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He had a stroke in Jan. 2014, I brought him home from the V.A. (in Des Moines,IA.in on April 3, 2014.I have been told to commit him or put him in a home. I can't do either because I know if I do it will kill him. Granted I want my life back but not at the expense of his. I'll know when I can no longer deal with him at home. At that time I'll get a hold of a dispatcher friend of mine and he can get a hold of the DeSoto, IA. police officer, but I know it has to be God's will and then I'll have a peace about what I'm doing. (Not I got my life back, so now I can walk around the trailer park, up to the Post Office to get my mail, and go back to church. I have given up a lot for him (but that's what love is about.

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Jeanne, I kept my dying husband at home for the year it took for his illness to take him. I lived in the boondocks where the idea of hospice hadn't yet caught on. This was in 1995. He would have been much better off in a nursing home where his pain would have been more successfully managed and he had a team of skilled caring people looking after him. *shrug*

You are 100% right, though. Losing one's spouse, or having to make hard decisions on their behalf, is much different than making them for a parent.
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You are so right, MaggieMarshall. Nursing homes are not snake pits. That kind of fear is NOT what inspired me to want to keep my husband at home. Having cared for each, I can say without hesitation that caring for a spouse and caring for a parent are two entirely different things emotionally. Wifely love and daughterly love are two very different kinds of love. Both invaluable, both awesome, but each different.

Putting a spouse in a nursing home is just not the same as putting a parent there.

I hope with all my heart that fairygal can keep her husband with her. I know that she has a much better chance of doing that if she seeks out help in their home.
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There are plenty of good nursing homes. I think many people have a misconception about them from horror stories we've read about. I don't know your area, of course, but I know my own.

There's not a day goes by that I don't wonder if mom would be better off at the nursing home she was in for 2 months following her surgery for a broken hip. My house is boring. Just Tom and me and two kitties. Not a whole lot of social going on, that's for sure.

At the nursing home, mom was wheeled to every program they had going on -- at least two or three a week. She was taken to exercise class . . . sat in the dining room and watched the 60" big screen TV . . . watched magicians . . . listened to choir sings . . . dancers on occasion. There was plenty going on. Every afternoon a little ice cream social. Many other people to visit with and people watch. Other visitors who interacted with her (she has dementia).

I was one of those who interacted with many of the people there. I went every day, so I got to know lots of them. I'd ask them if they'd like to join us out on the patio in their wheelchairs; ask if they needed water, coffee or a soda. Others did the same.

Staff "touched her" often. "Hi, Ms. Rosie!!! How are you today??!" She was kept clean (she is pretty much incontinent), they combed her hair, dressed her every day in freshly laundered clothes, they even put a little pink rose barrette in her hair every day.

Nursing homes are not snake pits. If you find a good one (and there are plenty out there), the care your loved one gets can be BETTER than home.

You are entitled to a life. I've been caring for mom for a year. I could NOT do it without Tom. Are you spending money on respite care? You need to start doing that. Surely he gets Social Security, if not a pension. Figure it this way: you'll lose that SS check if he goes into a nursing home -- so spend it on making your and his life easier. That way you can have the peace of mind that you're taking good care of him -- and you're not giving up your life in the process.

So my advice? Don't rule out a nursing home as being an even better alternative than you offer. But if you decide to keep him at home? Get the help you need to care for him AND live your life. I doubt your husband would want it any other way.
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The VA can arrange home help for you if you ask them. VA Des Moines is actually one of the higher rated regional centers. A home aide or bath aide will give you some free time. Of course you want to keep him at home and as long as you can do this without jeopardizing your own health, go ahead and do that. Try to remember that no one person can do what three shifts of nurses and aides can do. Remember he would be with other soldiers and they do enjoy bonding and trading tales. You will always be his sweetheart, that will never change.
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Of course it is OK to want to keep your husband at home with you. We can't always have what we want, but it is OK to want it!

Who told you to commit him or put him in a home? Why? If these people are busy-bodies, ignore them. But if they have a legitimate concern for him or for you, think about their reasons for recommending this. Is it possible to satisfy their reasons while keeping your husband with you? There are options between caring for him completely alone and placing him in a care center. Having in-home help can enable you to make "as long as possible" last much longer than if you were doing this alone.

I was able, with help, to keep my husband at home the full ten years of his dementia journey. My mother is now in a nursing home. To our surprise it not only didn't kill her, she is doing very well! Each situation is different. I hope you can keep your husband at home, but if/when it turns out to be the best thing for you both for him to be placed you won't be abandoning him. Your loving caregiving will just take on a different nature.
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