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parents/residential homes/guilt

Discussion in 'Personal' started by florapost, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. ok - so i walk into the kitchen and mr post gives me that 'are you going to finish the bottle of white wine look'
    yeah - reader, i did
    today i took my old dad for his second view of the residential home in which he will live out his days - and i feel like ****
    my dad so has his plusses - when we moved into this house, which was falling about our ears, but had so many possibilities, he kept our spines stiffened though the building work with his optimism - he is a lovely grandad to our kids - but if he lived with us, he would be bored and confined (all that grandparents living at home - it depended on none-working wives - when did that disappear?)
    and he drives me and mr post nuts - and gthe home is 15 mins away from us - so thatg's sunday lunch for ever and me there every tuesday afternoon and we can take him swimming and to his cricket club and his dentist and...
    and he doesn't want to go
    and if you like to be oppositional, feel free - but i ain't for turning - but i know others of you have been here - it's **** but it has to be done
    so - now - i finish the bottle of white wine - bless kate and wills, i don't have to get up tomorrow
  2. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    My sympathy - I have been through this with my Dad, have seen it recently with my Step Dad, and will probably have to do the same with my Mum before this year's out.

    On the basis of this experience I've told my kids quite clearly to bung me in a residential home as soon as I get too ill or awkward for them to care for me whilst still retaining their own sanity and wellbeing.

    There comes a point where if it needs to be done, only you can make that decision - it's not for others to judge you, especially those who haven't been in the same situation.
  3. You have my sympathies Flora. We are getting to the same point with my mother and it is awful. We haven't made any decisions between us yet but I am soooo torn between guilt and necessity. Have just opened a bottle of white!
  4. Well you have my sympathies. I still can't believe we did it. Or rather I did it because my sister made me drive them (my parents) to the nursing home! Worst thing we ever did but we didnt have any choice. They needed the nursing care. And if they had lived with me (not that I had space) it would have driven me up the wall an all.
    I have told my children never to put me in a home!
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    So sympathise with you!
    My mother has Alzheimer's but insists "There's nothing wrong with me, the Drs. say so!"
    I know I'm just not designed for dealing with this & (being an only child) dread the future. Plus it costs an arm & a leg for Alzheimer care & I've worked out her entire fortune will run out in 6 years! State will take over then they say. Yes but they don't guarantee to keep her at the same home & by that time it will be so much worse to move her.
    We also have hubby's 91 year old parents living next door.
    I've always said 'I dont do old people', so much better with children.Yet I know when it comes to finding 'homes' I'm not going to like it even though it will be for the best.
    Have a hug.[​IMG]
  6. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    There is no right or wrong in this situation hun - No one really likes change, and getting to that stage of life is a big change I think.... While I'd like to be of the 'I'll go into a home' notion, I can't predict how I'll feel come the day if I have to. Hang in there.
  7. May2

    May2 Established commenter

    It is a very emotional time but when the time comes I think you know it is the right thing to do. My father has now been in a home 10 minutes away from me for the last 6 months. Before that he lived an hour away and expected me there twice a week. He wasn't eating properly despite the supply of ready meals we bought him. He would not accept Meals on Wheels and wanted to see us every day. With my brother also visiting twice a week, he saw someone 4 times a week but he thought it was never enough.
    Luckily we came to a crisis point as it was getting quite a strain after two years working, and looking after him, doing his shopping, washing, cleaning etc. He had several falls, was admitted to hospital and was no longer able to live independently. He suggested he could live with us but we had to make it clear it was not possible with us working ashe was at risk of falls. We also knew we would have no life of our own as when visiting he would expect us to sit in the lounge all day with him with little conversation and he would question where my husband was going if he so much as went to the loo!
    Hopefully you have looked at several homes and found one you feel happy with. That is the main thing, that you feel your Dad will be well cared for. My Dad's home does not score the highest rating with the inspectors but it is such a homely place with really friendly caring staff and no agency staff. I think you can expect changes in mood when he goes in as there is the accepting stage at first and just getting used to a new way of life.
    The main thing is you know your Dad will be safe, fed and cared for and it takes the worry off you.My Dad had one of those alarms to wear around his neck in case he fell. The final night at his own house he fell getting ready for bed and had taken off his alarm. He was lying there all night while I spent half the next morning at school trying to ring him and getting no reply.
    I don't know if you have any other siblings living nearby so you can all have a chat together as a united front telling him that this is now the best option for him. That at least he will have company and people to talk to. I have been amazed how my Dad has joined in all the activities going, they have regular quizzes, play dominoes, armchair hoopla and darts, have excercise and entertainers visit. Before this he sat in his armchair with the TV on all day waiting for one of us to visit.
    I am sure there are a lot of good homes out there. The media always paints a blacker picture. Tomorrow all family and friends are invited to my Dad's home for an all day buffet and celebratory drinks for the Royal Wedding.
    Sorry for rather a long ramble!
  8. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    We had to do this when Mum could no longer care for dad at home. Shed been caring for him 24 hours a day for 9 years with the help of 3 home help visits a day but he deteriorated massively and social services refused to help in the home any more. It's very very hard. He's been there 30 months now. It's ok, there are worse places to be. Mum can go out again now and socialise, she even gets to babysit sometimes which she could never do before. I know she misses him though.
    The worst bit is choosing the home and moving him in. I know it's hard but try not to feel guilty. It doesn't mean you love him any less. Be kind to yourself.
  9. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Oh flora, darling I so know how you feel. And it is **** and horrible, but there comes a point where you have to make these decisions.
    My mum has dementia and I have battled like a lion to keep her at home for the last 3 years, with limited support from social services. We reached the point of no return in February (don't want to go into detail as it still upsets me to think about it) and mum went into what was initially respite, but is now permanent care.
    We have been really lucky that she's gone into a beautiful and caring environment, which is just 15 mins drive away, but I am still beating myself up about it. She is still so desperate to go home and I can't bear to tell her that we're going to have to put her house up for sale to fund the fees. I can't bear the thought of having to clear decades of memories from what was once my home. I don't know where it's all going to go! The thought of that beautiful house and garden (where two of my beloved dogs are buried) being sold to some stranger is doing my head in. My dad died in that house. It's too much.
    Just want to wake up and find it's all been sorted. But that ain't going to happen is it? [​IMG]
    And I feel guilty and **** and a bad person.

