My husband got so bad about wandering away + taking everything apart + peeing on the floor + the constant food mess he made everyday, he had a bad breakdown and then couldn't even talk. The VA recomended long term care for him in a VA contracted home, I toured the home and it was very nice with caring staff. I finally took him up there after backing out twice, I'm surprised they took him. The next morning the relief I felt was so amazing and I thought shame on you!! Poor guy up there not knowing what's going on. I couldn't help it I was just so tired after taking care of him and now I can go where I want, eat what I want, take a nap, go to bed at night without getting up several times to check on him. I loved him when he was himself, now this child he is now is like a 2 yr. old, there's no reaching him at all. Jesus I'm so sorry but then again I'm so relieved and happy !! Dixie

Placing your husband with advanced Alzheimer's into long term care is akin to placing a very sick individual into the hospital for a disease. Why is there no guilt with hospitalization, yet there is a need to feel shame, guilt & apologize to Jesus for the other? It makes no sense. Your DH is safe & well cared for in a place where he can socialize with others in the same boat, and that's nothing to slough off either!

Remember that there are TWO lives that have been greatly affected by the horrible disease known as Alzheimer's, yet you're only focusing on ONE: his life. You matter too.

You did the right thing. Now you can go visit your DH and become the wife again instead of his exhausted and stressed out caregiver.

Allow yourself the luxury to relax and breathe now; you've earned it.
Helpful Answer (23)
Reply to lealonnie1
NeedHelpWithMom Apr 29, 2021
Absolutely! You know how this works. You are an advocate and caregiver that is overseeing your mom’s care.

You also have experience as an employee of a facility that saw the larger picture for many families and residents.

Everyone can benefit from your wisdom of learning how the advantages of facility care works in everyone’s favor, certainly from the caregiver’s point but most of all how it is beneficial for the residents at the facility.
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After being a caregiver and living thru the unbelievably difficult years caring for my wife, relief was the one emotion I was grateful to experience. And although I was still her advocate, but now her secondary caregiver (the MC staff was primary) I could begin to put my life back together without worrying where she had wandered off to at 2 in the morning. The difficult part was being separated, but we all have to come to the realization that our LO needs better care than we can provide. Don't apologize to the Lord or anyone else. You gave of yourself those many years at home, there's nothing selfish or shameful about that.

But you're journey isn't over. There's still the grief of anticipating his death and the emotions that will follow when he is gone. You might want to read about grief and how to deal with it. One book I recommend is Getting to the Other Side of Grief- Overcoming the Loss of a Spouse by Susan J. Smeenge. You might think it's too early for such a book, but it's not.

I'm pleased you found relief and some happiness in placing your husband where he can get the best care, and you can start to slowly pick up the pieces of your life.
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Reply to sjplegacy

It's a human thing to feel relief when a weight is lifted. I remember an article on caregiving that noted that caring for a loved one may sometimes mean putting them in the physical care of others.
Sounds like you found a good place; when you visit, you should have further relief, seeing that he's okay.
He's been robbed of himself. You have your memories of the person he was and, for that person's sake, you're giving that new person the best you can give. Remember that when this first wave of euphoria passes and you start second-guessing yourself.
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Reply to ravensdottir

Good for you.

I imagine it's wonderfully freeing to be able to place a LO in a facility that will take better care of them.

Don't let anyone guilt you over this. CG is exhausting, simply put. You did your best and now it's time to move to the next chapter in your life.

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Reply to Midkid58

You definitely made the best choice for each of you.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Others will learn from you and be encouraged by your story.

My husband and I have already told each other not to hesitate to seek placement for each other if needed.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

Don't feel bad for feeling good.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to HomelyandBald

"I loved him when he was himself, now this child he is now is like a 2 yr. old"

Well said. The man u married is no longer there. Its not his fault and it isn't your fault that he has this desease. You kept him home as long as you could but now its time for someone else to take the reins. The first night Mom was in the AL was the first night I had a good sleep in 22 months. I never slept soundly in that time. It was like having a baby again and I hadn't had one of them in 30 years. She would wake up almost every night. Yes, I was happy that I no longer had to toilet her. I have a split level and had her in the lower level. She had her bed, sitting area, TV and bath room. She could look up the stairs and see us milling around. But, I couldn't have her on my main level because I had 3 flights of stairs. I would have to watch her constantly. So placing her in an AL was heaven sent. It was one floor and the building was rectangular. She could walk around inside to her hearts content. All halls lead to the common area. There she could socialize. She loved the entertainment. So, I think it was a win win.

My DH is addimate about not being placed in a NH. I have told him I cannot promise anything. He is 5ft 10in and 205 lbs to my 5ft. I will keep him home as long as possible.

So please don't feel good about being happy.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to JoAnn29
lealonnie1 Apr 29, 2021
You may want to change your last line to "So please don't feel BAD about being happy" JoAnn.
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Good for you...Dixie...hugs 🤗
He will beg & plea to “come home “ but you hold your ground! Don’t weaken & take him back home. Trust the professionals to take care of him...
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Reply to CaregiverL

Dixie, thank you so much for your question. I am facing a similar decision in the not too distant future. On Monday, I am going to tour 2 facilities for an 8 day respite care for my husband, so I can go on vacation in August. If he does well, I will not feel as badly when the time comes for permanent placement.
All of you lovely people who answered Dixie have helped me tremendously. I felt like I was giving up on him when I have to place him, even though his doctor and I have already discussed it. His doctor flat out told me that I would eventually have to place him two years ago when he was first diagnosed. I feel so badly, because he waited on me hand and foot through neck surgery (flat on mt back for two weeks, the PT 3x a week for 4 months) and after rotatir cuff surgery, when I had my arm velcro'd to my waist for 6 weeks, the 6 months PT.
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Reply to Maple3044
disgustedtoo May 2, 2021
"I felt like I was giving up on him when I have to place him..."

You're not giving up on him, just on all the work you have to do around him! That gives you time to breathe AND then perhaps enjoy visits with him.

It does make it hard when he was such a loving husband who doted on you when you were down and out. The difference is your conditions were more likely to get better and you would heal so you could resume being you. Sadly that's not the case with dementia.

If possible, try to make the 8 day respite permanent. Moving does impact those with dementia badly, sometimes resulting in regression. It's also in the time frame they generally recommend staying away, to allow the person to try to acclimate to their new surroundings.

If he's like many others, he may beg and plead to go home, but steel yourself. It is much better to leave the "hard" work to those who are better at it, who get to go home and night and come back refreshed. Then YOU can be refreshed and be able to visit and try to enjoy some of his good moments.
Dear Dixie,
You have been suffering from caregiving burnout. Since you couldn't get a full night's sleep and his care was becoming unending, placement into a fulltime residence was necessary. No one person can care for another 24/7 with limited sleep. The relief - and joy - you feel is the heavy burden of stress being lifted off your shoulders. You are not taking joy in the separation but finally having your needs met. Don't ruin it with shame.

Visit him when you can. Make the time together as sweet as you can - bring favorite treats, share favorite music, do simple activities he enjoys... Then be grateful that you can still be together at times. During times away, rejoice in all the things you can still do on your own.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Taarna

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