Its over.

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I'm glad I found this site. it was very helpful as I tried to care for my grandfather. My grandfather moved in with us 8 years ago. My husband and I were his caregivers, we worked full time, had a small child. It was managable until about a year and a half ago when his health really declined. He had dementia, incontinence, limited mobility, and had swallowing issues with a couple of episodes of pneumonia. We brought in caregivers to help but realized that he would n eed more help. We didn't want to put him in a nursing home. We promsed my late grandmother we would take care of him. We watched as the man I grew up adoring became a shell of himself. After his last hospital visit he spent 6 weeks in a rehabilitation facility where he improved slightly and then got pneumonia again and declined. Medicare discharged him because he wasn't making progress and we knew we weren't able to provide the care he needed at home. We placed him in a skilled nursing facility. I don't think he he really understood what was going on other than he wasn't coming home. we told him he needed to get better so he could but 10 days later he passed away. to say my heart is broken is an understatement. I know he's in a better place and he's not suffering any longer and I try to think that he knew we were doing this for his own good. my family never helped with his care, I was POA so i'm the one who handled all of his medical decisions and arragnements. I'm the one who agreed to place him in the home and I feel responsible. Everyone tells me that I did everything I could for him. I cant help but feel that I failed him.. I am having his memorial service next week and I don't even want to go. I refuse to accept comfort from people who couldn't be bothered with him while he was alive


My condolences on the loss of this dear man who was so important in your life. May your life memories of him gradually overshadow this final traumatic time.

You promised his wife that you would take care of him and you did. You should be feeling proud of a job well-done and satisfaction that Grandfather had the care he needed, even when it exceeded you ability to personally provide it.

The intense feelings of bereavement can complicate how we view things immediately after a death. You absolutely did not fail your grandfather! Disappointment that he had to be in a facility is natural. Guilt? My goodness no! That is just a part of all the negatives you are feeling now. It is not reasonable at all.

You'll get through the memorial service OK. Yes, it is too little too late for many of the people who will be there, but for your own peace of mind try to let that judgment go for the day. Remember GF, honor him, do what comforts you and your husband, and smile at those who really did fail GF -- knowing full well that you and your husband behaved beautifully.
Newtoy, please accept my condolences on your loss. Your poignant post reflects an intimate and sincere concern for your grandfather. I can understand how much you feel torn between what you believed was necessary and what you wanted you do.

As others may write, the underlying issue of caring for someone is to find the best care possible during varying stages of illness. As the person becomes more physically (or mentally) compromised, that issue and the level of care evolves and changes.

I think your actions were very appropriate, and laudable. You recognized when he needed more care than you could provide. He was in the last phase of his life's journey at that point, and to have attempted to care for him at home wouldn't have been fair to either of you - you b/c it would demand more physically than could be provided, and him b/c he needed help from professionals who could be available 24/7 - he needed more than you could offer in home care.

To acknowledge that isn't an admission of guilt, or lack of concern, but to me reflects a recognition that it's time to sacrifice the comfort and benefit of his presence at home to the higher need of appropriate care at that time.

Think of it this way: if you had kept him at home, you couldn't have met his needs. To have tried to do so but not been able to could be considered as not providing the necessary level of care.

We're all going to die someday (not to be maudlin but life isn't eternal) and unless we're inanimate objects like rocks, we will someday or other face our own deaths. This isn't said to be crass, but rather to recognize the limited nature of human life. Hard as it is, recognizing what's best for him in that situation takes a lot of courage and strength, which I believe you have.

As to the memorial service, there is no need to have one. There are a few threads on this forum on the issue of final good-byes and services.

Check out the first and fifth threads. You'll find that others have faced this dilemma and decided to commemorate their loved one's life in ways other than an expensive, generally emotionally overwhelming, service.

I understand your position on accepting "comfort" from people who weren't a part of his life. I frankly feel the same way and probably will only have my family for a nonfuneral type get together. If they don't come, then I say my goodbyes in private and have a final get-together just for the people who were involved in his life.

The only people I want to share in my father's good-byes are those who helped him when he needed it, not patronizing do-gooders.
newtoy, your grandfather was so lucky to have you on his side. I know you feel like you let your grandfather down, but you didn't. There comes a time when even the best care can't keep nature from taking its course. The best we can do is provide love and care on this side until the end. It sounds like you did a remarkable job. Your grandfather couldn't have hoped for better. ((((newtoy))))
Thank you both for your kind words. I have found so much comfort on this site from people who have actually walked in my shoes and it means so much to me. On my better days I do know that I did what was best for him. I know my limitations and that I could not have provided him the care that he needed. I know that I contributed in some way to help his final years more be more enjoyable. I'm dealing with the grief the best that I can and I suppose I'll have good days and bad. Today is clearly not my best.
I'll try to to be strong and will try to rise to the occasion as I have already planned the memorial for next weekend. I wanted to celebrate his life and share the memories of the man that he was. It will be sad for the family members that weren't around for it while he was alive but I'm not doing it for them I'm doing it for grandfather.
newtoy1, my heartfelt sympathy to you and your family for the passing of your grandfather.

It is not unusual to go through the "what ifs", I think we all pretty much do that. I know I did. We can only do what we think is best and let the professional pick up where we left off. I know we always think we should have done more.

For the memorial service, depending what the standard for your area, you could make a timeline board showing photos of your grandfather when he was a child, a teen, getting married, his work, his family, and his later years. I found a lot of comfort going through the photos [tons of them, half the people in the photos I didn't even know] and sorting through them.
Newtoy1, I am sending hugs and sympathy your way. So many of us on this site have walked in your shoes and needed to make the same decisions. You ABSOLUTELY did what was best for your Grandfather. Hold your head high, look in the mirror and know that you made his final years the best they could be. When I placed my Mom in memory care, I was able to visit every day. When I saw what they did it affirmed my decision. Even though I was retired and in good health myself, the tasks performed by 3 shifts of aides; nurses; housekeeping and dining staff were way more than I ever could have handled. Sheets were soiled and changed constantly, entertainment provided, meal prep and med dispensing; hair salon services and the list goes on and on. I really don't know how so many on this site are able to do it all day after day. Godspeed to Grandpa and my hat is off to you and your Hudband. He must be a saint!
newtoy, You DID keep your promise, you DID take care of him. It was his time to go and I'm sure Grandma was beckoning him to join her. And I'm sure she is glad you were his angel while he was here.
Newtoy, as everyone has said, you absolutely did not let him down! You gave him the best of you and your family in his final 8 years! You are to be commended, but as most have said, we do always seem to question whether it was enough, but you must know that it was! You gave him a gift that no one else could have, to live within a loving family unit, even when it got really difficult, you did your very best for all concerned! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in the coming days, now you take care!
Newtoy, I visited my mom at her NH today. She has been there for three years. The charge nurse on the unit stopped to tell me how much they all enjoy her, and that she never complains, so that they know when she does, she's on pain, or something is really wrong.

I know for a fact that i would never have seen the symptoms of the three bouts of pneumonia that my mom has had, that she's recovered from. Getting your loved one to a good facility IS taking care of them.
you did more than most would have. You were a saint and did all you could and more. Do not think twice that you needed to do more. Your grandmother would be proud as she probably did not know the extent of caregiving that would be involved.

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