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I had to put my husband in the nursing home two weeks ago. He has Dementia from concussions during his NFL football career. I took care of him for 10 years at home. My health was declining from living on 2 hours a sleep and the stress of panic attacks he was having and the sun downing. I feel so guilty. He looks so sad there and wants to come home.

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Kimberly, I'm right behind you with my mom; all of us (her village) doing everything possible to keep her in her apt with her beloved cat, while it gets harder and harder for her, and for us. Her memory is going now, due to drugs for her deteriorating spine, which has bent her in half, and she can barely walk with her rollator to the bathroom and back. Taking her anywhere is a slooooow process, and so difficult; several other things starting up now; it probably won't be long... either God will heal her, take her home, or she will be in a NH. If the last one happens, I will NOT feel guilty; we've watched over her for 25 years, since we got married, and I will get to visit her as her daughter/friend, and not have to manage her whole life. See if you can look at it that way; hopefully that will help, especially as it's true!
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I do not know how to get over the guilt but I do know placement can be expensive.

Have you filed your claim for the CTE settlement? If not, I would do so immediately.

Sorry, I spend alot on my season tickets for the Lions and $11 beers. The money really needs to be given to care for retired players not corporate greed.
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KimberlyW Oct 18, 2018
Yes, we been in the settlement from the beginning. He’s had all the testing etc. It’s still tied up in court and will be for a long time. I doubt we will ever see anything from them. He played back when they just put them back in after a concussion. He loved the game as do I, but the NFL does need to step up and help. Thanks for caring!!
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How do you get over...

I think this is a question of expectation management.

Your lovely husband has declined over time. You cared for him devotedly for ten years at home. This must in itself have been a sad, as well as an exhausting and stressful experience.

His health then reached the point where lack of sleep and simply his care needs made it impossible for you to continue as his sole caregiver.

Guilt is the feeling that we have done something wrong, or that we have not done something we ought to have done. Neither applies to the course that your husband's illness took. You could no more meet his needs than you could have lifted him physically over your head and held him there.

Having him admitted to a nursing home where he could be looked after by a team of qualified people was the right decision. It is better for *him*. It means that his needs can be managed by people who have the training and equipment to do the job skilfully, and it avoids the risk of anything happening to you that would have left him vulnerable and alone.

But he is sad, he wants to come home, and of course he cannot understand why this change has happened. He needs reassurance and love. Give him those. You will still feel sad alongside him, but I hope you will lose the guilt.

And who's looking after you, by the way?
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KimberlyW Oct 16, 2018
Thank you. I know you are right. It’s just that I second guess myself....could I have done it longer etc. Such a sad disease.
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I hope for courage for both of you. Your husband has to cope with the sadness of life changing in a way he never would have wished, and so do you. He may well have moments of feeling guilty that his football career has brought this upon both of you, you are feeling just as bad. If you both can live through this first period, it will get better when things settle down. You have both cared for each other through your marriage, and this is just a different way to continue. Love to you both, Margaret
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KimberlyW Oct 16, 2018
Thank you!
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Not to demean your feelings, but they’re very common. No one does happy cartwheels down the middle of the street when we have to put our loved one’s in a facility. It’s one of the most difficult things we have to do. Life as we know has changed and it’s a permanent change. There is no reverse gear on dementia. Your husband probably played before the concussion protocols that are in place now. Hard hits to the head were commonplace back then and I’ve read about so many players who had concussion after concussion and it was considered just part of the whole NFL “experience”. And our loved ones don’t made it any easier when they cry about wanting to go “home” even if in their mind, “home” could be their childhood home that perhaps no longer exists.

Ive cared for my husband for 15 years since his stroke. 5 years ago, he had a near fatal heart infection and has declined since then to the point he is now bedridden. Like you, my health has declined. I don’t sleep and the stress is unbelieveable. And like you, I’d suffer from many feelings of guilt if I had to send him to a facility.

Two weeks is not a long time for him or you to adjust to this new way of life and these first few weeks can be so stressful and heartbreaking for us. Many facilities suggest not visiting for a week or so to let your loved one get accustomed to this new way of life and have the staff get to know him as well. We have the best intentions, but when our loved ones see us, it reminds them their life has changed. Your husband is getting the care and supervision he needs. It’s difficult to pass the baton, but this wasn’t a decision you made lightly. Trust in yourself that you made the right one. Whenever you need to vent or need a cyber-hug, come back here. We’re open 24/7.
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KimberlyW Oct 16, 2018
Thank you!!
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