My wife will be 59 this month. She has been hospitalized or in a NH for the past 14 months. She is wheelchair bound, but sometimes transfers herself from wheelchair to bed and or toilet and reverse. However, because she is stubborn and will not call for help, she has fallen on average of 2 times a week since September.

Whenever I visit, she expects me to do all the moving her. ( I injured my back in 1996 and have been on disability since. 3 failed back surgeries I am 64 and limited in what I can lift.

She says she is coming home for an overnight visit Christmas. I don't think I can handle this. I am also afraid that once she is back in the home, she will refuse to leave.

I have missed visiting her less then 10 days since October 2017 and usually spend a minimum of 4 hours with her, When she has been hospitalized or first moved back to the NH sometimes as much as 18 hours. I also have a learning disabled 18 YO boy at home. He visits with her at least 2 times a week.

What to do?

Thank you!
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to garylee

I would do the traveling this Christmas. Your son wants some early Christmas and that’s fine. You could have a nice breakfast and open a few presents. Then pack up and bring lunch/dinner and the rest of the presents to open with your wife. Do you purchase any gifts for your son on behalf of your wife for her to give him? If so, you could save them for him to open at the nursing home. Love CM’s suggestion to encourage her with a goal of being able to make the trip next Christmas, but it even could be Valentines Day or Easter, or you sons birthday, or your anniversary. Whenever sounds good/meaningful/potentially doable with planning, and relieves some of the stress of doing it right now when you dont think she’s capable.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to rocketjcat
garylee Dec 22, 2018
Thank you for the great suggestions. Yes, he is able to buy some things for me from her and her and him. I give him a list to choose from and a budget to stay within.

I also buy things from her to him. I try to get the thing he wants the most from her.

Everyone one who has lived the life knows that being a caretaker, even if it's just 4 or 5 hours a day at the NH, is difficult at best.

Today she begged to come home permanently and I had to tell her no She said "you are able to do it when you're visiting, why can't you do it all the time. I tried to explain to her that at home, I would be working the 3 shifts that the CNA'S care for her plus the nurses. She is having a difficult time with reality.

Thanks again.
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Thanks for your post 

She is under palliative care with hospice. She has had at least 5 strokes since 2003, most caused by endocarditis with vegetation building up on one of her 2 mechanical heart valves and the vegetation breaking off, just like a clot and causing the strokes. She has has CHF for at least 15 years, COPD, non-compliant diabetic, so I don't see much chance for improvement.
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Reply to garylee

I think you are doing the best thing for all of you. Will her situation ever improve?
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Reply to Janice58

I'm sorry your wife needs a nursing home at such a young age, that must be extremely hard for both of you. Unless she has some kind of TBI or early onset dementia she is able to understand the reasons that you can't bring her home, although she may disagree, pout or have a meltdown you can only do what you can do - jeopardizing your own health will only make advocating for her harder. I'm sure you are both grieving the crappy hand that life has given you, you've been a good husband to her and are sticking by her despite the difficulties, I think that is as much as you can be expected to do.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to cwillie
garylee Dec 22, 2018
Thanks for your post .

My wife and I have been married almost 35 years. After the first year, I realized that something was wrong. She agreed and began seeing a psychiatrist and has been on meds for bipolar every since. She has extreme paranoia at times and recently scored 20 on the MMSE,
As your young man is well used to visiting his mother in the nursing home, it must surely be better and more practical for you and him to visit your wife and make a nice Christmas with her there, don't you think? Perhaps you can sell him the idea on the grounds that, although it's awful for all of you that his mother has to be in the NH, at least you can both do something together to make it a good day for her.

If she sees "getting home for Christmas" as an actual goal, let it be one to work towards for next year.

That way, you're making it more part of a strategic long-term plan than saying to her that you can't cope with her. It's less rejecting. I'm sorry this has happened to your family and hope next year will see positive progress for all of you.

Will there be other family members around whom you need to consider or, on the plus side, can call on for help?
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Countrymouse
garylee Dec 22, 2018
Thank you for your post.

There are no family close by. We do have a very supportive church. One lady friend of ours has visited my wife at least 2 times a week since her stroke over a year ago.

Son is happy with just visiting her, but wants some Christmas early at home.
I'd tell her that you'd feel better taking Christmas to her instead, that you worry about her falling or you throwing out your back trying to move her. This way, there is nursing help close by if she needs it.

I think you're right in the point as well that if you were to bring her home, you may have a hard time getting her to go back. It can be very hard and stressful when someone hasn't adjusted well to facility living yet to be back in their old environment.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to FrazzledMama

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