Feeling very depressed about placing dad (89) in a nursing home.

Started by

I have never been especially close with my father but I love him. I have helped him financially over the years and made sure he had everything he needed. He is sometimes difficult and has always been very independent. I was diagnosed with a rare cancer 5 years ago and then type 1 diabetes. Dealing with this left little time to see my dad and I didn't want him to know about my illness. My family and I did visit and give money but now I feel terrible that it was not as often as I should of. He has
always been very healthy, but had a sudden decline. He suffered from delirium and then had a seizure and small heart attack in hospital. He was diagnosed with coronary artery disease but can't have a stent because of his health. He was placed in a nursing home for rehab, because now he can't get around. I have cried so much I feel like I am having a break down. I don't think he can be released and will have to go to long term there. He needs 24/7 assistance and we work and can't provide that. He seems not to mind the nursing home because he feels safe there because he isn't alone and receives medical attention. He is very anxious about dying and i he so far likes the medical attention. He is not complaining, it is me that can't bear the thought of him dying there. My mother was at the same nursing home 15 years ago after a large stroke and died there. The memories are terrible. How do people cope with the stress and guilt. I will try to spend all the time I can there and I have being sending different family members to visit so he isn't alone. Any words of advice would be appreciated. I feel like I am sinking into a great depression. I don't have any supportive siblings. I would still like to try to bring home home if he gets mobile, but I am not sure how this will effect my marriage as my husband isn't 100 perfect on board.

2 Comments

I am sorry that your memories of your mom's stroke and death in the nursing home is causing so much guilt about placing your dad in a NH. You didn't cause your mom's stroke anymore than I caused my mother's which alone with a broken hip that she never regained the ability to walk from ended up with her in a nursing home where she died 3 years later of another stroke. I'd suggest seeing a therapist about this struggle and your struggle with the idea of him dying.

Also, it sounds like it is already having a negative impact on your marriage with your husband not being fully on board with the idea of your dad moving to your home. I suggest dong a search here about the stories of people's experiences of bringing their parent home.

From your description, it sounds like he is content with being in the NH, plus needs to be there, and I suggest leaving him there which as you say, he may need to stay there anyhow. I am not sure from your description of your health issues and his needs that as one person, it is going to be possible to give him 24/7 care. I think that you are being way too hard on yourself.

Please see a professional, i.e., therapist for your depression, grief, guilt, feeling like you are having a break down, and perfectionism of expecting too much of yourself. You may need some meds too to get you this this rough spot. Anyhow, take care of yourself and of your marriage.
"He feels safe there and isn't alone...he likes the medical attention". Why would you spoil a situation that your dad needs and likes?

Where is this guilt coming from? You didn't cause his decline. You are honoring his needs and wishes. You'll visit as a loving daughter. You'll advocate for him.

If feelings of guilt and shame persist, I'd recommend seeing a therapist.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support