Grieving for a loved one in a nursing home.

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Had to place my husband in nursing home 3 months ago, thought I came to terms with it but am still experiencing a lot of sadness..depression..cannot seem to move on..


What you are going through is very normal. You need to keep telling yourself that your husband is getting the best care possible with 3 shifts of skilled workers watching over him. I know we still worry and think that we could do a better job at home, but that isn't always possible as the Alzheimer's progresses.

Three months is so very soon, you need more time to adjust. Any friends or cousins who you are close to that you can call, just to talk?

How is your husband adjusting to his new location? I see from prior postings that he is in a Veteran facility, thus he is around people from the military. Is he able to communicate with them?
Thank you freqflyer for responding...yes my son tells me this all the time & it does seem that he is getting adequate care in the Veteran facility...I seem to have gotten passed that & lowered my expectations...Now my sadness seems to be based on feelings of the overall thoughts of him having to b there period . Not only stripped of his mind but his home (that he loved) his dignity etc. These thoughts immediately start me crying (as I'm doing as I write this) He on the other hand has always been VERY adaptable to any situation & has adapted to his new life & surroundings. IT IS ME FEELING SAD FOR HIM ALL THE TIME! I thought I had a grip on this but apparently not...I do have a history of periodic bouts with depression but this feels to add to my sadness my children don't even want talk to me as they can't deal with another round of depression from me..AND I do understand this...BUT I get annoyed at them as they are not being very understanding of the sadness I feel. So now we don't talk very much...I am scheduled to meet with a therapist week after next...hoping it helps...
I so understand, Nandypandy. I feel the same for Dad, who's in Memory Care now. The question I have to keep answering is: Do I want to sacrifice my life to take care of him, while allowing that to affect my husband, children and grandchildren, AND knowing that he will continue to decline so that I may not be able to for long anyway. But I face it almost every day. My past few visits haven't been good ones, as he's continually complaining, and I'm defensive.
Nancy, I'm so glad that your husband has adjusted, and that the care is adequate to his needs.

My uncle was a WWII vet. Spent several years with raging dementia at home, verbally abusing my aunt, adult kids, aides. Refusing psychiatric help.

When my aunt died, my cousins husband put his foot down and said enough of this. Uncle was transferred to a VA home where he lived quite contentedly for another 3 years. Good psychiatric meds got him him on a more even keel than he'd been for years. Loved being around other vets, singing old songs.

You, dear lady, sound as though you are grieving for your husband that was, for your relationship and for your marriage. It's an odd situation; if he'd died, no one would be telling you to get on with things.

I'm so glad that you are going to see a talk therapist! Has the idea of medication come up at all? Most research seems to show that a combination talk therapy and meds works best for most forms of depression.

Do you belong to a caregivers support group? In addition to therapy, it might be good to be around others who are dealing with these same issues.

I'm so glad you are taking action!
Nandypandy, may your children never really come to understand the sort of grief you are going through. Because to understand it, they would have to experience it.

If they're not calling you, you have to call them. Save it for when you feel in the mood to talk about them and what's going on in their lives. You're right, they don't understand; but you don't want them to. Adjust your expectations of them accordingly, and don't allow this awful time to alienate you from them. Use their normality as a solace, instead of a support.

Support, fellow-feeling, you'll get from us here - ! :) - and perhaps from other spouses and family members of people at the facility. If they don't have a support group, maybe you could start one?
The book "Loving Someone Who Has Dementia" by Pauline Boss was very helpful in understanding my own feelings. Dr. Boss explains that we are experiencing an ambiguous loss -- our loved one is there and not there at the same time. She suggests we need to acknowledge each loss along the way, and allow ourselves to feel the grief. Certainly not having your husband physically present in your home is a very huge loss. There is nothing wrong with you that you are grieving. I am glad that you are seeing a therapist -- not "fix" you, but to provide support while you grapple with these feelings.

This ambiguous loss business is extremely hard. You have just experienced a major life loss, and you are not receiving condolence cards, no one is bringing food, or sending flowers. On the contrary, your children are even annoyed with your mourning. Having someone to talk to who understands is very valuable. A therapist can play that role. So can many of us. And if you can find a local support group for caregivers of loved ones who have dementia, that can be very helpful, too.

And if you like reading, I recommend Dr. Boss's book to you.

Keep in touch here.

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