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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

No, when we finally got Mom safely settled in AL, then Memory Care I was so relieved! Now she was looked after 24/7 by a wonderful staff, had new friends and activities, personal care, etc. I no longer had to spend my time worrying about her, running errands, and all the other daily tasks. I could visit and really visit, spend quality time with her instead of all the tasks.
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Reply to Frances73
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Taking care of my husband at home has ruined our relationship.

I know I will feel the same way when the time comes.

It is actually better ! You can visit and enjoy him instead of, as in my case, changing diapers.

Wallow in the luxury!

Sue
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Reply to Salisbury
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I would say relief is totally normal and expected. You have lived through a highly stressful time, made a difficult decision, and followed through. What comes after stress and difficulty and the cause of stress is removed? Relief. Enjoy it, get your life back. Breathe. You did a good job.
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Reply to LittleOrchid
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Dear Dixie et. al.,

The answers here were just terrific. Keeping your husband at home was doing no good for either you or him. You have a right to life. It is sad that we cannot just go together at the same time, but that is reality. You made sure it was a good place, that he would be well cared for. You did the best you could to make his life as good as it can be and not destroy your life. That is to be applauded.

I do have a comment, though, kind of from the other side of the situation. I was saddened by "I loved him when he was himself." I have lost my leg six years ago, but I continued to work. I am about 90%-95% self-sufficient; in fact I was still taking care of our son pretty much as always, driving him to school, picking him up, supervision of homework, hanging around, parenting as much as I could. I cannot walk too far and I have a hard time climbing stairs, but I do other things normally. Oh, yes, I also had to have a wheelchair at home. My wife decided three years ago that I was not worth loving anymore and got me out of the house. I have struggled horribly since then, with COVID-19, layoff, whatnot. In your case it became a struggle that neither of you deserved. In my case, I became not useful enough.

What I noticed was that both you and my wife did not hesitate to say "I loved him when he was himself." I certainly love my wife differently than 45 years ago, then 35 years ago, then 20 years ago. Nevertheless, I would never put my love for her in past tense. I may be unfair, but by your words, you put your husband in a nursing home for your convenience; I wonder whether you did so much to place him in a good place more to assuage your (unfounded) guilt than for his sake.

Placing your husband in the nursing home was the right thing for you and for him. No shame there, no embarrassment, no guilt. You did rational, kind thing for both of you. Saying in the past tense that you loved him when he was well, though obviously not any more, that your love for him was done and over with, well, it made me very sad for your husband, and hoping you and I will never meet.

I wish your husband the very best.
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Reply to SonCaringForMom
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cweissp May 6, 2021
Dear Soncaringformom, I did notice her comment that she loved him when he was himself. It was a sad comment, however her husband and who was no longer really exists. She became more his mother than his wife. He is now a child that will not only not get older but revert to an infant type state as he becomes more and more dependent. I would imagine I would feel much the same toward my husband in her place; especially without enough sleep and being constantly on the go cleaning up after him. There are so many caregivers that die because they work themselves and stress themselves to death while caring for their LOs.

I hope she will visit her husband in his new home and be able to just sit with him even if there is no real conversation.

I am so sorry for what happened to you, it wasn't fair.
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Good for you! You're blessed to have the VA help. You have a LIFE again!!
My husband was in the National Guard and doesn't qualify for VA benefits.
I thought there was a possibility Medicaid would cover some of the cost, and they do, but it's not enough to cover the Memory Care facility that I chose. The facility is almost $5,000. per month and I can't deal with the damage to our standard of living.
It might come to something I have to do - because at 83, with health issues, my caregiving duties more and more are beyond my capacity.
Glad you're FREE!!
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Reply to MeezerMama
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Imho, you were a STELLAR caregiver to your husband with Alzheimer's. Do not feel any guilt as no one person can do it all. You did the right thing.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Feeling relieved is normal reaction because they have the ability to give him best care. Happy also that you can visit as his wife knowing he's not going to get better. Jesus fully would agree you did right.
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Reply to LNReason
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YES DEFINITELY, It is most important for you to take care of yourself. Being a caregiver is stressful and difficult and caregivers do not get the recognition they deserve. Your feelings are normal and appropriate. If not done already, you might want to make sure you have the necessary authorizations - POA both financial and health and wills and trust fund [if appropriate]. Recommend you see an estate attorney if you need help with these.
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Reply to HILLARDMH
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dixierose, what you feel is perfectly normal. You worked and slaved taking care of your husband - worrying, cleaning up after him, going without sleep. There is no shame in feeling the relief - you should be relieved.

