic to calm him, which helped. But a recent episode of his anger was a step too far, and I agreed with my family, and the support of an Alzheimer's support worker, to book him in for full-time care. However, over the past few days he has been more calm, and there's been little evidence of his previous threatening anger, and I'm wondering if we've done the right thing. Should I have persevered for longer? He is incapable of doing anything for himself, and is totally dependent on me for every aspect of life; but I am now fit and well (80 this year) and feel I should be able to manage him at home. Does everyone in this situation feel this awful sense of guilt - of feeling we should keep going whatever the cost to our own quality of life? I can't stop worrying about whether I've been premature in this decision, and too swayed by my family's concerns. How can one be sure the time has come to admit defeat?
     
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,284
    Female
    South coast
    Hello @Mother of three and welcome to DTP.

    Moving a loved on into full-time residential care is a hard step to take and I think we all have doubts about it.

    One thing I will say though, is that the fact that your husband is now calmer shows that he is exactly where he needs to be. Many people get on better in a care home because the routine suits them and they are no longer trying (and failing) to "fit in" with a normal household. My mum was completely paranoid while she was living at home thinking everyone was stealing from her, accusing the neighbours of dreadful things, getting into arguments (the woman across the road called the police because she said that mum was harassing her) and thinking I was mistreating her. Once she moved into her care home 99% of this went away. She became calm and contented.

    If you take someone out of the residential care and try and get then to fit in at home again, then all the problems will simply come back.

    You have the oppertunity now to become his wife again, without all the difficult hands-on caring. Try and think of it as shared care and do nice things together that will bring you both enjoyment.
     
  3. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    7,935
    Yorkshire
    hello @Mother of three
    a warm welcome to DTP
    deciding it's time for a spouse or parent to move into residential cars is one of the toughest decisions we ever have to make and I doubt anyone makes it without wondering about 'ifs' and maybes'
    have you considered that your husband may be calmer exactly because he is now in an environment where there are staff to support him, not simply you on your own ... that's not to suggest that you haven't been, and aren't, a loving capable wife and carer
    I'm glad you are recovered now ... your family have clearly been concerned about your health and welfare as well as your husband's, they will want what is best for the both of you; do keep that in mind
    it's early days, take some time to see how you and your husband settle into different routines before making any changes that will affect you both long term
    and now you've found this supportive community, keep posting
     
  4. Jaded'n'faded

    Jaded'n'faded Registered User

    Jan 23, 2019
    427
    Female
    High Peak
    It seems clear that your family worry about both of you! Their worries will not be eased while your husband is at home because they care about you as well as him. And you deserve that concern and care even though you feel you can cope a little longer.

    Moving him to a CH is not defeat. It's you sensibly realising that he needs a lot of care now (and sadly will only get worse) and that you can only provide that if he remains calm. What if he doesn't?

    You want to give him the best possible care and that's exactly what you are doing. It will also enable you to spend quality time with him instead of feeling frazzled.

    People often wonder if they made the move too soon but it's rarely the case. And much better this way than to have to move him suddenly in an emergency situation/crisis.
     
  5. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    2,918
    Nottinghamshire
    Hello @Mother of three and welcome from me too.

    I think we all have the same doubts about if we’ve made the move into full time care too soon. I couldn’t face moving my dad out of his lovely bungalow but realised last summer, after he had a stroke, that he wouldn’t be going home again. I probably should have moved him sooner. He was certainly calmer and more settled once he had a team of people around to look after him.

    Something that concerns me is that your husband was becoming aggressive and, for that reason alone, I am glad that you and he are now both safe.
    I’m sure your husband, when he was well, would not have wanted you to put yourself in danger and if he could he would tell you that you’ve made the right decision at the right time.

    I hope he settles quickly and you can enjoy this new phase of caring.
     
  6. MoodyC

    MoodyC Registered User

    Sep 22, 2018
    31
    Hello @Mother of three, your story is a mirror image of ours. I care for my husband. I had surgery at the end of February and he went into respite for three weeks. He took weeks to settle back into routine and soon began showing aggression. Initially, banging doors, knocking a chair over and then graduated to directly at me. He threw a garden pot at me, then a kitchen chair and then last week threatened to smash the house. I think he would have done if I hadn't called a friend so that I could step back. I keep asking myself if the aggression would have shown if it wasn't for the three weeks in respite. I will never know but I do know I am exhausted from managing the behaviour and just as hard, trying to keep everything on an even keel.
    I have been advised by friends, the GP and the group which supports us to look into a care home. I have a voice playing in my head saying, 'You can cope', especially as he is now on anti depressants and a sleeping pill but common sense tells me that I cannot keep all the balls in the air for much longer.

    I am very grateful to the people who have responded to your post as they share sound advice from their own experiences which I will try to hold onto as I now begin to arrange care for him.

    Lastly, I met someone the other day who was in a very similar situation to ours two years ago and she said that she has rekindled her relationship with her husband. So there is some kind of peace to be had. We will be in that position soon.
    Very best wishes x
     
  7. Mother of three

    Mother of three New member

    Jul 2, 2019
    3
    Thank you so much to all who responded to my post. It is comforting to read that everyone else goes through the same doubts about when it's finally time to stop feeling 'It's OK. I can cope'. In my own case my husband's aggression has re-appeared, which has also helped to confirm we made the right decision. In fact I'm wondering how I can hold on another week! (I realise my account was misleading in that my husband is still at home with me, but he's booked into full-time care from next Thursday. His spell of calmness only lasted a couple of days!)
     
  8. Mother of three

    Mother of three New member

    Jul 2, 2019
    3
    It's so good to hear we are in such a similar position; thank you for responding. I hope you get care sorted for your husband soon, before things escalate any more. It's so helpful to hear other people's experiences. Wishing you all the best.
     

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