Shall I bring my wife home? We've been married 71 years. My wife has dementia and is in a nursing home. - AgingCare.com

Shall I bring my wife home? We've been married 71 years. My wife has dementia and is in a nursing home.

Follow
Share

Has been for about 3 years. She wants to come home but I cannot care for her as I am 97 years old and can barely take care of myself. I am debt free and have Medicare and a military pension. I do see her about an hour each day. I have 2 daughters and a son that helps when needed. They want her kept where she is. What shall I do?

24

Answers

Show:
Your wife has dementia. She can't and won't know what's required to keep her at home. She just wants what she wants like a child.

Since you can't take care of her, because you can't do the work of a team of trained nurses that work 24/7 at the facility to take care of your wife, it's illogical for you to bring her home. You should keep her where she gets the care she needs, at the nursing home.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to polarbear
Report

Tanks for the info. I feel that way also but get to to emotional at times. I admit that the NH is the best place and will will help her all I can but will leave her where she now. Thanks to all of you. Uncertain.
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to uncertain
Report

Hi Uncertain,
I noticed you looked at yourself first as her caregiver. Then admitted you couldn't handle it. Then your second thought looked to your children. It would be so unfair to ask your children to be responsible for your wife's care. It's their time to live their lives, as you and your wife did.

Please leave her where her needs are met. Most people cry to go home. Try to change the subject.

Good luck to both of you.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to Pepsee
Report

uncertain, my Mom was like that of geewig above, whenever she was talking about "going home", it was her childhood home, as she wanted to see her parents and her siblings. My Mom was 98. I had to use "theraputic fibs" such as "your parents are visiting the old country", "we will visit next week", etc.

Honestly, it takes a village inside a nursing home to take care of your wife. You only see one hour of that, thus do not see everything that is needed behind the scenes.

I assume your grown children, some whom are probably seniors themselves [times flies], are helping you alone at home when needed. It would be way too much to ask your grown children to help take care of you and take care of their Mom. They would crash and burn from the exhaustion.

My own Mom was in long-term-care. At times my Dad wanted to bring her home when he saw a glimmer of hope, but in his heart he knew it would be difficult to duplicate the care she was getting in the nursing home with what she would get at home. Plus the emotional toll of having her home. It was all my Dad could manage just seeing her one hour a day, at noon time when he and his caregiver would go over during lunch time, and Dad's caregiver would feed Mom. Mom no longer recognized Dad, she thought he was her brother.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to freqflyer
Report

Uncertain, I agree with prior answers that your wife is almost certainly best left living where she is, with you visiting her every day. I visit my 96-year-old dad every day and most days he asks me to take him home, but home to him is not any of the places he lived over the past 78 years, instead home is his childhood home from which he moved in 1940, but where he now believes his mom and dad are still living. Every time he asks me to take him home, I tell him something like "Okay, but it's too late tonight, so get a good night's sleep and we'll leave tomorrow right after breakfast." He always replies with something like, "Okay, that's a good plan." It's a therapeutic fib that relieves his anxiety and allows him to get a good night's sleep. Best wishes for you and your wife of 71 years.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to bicycler
Report

I would say the answer depends on how much help you would have in your home in caring for her. As you’ve said, it’s hard just caring for yourself at this age so to take on her care around the clock would require lots of extra help. I do admire that you’ve had such a long marriage and that you care about your wife’s wishes
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Daughterof1930
Report

I think your daughters and son want what is best for both of you. Don't you agree? They have no motive to keep her in the NH out of meanness, right? But even if going home were best for her (and it is very unlikely that would be the case) it would be extremely hard on you. They love you both.

If you are missing her, have you considered spending more than an hour a day with her? I don't mean this as an obligation, but if it would give you some comfort to be with her more, doing it where there is help immediately available would be safer and less stressful than bringing her home.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to jeannegibbs
Report

Hi Uncertain, It sounds like the nursing home is the best equipped place for your wife right now. The physical strain of taking care of another is enormous. It would increase the cooking, food shopping, laundry, cleaning, etc.
My Mom too had dementia. I learned that her desire to go home was not based on her most recent home but the home she lived in as a child. Obviously, that would be impossible to replicate. It was no longer in the family! If you can, distract her from this line of thought --- tell her the buses aren't running! It's amazing how a trick like tht often works.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to geewiz
Report

Uncertain, I’m so glad to read you’ve decided to keep her where she is. This reminds me of my 2 dear friends, age 92 and 90. She is in a NH, but wanted to go home. He had cancer and was frail and knew he couldn’t take care of her any longer. She didn’t care, just wanted to go home. He knew she was where she needed to be. I don’t want to be depressing, but he passed away recently, actually quite suddenly. If he had brought her home, she would be right back in the NH after his passing, with a whole lot of upheaval in her life and the children’s to deal with. That wouldn’t be a good outcome. I hope you find a way to make visiting her enough.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to rocketjcat
Report

Some Nursing Homes will allow the spouse to live with the patient. Have you inquired about living with her at the Nursing Home?

It would mean giving up your home, but you would be together.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to RayLinStephens
Report

See All Answers
Related
Questions