There is no shame in also placing him in a place where he will be cared for by people trained in caring for him. Just think about it there will be someone there 24/7 for him by a team of caregivers. I believe what you did was not just for your self preservation but love for your husband.

You are still his caregiver - just in a different mode. You are his advocate making sure his needs are met at his new home.

Now is the time to pamper yourself - a lot. Now when you see him, you will have time to concentrate on him and not his constant needs.

Blessing to you and your husband.
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Reply to cweissp
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Yes I feel liberated when I drop off my mother for respite, it’s only a short time but it’s freedom!
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Reply to Teeavilnor
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My dear, you would have to be dead not to feel relieved. You have done the right thing for both of you; you know the man you married and loved for all those years would not want you to kill yourself trying to be his frontline caregiver. And you are still loving him and caring for him by placing him where he can get good care by trained people. Now when you chose to visit him, you can be a loving adoring wife instead of a stressed out, overworked, tired caregiver. Remember, in order to care for him, you need to be a healthy place for yourself first.

Big Exhalation. Be kind to yourself. You deserve it.
Peace and blessings on your journey.
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Reply to geddyupgo
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Hi Dixie don't blame yourself for doing what was best for YOU and then for your husband. I too am a caregiver and it is the hardest job and it takes everything you got everyday for your loved one. But let me say to you honestly you did your very best for as long as you could for your husband. We all have a limit and you reached yours and in your heart knew it was time to place him in someone else's care. I hope you are at peace and have calm in your life now. Take care, Lori
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Reply to lewstillcoping
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YES NORMAL! YES COMMON! You wouldn't have placed him if not necessary. I placed my mom a few months ago and she is not as advanced as your dad. Hubby and I were snapping at each other (which was not something we ever did), she was snapping at us, we were snapping at her. She was getting far worse in her balance and didn't want to get up from the couch to pee or get herself anything, or even be showered. Laundry was getting more frequent, starting to have more bowel problems, wanting me to cancel therapy every time, openly being critical of me about EVERYTHING, almost being wheelchair bound and my house built in the 70's could not accommodate without MAJOR construction. I could give you 15 other reasons! Do I miss her? Feel like I could have maybe kept her longer? Feel like I'm blowing her money? YEP! But she is better off, no matter how much she complains. We arer able to see her once a week (probably could more, but that would put her dependence right back on us). I worry about her care, but she's in a good place. As she declines she will be in a familiar place. We CAN leave the house whenever we want, go out of town to see our kids, not have to eat at a particular time to meet her schedule, not have to fix extra things that she can eat. I am still her caregiver, but finally feel free and not guilty if I enjoy the freedom. I talk to her once a day for a short time, lest she convince herself that everything there is horrible and she's having the worst day ever. You are not a bad person to make sure he's properly cared for and feeling relief. YOU DESEERVE IT!!
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Longscream May 4, 2021
Our situation sounds so similar to yours, lisacb. My mum was with us for 19 years. Even before her health started going downhill, she was moody and difficult to live with. Then, an endless run of (non-life-threatening) health troubles until I felt I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown for the last ten years or more. We finally caved in and moved her to a care home (where she's stayed before) a month ago. At first she said she was miserable - but she'd been just as miserable at home with us!! Now she's looking better, eating better, and (fingers crossed) settling in. Both the guilt and the relief were overwhelming. The peace of me and hubby having our own space again and not having to deal with her daily needs and, as you say, go out whenever we want - it's priceless. After all, how much of our own health and sanity are we expected to sacrifice? xx
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You did the right thing. It is sad, but you have to take care of yourself, too. Happy is good. He is better when you are happy, too.
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Reply to Peekachu
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The relief you feel is the stress leaving your body. You did all you could before burning out yourself. You know that he will be taken care of and if he asks (when you visit) why he is there, tell him its a small vacation and when its over after the doctor says its okay to come home, then he can. He will forget eventually and stop asking. Do NOT feel bad. Not everyone is equipped to handle all that comes with that disease. God bless those that can and God bless those that know when they have reached their breaking point, they find other way to have their loved one taken care of. Jesus knows......and you will be fine.
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Reply to wolflover451
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No shame in this situation! You did what is best for him AND you!
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Reply to cinna60
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I pray he is in a good place. Many of these places are ABUSIVE and the NEGLECT is unbelievable. I know!!! They killed someone I loved. I understand your relief and thinking you are now somehow free. But PLEASE check up on him and always question what they are doing. If you find they are NOT treating him well. Get him out as quickly as you can. I always recommend home care and to hire help when ever possible. That way you are in control of the care and you know what is being done.
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Reply to FamilyNeeded
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cherokeegrrl54 May 3, 2021
This OP DOES NOT NEED your guilt piled on her. Just not a helpful answer at all!!!
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Don't feel shame, you are doing the right thing.
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Reply to MaryKathleen
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Of course you should feel relieved! Your husband is safe and professionally cared for. The people who are talking care of him are trained and are not as emotionally involved as you are. You can now visit him, talk to him, check on the care that he is getting. You will not be so frazzled so you can offer him quality time.
I am sure that if he was his old self, he would advise you to take this step.

