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My mother has been in a nursing home for 3 1/2 years with Alzheimer's.
My father who is still living in the addition we built for them years ago wants to be with her - sometimes. We've been working with the nursing home for a couple of years to make that possible.

Every time a room becomes available my father gets cold feet.
The "problem" is that someone needs to die for a bed to become available to him. Once he's there someone else needs to die for them to be placed in a room together. There are a limited number of rooms which can accommodate a couple because most of the rooms have a shared bathroom.
Once he's in a room it will easier for the staff to get my parents together.

A bed in a semi-private room finally became available for my father. He was in a good mood today (he isn't always - he mood swings much of the time) and is open to the idea. I am so ready to have my life back after 11 years of caring for my parents.

So now I feel guilt, shame . . . a plethora of feelings. I feel like I'm abandoning him. In all honesty I'm afraid that he will feel that I'm abandoning him. He's really good at guilt tripping.

Has anyone else gone through this?

My father will be 98 in a couple of weeks. It was really difficult placing my mother. This seems even more difficult because my father is of "sound mind". He has many physical ailments and needs more care than I can give him.

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated!

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Janny, I'm praying the new place works out as you hope. The place can make a big difference. The one I liked - and would like for myself if I ever need it - my mom hated, and my thrid choice was her final home where she did as well as she could for as long as she could...good for you for being open and considering all ideas!
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Good news! I dropped my ego and went to the "other NH". It's wonderful. It's a non-profit, doesn't smell like urine, and very organized. Much more that I liked . . .the staff, the rooms, sunny everywhere, atriums, etc.

They have a room which my parents can share so I'm going to bite the bullet and move my mother. I told my father that he needs to go in first so he will be there to greet her when we transfer her from her present NH.

This could all happen within the next 2 weeks!
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Hi Madeaa,
My mother can't come home because she's wheelchair dependent. Even if that wasn't the case she would become very disoriented returning to the NH. It would be like starting from day 1 all over again because of her level of dementia.
Besides . . I can't juggle as much anymore. I've lost many work hours and I need to work. Fortunately I work in my home so I create my own hours.

Yes, I agree . . . he can't have his way anymore. He is so difficult to talk to. He goes into anger mode and then I need to walk away because I'm not good with conflict.
ugghhh . . .today's the day for "talking". I'm not looking forward to this.
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I understand the guilt feelings, awful, you darned if you do and darned if you don't. What are your options, can you have mom come home and visit dad every now and then? You said dad is 98 and wow that is sure up there, you said it is getting increasingly difficult for you to care for him. I think there is the answer. You have done your best for 11 years, now it is time to turn it over and let go. It would be best for him to be in the nursing home with his wife as opposed to a different, separate one from her in my opinion. It is time for him to go in now and make peace with it, he can't have his way all the time and this is one of those times. This is the best solution I can see.
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Thank you JessieBelle.
If only my father could see it that way.
I have to talk to him again tomorrow because the NH needs a commitment.
The thought of it makes me feel nauseous.

Hopefully my next update will be better!
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The switching behavior can drive us crazy. Sometimes I think that when we want something, our loved one will say they want the opposite. Maybe if you tell him that he cannot move there, he will decide that he wants to go. That one might backfire, though.

I don't have any good advice, but I do know how you feel. We can work so hard to get something set up that they say they want, only to have them say that they never wanted it. Scream! I think it would be a wonderful idea for your father to live at your mother's NH. He would be able to visit her even if he wasn't able to move into the same room for a while. And you would get some downtime. After 11 years, I am sure you are ready for it. You've devoted 11 years to your parents this far, so there is no reason to feel guilty -- only glad that you have done such a good job caring for them.
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Great, My father is trying to back out once again.

I'm at a loss. We went to see the bed in the semi-private that's available. He already knows that all the rooms look the same. Now he doesn't want to go. He wants me to get him and my mother in a different nursing home.
I told him that moving my mother will set her back but he only cares about himself.

Maybe I should tell him fine. He can go tot the other home by himself if he never wants to see his wife again. Or me.

This is not just old man behavior. he's been somewhat of a sociopath all his life.

I'm so tired.
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Thanks everyone. Sometimes a reality check is in order. Much appreciated!

I guess I'm human after all ;-)
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Why do you feel guilty? Because you are a good, responsible person. You want to make things all better for everyone. When that is impossible you think should be able to do it anyway. Wicked people (who probably should feel guilty more often) seldom become caregivers!

If you talk your Dad out of moving into the NH, when one of them dies you are going to feel guilty for keeping them apart and not giving them the chance to spend their last days together.

If you encourage your Dad to go to the NH you are going to feel guilty for "abandoning" him.

See, you get to feel guilty no matter what! Might as well pick the option that seems least bad for everyone.

When you are a caregiver, you have to make the best decisions you can in spite of guilt feelings. You can't let unearned guilt paralyze you and still function effectively!
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I agree, you're going to feel guilty no matter what you do. "Caregiver" and "guilt" go hand in hand. Not that it's justified, just that it's an emotion we're all too familiar with.

If your dad wants to be with your mom then make the arrangements but let him know he has X amount of time to back out and once he backs out that's it, he's stuck with you.

After 11 years of caring for your parents you shouldn't feel guilty. You've done your job, you've gone above and beyond. Get dad settled and then breathe.
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guilt just comes with the carer package. you cant make the elder feel better, you cant make them happy, you just have to draw a line where doing a good job and unrealistic , utopian expectations meet.
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