My husband, 91 with ALZ, was finally admitted to the Veterans War home. They are practicing CDC guidelines very well. On October 12 our son and grandson made the four hour drive with Bill and myself. He was alert and awake the entire day. It was so cool to see him interacting with the three year old grandson. He did not know where we were going or why. After the three hour admitting process was complete we said goodbye and that was it. Bill didn’t understand what was happening, so eventually I told him I was going to get some ice cream and would see him soon. That satisfied him. He was in quarantine for two weeks. His move from the quarantine building to his forever building was very confusing for him. A nurse called me so I could reassure him. He was convinced that he would be on the streets by nightfall if I didn’t come right away. This was the first time I spoke to him. After I did my best to comfort him I called his hospice nurse and asked if she would go see him. Her report stated that he was adjusting well and even making new friends. My son and I are scheduled for an outdoor visit, separated by plexiglass and wearing mask, on Monday. We are not aloud to touch or give him anything. We wanted to bring ice cream of course, but we were told no.
I don’t think anyone that hasn’t lived as a caregiver can even imagine the relief of not constantly looking at a camera on your phone or being able to just go to the store or anywhere without planning in advance. I did the best I could for the past eleven and a half years and my hope is that he can be happy and well cared for in the end stages of his life. I feel very guilty that he is alone, but comforted that his nurses are qualified and caring. Our son is worried that his son will not have memories of his grandfather. If COVID restrictions go into next year children will still not be permitted at the nursing home. This may be his last Christmas and we have always had everyone over to celebrate; this year is going to be sad, but hopefully I will be able to take him some familiar things.
When will the relief and guilt mesh together? When will it just be “normal” to go about my day without thinking, “it’s so strange to....”
Can anyone relate? I feel like I’m being selfish, but I also feel like I deserve this freedom.