It is truly in his best interest.

my sincere best wishes to you
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Reply to Bdette144
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Dont feel guilty I was a caregiver to my father who had alzheimer's. I. Knew my father had asked when he had no idea he would lose his mind to alzheimer's to not go to nursing home it is a fact not only does alzheimer's. Take over the mind of the patient but it takes over tbe family. My father didn't recognize me as his oldest child, yes it hurt but it was a relief I was so tired and in I'll health myself that the first week I slept got up to take care of nature and maybe eat something. I still visited this person. Who looked like my father but was no longer the father I knew. My cousin's have had same experience. So it is a worry that I may get alzheimer's. They need to be in memory care where people are trained to care for our loved ones. It is absolutely normal to feel relief. When you visit your time is quality time, you aren't worried about anything but to make memories.
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Reply to Sharon45caregiv
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Your feelings are natural. You still care and are a caregiver even if you are no longer providing the most intimate care and round the clock supervision. You need a life too.
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Reply to LisaFrank
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I think it would be UNcommon NOT TO feel some sort of relief. You are a human being who was pushed to the limits verging on mental/emotional and physical exhaustion. You have not stopped loving or caring about him. Someone posted in the recent past wondering about wishing someone we cared about being gone as in dead, and if others shared that same thought. Again I think it reaches a point where it would be more uncommon not to. The frustrations, the messes that are generated, it just takes a toll. I have great empathy because while my mother with dementia is fairly stable, there have been signs and evidence of increasing loss of bladder/bowel control and I know this could be a breaking point for my dad and I. We all live together and placing her would not be best imo, but I don't know how well we can handle a new challenge like this one, particularly as I my stress needs to be kept at bay as high BP is a risk factor for me. Las fall I had a dissection of the aorta which is often fatal. So I am taking a proactive stance as far as stress. As my father will be 104 this week and is deaf, the burden of finding a place (if we were to consider it) getting her there, and then dealing with how distraught she would be, will be a massive stress on me especially since I know how awful the care is in these places as I work in the field and was held hostage in one during my own recuperation. I have somewhat accepted this is a no win situation and will just do my best. You have given your all. Take a break and be kind to yourself, you most definitely deserve some recuperation time.
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Reply to gdaughter
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After years of helping my mom, then bringing a caregiver and finally placing her in a home, the guilt was large but there are many caregivers who become ill themselves in the process of caregiving. As my sister said, "I lost my mom: I don't want to lose my sister as well."
Therefore, after witnessing first hand what goes on in a home and what could be helpful, I wrote a book of stories and tips.
Maybe this will help you. That is why I wrote it.
May you sleep more peacefully now.
https://www.amazon.com/Now-You-Are-HERE-Navigating/dp/B08XFM9NGW/
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Reply to Jerudoula
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gdaughter May 3, 2021
Oh dear god, if only so many of us had a sister as caring and loving! I am one of those caregivers who did go from a healthy person to critically ill in a blink with a usually fatal as mentioned above, dissection of the aorta. What MY sister said was that I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN I had a health issue (high blood pressure can be a contributing factor) and ultimately, a real shocker: "I hope you survive". This same model for sisters everywhere (NOT) claims, when I told her if wanted people to care about HER, it might work better if she showed she cared about others, that she does not need anyone to care about her. God help her. Although I must say unlike a caregiving cousin of mine, my cousin says that my sister has never diminished the value of what I do for my parents to others. But the day to day cluelessness of others as to what we all do....is astounding. I do want to help and care for my folks as best i can, but now the game for ME is survival. I guess I draw the line at dying for them. And in fact dead, what good would I be. My sister is so uncaring she would swoop in only long enough to put their house on the market, sell it off and stick them in any convenient nursing home she could find. OF course she might change her tune on discovering her inheritance would be going into their care needs and not her own pocket.
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Would you feel guilty if you had to take your husband to a hospital to be cared for, if he had cancer?

