Dad going into home. How can I make him feel ok about that?


Dad is 92 and has bone cancer with a broke hip them vertebrae not too long ago. He also wears catheter. He also suffers from gait apnea which means he must always be in his electric wheel chair when he's not in bed. Basically he now can't do anything on his own. He needs full time care. My 82 yr old mom is exhausted and can't help him anymore. it's too much for her. After his last accident at home (he fell and needed to be rushed to emergency) the family agreed to place him in long term care facility. He agreed too but is now not happy about it and wants to come home. We just want to get him to focus on having the right help and not feeling that we 're abandoning him. Which we're not but I can appreciate how vulnerable he might be feeling. Just want to know how to reassure him so he is not angry with us or sad.

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This all sounds so familiar to me, Viejos! It's natural that even when our loved one knows the move to a nursing home is for the best, adjustment will take time. My mother made that decision, but for the first few weeks she was there you'd never know it. There was a lot of complaining. Eventually, she was fine.

You're on the right track. Visit often, and when he complains, gently remind him that this care is what he needs. Work on making his room or his space as personal as possible. Just be there for him so he's reminded that he has not been abandoned.

He will be angry and sad for awhile. Remind yourself that this adjustment is hard. But he'll get better. And even if he keeps complaining, you know that this was the only option. Your mom could not keep up the care. It literally could have killed her.

This is a tough decision but you've done well. Please keep checking in to let us know how you are doing.
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You can't control how your dad feels. You CAN visit him, call him, send him cares and make sure that others do as well. Is the facility close enough so that Mom can visit him often? Can you help facilitate that? You can also validate his feelings "I know, Dad, it must be scary to go to a new place and trust that other people are going to take as good care of you as mom did" And reassure him that going into care doesn't mean abandonment.
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How long has he been there, Viejos? Many people need several months to fully settle in.
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