My husband is in a nursing home and it is breaking my heart...

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He has been there for three months and is just now in the process of qualifying for Medicaid. I admitted him at our doctor's advice because he said I just couldn't take care of him anymore. He is severely physically disabled and right now it takes 2 CNNs to get him out of bed and into his wheelchair. I have been taking care of him for 7-8 years and have watched his decline. Last year he had a bad fall and wound up in a Rehab. He stayed only 3 weeks and I couldn't stand it anymore...I took him home. We had Medicare therapists coming in a few times a week and he was improving. But then,he reached his plateau and Medicare would not pay for them to come in anymore. He began another decline, and finally I could not even get him out of bed. I had to call 911 4 times in the last few weeks he was at home because he would slip to the floor when I was trying to transfer him and I couldn't get him up. He is for the most part cognizent, and that's what hurts the most. He hates it in there and wants to find a way to come home. The therapist and Social Worker have said he needs to stay long term for both his and my safety. He is unable to use the bathroom so he is in diapers. I know that Medicaid would pay for a hospital bed and a Hoyer lift if I decided to bring him home and try it again. We've been married 36 years...I am 66 and he is 76. I feel miserable and feel like I'm in Limbo right now. Help!


3930 helpful answers
Please listen to the professionals. I've been in a situation where a person fell often and I couldn't get her up. I called 9-1-1 way too often. This just doesn't work. We had to make use of a local nursing home and she gradually adjusted.
Your own health will fail eventually if you take your husband back home. Your husband needs you to remain healthy and the best way to do that is to take care of yourself and spend as much time as you can with him. You can't help him at all if your health is ruined and he wouldn't want that.
If you get sleep and can be refreshed, you will be better able to cope with things at the nursing home. Likely he will adjust when he knows there's no chance of a change. It's the waffling that keeps him thinking he maybe could go home.
This is very hard, I know. But it would be harder if something happened with him under your care where he was injured (or both of you). My thoughts are with you. Please keep checking in.
1waples, It's sad and disappointing to have to put your hubby into a nursing home, and I totally get that. But Carol is right, if you were to get hurt while lifting or transferring your husband at home, what would you do then? How would you feel when you're laid up with a broken whatever, and someone else has to remove him to live at a nursing home anyhow? No, it's better this way. And she's also right when you 'waffle' about your decision, especially if you're doing this in front of your husband, What must he be thinking when you're miserable with your decision of putting him there, and talk about how you wish he could come home? That's not fair to him, or yourself. No, you've made the right decision, so it's time to deal with it. It is what it is. Start making the best of a bad situation when you're with him, even if you have to lie thru your teeth to do it. When you go home you can fall apart, that's ok too.
Thank you Carol, and Nancy for your advice...I know that you both are's when he talks about coming home that my resolve begins to weaken. He has been my rock and a leader all of these years and it is hard to see him in a somewhat subservient position. I don't believe that I have "waffled" with has only been in my own mind and with my friends, supporters. I appreciate your sound advice...Thank-You so much. Waples1
I too have had the same situation - almost to the letter except it wasn't my husband, it was my Mother. I put her in a nursing home last October and it is gut wrenching as you very well know. We are supposed to be able to take care of them in their hour of need, but I soon realized that it was more than I could manage. 911 was called numerous times when she would fall or wouldn't wake up. Ultimately, the doctor stepped in and said she had to go to the nursing home and if I chose to take her home, it would be endangering her health and safety and if she took a fall or was hurt the state could very well step in and take control of her care and decisions. Since I have Medical POA, I wanted to make sure that she went into the facility I chose and knew of and so on. It could go very bad quickly if something were to happen. It is true, his health and safety are key and he has all of that in the nursing home. I looked at it this way - I AM taking care of my Mother - keeping her safe, comfortable, well feed and monitored 24/7/365 by qualified staff is taking care of her. Hang in there - you're being a wonderful caretaker of your husband.

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