Dementia and cancer are both diseases that require medical care.

Don't feel guilty. You are just making sure that your husband gets proper care.

I had to do the same with my mom.
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Reply to NinjaWarrior3
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You are not giving up.  There is no cure for dementia and running yourself into the ground is not going to change his outcome.  Look at it this way...the facility has three shifts of people who have been trained and paid to take care of folks with mental and physical disabilities.  You don't have the training and you are only one person.  Do not feel guilty, because you are taking care of him by placing him in a safe place prepared to take care of his needs.
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Reply to Jamesj
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Imagine if you were to go back many years and have a conversation about this with your husband. Your husband would tell you under no circumstances should you feel guilty about putting him in a home right?
He wouldn't want you to go down with the ship so to speak, no one wants that for someone they love.
As you said, you loved him when he was himself and that man is sadly gone now.
And that man, wanted you to be happy, so be happy.
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Reply to FarFarAway
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Dear Dixierose,
I write from the patients perspective. I was diagnosed with Early Onset ALZ 5 yrs ago next month. I give credit to the Holy Spirit for guiding me to Agingcare. I made it a mission to learn as much as I could about this disease and have shared info with my DW and adult and teenage children. I want to encourage others that read this, to share this site with your family so they can understand what the future will be bringing in to their lives. Most recently I've thought I was in Mid Stages, I had a Neuropsych exam said I was moderate to severe and need 24/7 care. My PC and Neurologist agree with me that they believe I am in mid stages. The neuropsych doctor completely ignored the fact that I've had Cognitive Learning issues since I was 3 yrs old and my parents got me in to a program at Syracuse Univ for children with Cognitive Problems and I went there for tutoring from age 3-14. They then determined I reached my learning peak particularly as it related to math and science. I did above average in foreign language, history and English Composition.
I was told after my first Neuropsych exam in 1962 that I'd never hold a job, drive a car, own a house, or manage my money. Well, the doctor in 1962 was wrong, I had a 38yr career in the travel industry, and was in management of two travel agency's, I've owned two houses, and my DW and I have managed to acquire significant financial success, and I did they vast majority of managing our finances. I thank God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for all of the gifts we've received. I also thank them for putting my parents, family friends, relatives and the Sisters of St. Joseph, in my life, that did not accept my 1962 diagnosis, and never gave up on me. I was diagnosed as permanently disable by Social Security.
We have an appointment next month with the Neuropsych Doctor and ask him why he thinks I need 24/7 care, I am still able to shower and shave on my own each day, do the laundry, cut grass, vacuum the house, and manage my medications. Yes, I forget a dose once or twice a week of one or two of my meds. I stopped driving on my own 14 mos ago, I also stopped cooking when I am home alone. I can safely operate a microwave, and coffee pot.
The point of my message is to help people understand that a diagnosis of ALZ does not mean you can't continue to contribute to your family. My DW knows my wishes for the time I need to be placed in MC environment that I want her to move me 100 mi from where we live, so that neither she nor my adult children will feel like they have to spend every free moment visiting me and so they can live their own lives, and create a new future for themselves, and my DW who is 8 yrs younger than me. I want her to feel free to date, divorce me if she wants, and make a new life for herself. My DW has a lot to offer another companion.
We were in the process of settling our legal affairs, created a Trust in my DW's name, I gave up all of my interest in our home, bank accounts, cars etc, my DW agreed to be my DPOA for both Medical and Financial affairs. I hope this advice is helpful to all who read this.
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NinjaWarrior3 May 3, 2021
You are amazing.
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You absolutely did the right thing. I can understand you feeling guilty but you have a life to live and your husband is safe and being cared for. Don't feel bad, this is a new beginning for both of you x
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Reply to LucyCY
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My god, of course it was a good move to put him in nursing home. You simply could not continue to care for him with Alzheimers - it would have sooner than later put you right along side of him as this would have destroyed you. Thank god you did this - he is safe and you can live your life. You did the only right thing you could have done.
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Reply to Riley2166
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Your feelings are valid.

You did what was best for both of you by placing him in care where there are multiple people to look after his needs.

Your feelings may change over time, that is ok too.

When my last child moved out, friends told me to expect to feel depressed and suffer from empty nest syndrome. Me I was ecstatic to no longer have to put other people first in all my daily activities and planning. It was the first time in 30 years that I was not responsible for someone else and it was liberating.
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