  10. It is so hard for us all in the same position. my mum went into repite care when my dad broke his hip and on the same day that my father-in-law died. My dad has since died and she is now in permanent care with dementia. She is well looked after and is in better health than she was at home. She no longer wants to come out and when we tried at Christmas it was a disaster as she just wanted to go back. She said that she feels lost and thinks that she will always be lost. We have just sold their house and the money will be used to fund her care when the sale is completed. We now have the task of clearing out all their possessions and we have put it off for as long as we possibly can. I love/d my parents so much and hate it ending like this.
  11. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    Me too manashee. We've had some real scenes with my mum over the past year. She's been in the home since September and soon we are going to have to rent her house out or sell. She simply can't manage at home (we tried all options) and she won't accept it. The strain of going up and down every weekend had meback on antidepressants, my sister off work sick, and my brother in law diagnosed with heart trouble and having a quadruple bypass. None of us wanted this outcome but she was lucky the falls she had weren't more serious, and she couldn't wash, look after herself or cooperate with the carers.

    And yes, we feel like s hit too.
  12. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    How the heck I've held it together at work while all this has been going on, I do not know, sooty. Fortunately (or not, depending on your POV), I lost my job last month, so I've had the luxury of time to consider what to do next.
    To my shame, since mum's been in the care home (and it IS a very good place), I've felt more relaxed and unworried than I have been in 3 years. She's safe ( 4 emergency visits to A&E in the last 4 months weren't fun), she's clean, she's warm, and she's eating good food and looking less like a skeleton.
    So why do I feel so down? And such a bad person?
    I don't know.
  13. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Quick answer, No!
    I think we are probably the first generation to really face this problem in such numbers. Previously people didn't live as long to develop the problems in such numbers & we're simply not 'geared u' for it.
    Nearly everyone I talk to these days is affected with one or more relatives & I'm certainly still in shock after a year. Absolutely nothing in my life prepared me for this eventuality. I'd blithely believed that if 'they were losing it', they would be totally unaware, but the biggest problem with dementia/ Alzheimer's etc. is they ARE aware, frightened etc.so lash out, undergo personality changes etc. And it's not a quick disease. Apparently care-giver stress is really high in relatives of dementia/Alzheimer's. Certainly, whilst I don't wish my mother dead, I do wish I didn't have to see my wonderful mother reduced to this & do wish it was over.
    Remember you're not alone.
  14. oh lor' it's hard isn't it - i had a good long think last night - i have never offered to have dad live with us (and i wouldn't - apart from us both being at work, he is getting frailer by the month and it wouldn't be practical even if i could handle it pschologically, which i couldn't) and he has never suggested it, but i we all (i have 3 sibs) are sure that is what he would prefer - in that he would be happier living with us, even tho his life would be duller and less pleasant day to day than in the home (it is an absolutely lovely home - expensive, but he came into an inheritance, and he has already met a group of with-it telegraph reading blokes who congregate in the bar on the dot of 12 each day)
    but the idea is more important to him than the reality, if you see what i mean, and however pleasant hte reality turns out, that view won't change
    he has been in a&e 3 times in the last 4 months with heart trouble - tho it's not like falls in that in between times he's as fit and well as he can be - and combined with the stress from our neighbours, that has me on anti-depressants, too. and it is a miracle he hasn't had a fall - our nerves are shredded whenever he stays
    as well as our parents living longer, but not necessarily healthier, we are the first generation of both partners working, and often full time, being the norm
    oh well - the contracts and the standing order form should arrive next week - it's my brother's turn to take them up and get them signed, and then we have to wait for the room he's going into to be cleared (happily, the previous occupant is upgrading to a room with shower, so it isn't a gloomy take-over) to measure up for furniture
    it is a comfort to know we are all in this together and all feel the same
  15. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Talking of guilt, when my Mum was recently diagnosed with a brain tumour and we were told she may not last the year, one of my initial thoughts was 'Well that's the second worst news we could have had - at least it wasn't Alzheimers'. However, having seen my Dad with an Alzheimers-like condition toward the end of his life I find it difficult to feel ashamed for thinking that way. At some point you have to strike a balance between your parents' health and your own, but making that choice is never easy.

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