To place or not to place.

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Greetings all!
I recently had posted on a forum that placement of a loved one should be the last thing we do as caregivers. I was met with quote a lot of resistance in that, other posters jumped straight to placement
I guess I wanna discuss why people come here and comment on the forums if the first response I read is placement. If that's the case, then you are no longer a caregiver. You become a visitor at a facility. If I am wrong in the difference between a visitor and a caregiver can some please enlighten?
I don't want to appear crass but its very disturbing when I even see the "expert" give the same advice.
Any suggestions comments welcome :)
Chris

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Hi Jinx4740,
Pleasure to hear from you. Thank you for being self reflective in commenting. I completely understand that many people here have put in years of self sacrifice and I am the new kid on the block. However, if most of the people that post here are a once and done type thing, is the message that y'all wanna send to them "take care of you first and foremost" and "you don't have to put up with abuse"?
It strikes me odd that these are the mantras that I read. How can a little old lady or man with hardly any cognitive process "abuse" someone with the ability to reason and formulate thought appropriately. I just don't understand that line of reasoning. We are still adults, and they are having childish tantrums, only difference here is behavior remodification is difficult at best.
I don't pass judgment on people, I tell them I don't understand something or confused as to their actions. I may even go so far as to say that I feel they are lacking in one area or another. But these can be improved (or not) and we go on our merry ways.
While I understand that the 24/7 caregiver doesn't get the night shift off, those 12 teenagers that I was taking care of in the wilderness program, weren't my children either, and I was getting a wage (that's what they chose to call it anyway).

I don't believe those that place a loved one feel guilt when they do so a majority of the time. Now that I see how readily people here are quick to draw on placement, I don't know that this is the place for me. You are the first person to even entertain the idea that "wow maybe we do sound that way". So if I am looking forward to being the lone wolf here on this site then I can be a lone wolf right here in NY as well and just not waste my time either having to explain myself or feeling like I have to. This does not include you BTW.

I'm gonna hang out for a while longer who knows maybe I'll stay, but as it stands right now... I'm really not impressed with the "jump the gun" conclusions of "you gotta place your loved one, You shouldn't deal with that abuse, and NPD and you'll lose your marriage.... The whole negative beat down in the replies I read are depressing. I haven't viewed one person with an idea of how to make it work at home. Ugh, I gotta go Thinking about it really makes me feel bad for the elders that are sick today.

Be Well

Chris
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Your question is a good one. I have wondered myself why we recommend placement so quickly, when many of us have served years as 24/7 in-home caregivers.

Maybe it's because we hear the desperation of the poster. We hear stories of the one child, unsupported and despised by her siblings, verbally abused by her parent (or his parent, but usually hers). We hear about the poverty that prevents the carer from getting respite. We hear about the vulnerable elder living on his or her own, who does not accept or appreciate the care that is offered. Many of us know what it is like to be wakened every hour of the night by a loved parent, spouse, sibling or God forbid, seriously ill child.

It isn't always quite that desperate. Sometimes the loved one is grateful and cooperative. Sometimes there is a family or community pulling together. Sometimes, the loved one can sleep through the night. Sometimes, there is enough money to hire help. In those cases, it is possible to keep the loved one home until the end.

Maybe what we should say is, Don't feel guilty if you have to place your loved one because you have done all you can. Don't sacrifice your life, sanity, children, spouse, economic viability, unless you have a realistic view of what you are getting into. If your health and your loved one's health is at risk, then let the professionals take over the physical care. You are the only one who is the child, spouse, relative or friend. Relieved of nursing duties, you can still offer the love and compassion, and the intimate knowledge of this person.

We respond quickly because some people only post here one time. The message I want them to hear is NOT "You are a bad person if you don't honor your promise to never put them in a nursing home." The message I want to offer is, "Try your best, but your life is important too."

Your experience sounds cool. I envy you with your tents. But you got three days off! The 24/7 caregiver doesn't even get the night shift off!

"Visitor" doesn't really describe the experience of many with loved ones in a facility. There is still a lot of work and heartbreak even if you aren't changing diapers.

You are new here. Before you make up your mind about us, take time to see what we are all about. We are a wise and supportive community. We honor those who keep the loved one at home, but we know from personal experience that it's not always possible.
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Hi captain,
Thank you. All the mentioned by you is one of the reasons I won't place mom.
Be well:)
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pstegman,
Hi. I understand that you are part of the tx team.
And let me say I'm sorry about your sister. While I hear you that it is necessary for you to be part of the tx team, and you have to stay up to date with meds, daily care, etc. I have to say you are not there all the time. I have moved from my home to move in with mom otherwise the geriatric psych hosp was going to commit her or award her to the state. I chose to move and leave my business behind. A personal choice that I don't regret.
My problem is that this is a forum for caregivers that take care of loved ones at home (or so I thought). I realize that the website isn't structured that way but the particular forum was. I guess I just don't see how caregiving by definition and visitor by definition are the same or even similar.
Yes there are difficulties in both roles I admit but to say have her placed based on 1 paragraph of information is irresponsible in my opinion.
I was a wilderness counselor for 7 years and we got burnout living 3days on and 3 days off in tents using outhouses etc. I guess I feel it could be so much worse and without all the info I just dot feel comfortable immediately saying placement is appropriate.
In saying this I'm not trying to minimize anyone's struggles, or frustrations. I believe it's a cry out cause that's what they want to do but struggle with that decision everyday.
Ya know?
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yea, agree with stegman,
NH cant so much as comb their hair without your expressed consent. caregiving in ways, probably gets harder. in our case i had to steadily battle a staff of criminal narcotic and money thieves. it was so blatant that the law got involved. NH has its own complications.
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i found caregiving much more difficult the 3 months that my mother was in ALF a few years ago than watching after her in our home.
as far as placement there are probably a million different factors that would influence the decision. roughly 70 % of americans would like to live out their lives at home but less than 30 % actually do. there might come a time when the elder needs 24 hour, possibly bedside care, and a move to NH might be best for the patient. i think most people on here just try to advise you to know when to let go and not to feel defeated at doing so. if an elder gets sick enough they might not know or care where theyre at.
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You are only a visitor at the facility? My sister has lived in a group home for 30 plus years. All that time, it has been NECESSARY to oversee the care she is given. They would love to have me butt out, but it's not going to happen. The more involved you are, the better the care is. You MUST get to know her nurses, gain their confidence, get them to tell you about the little things that they notice. You MUST talk with the MD's, the Social Workers, PT, OT, sit in on case reviews. You are NOT giving up caregiving, you are spreading the effort across a team of professionals and YOU are the COACH.
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