A loved one’s move into memory care
An Alzheimer’s Love Story: The First Day of the Rest of My Life.
I hope you’ll watch the attached 4 minute video that chronicles a husband’s experience of moving his wife into a memory care facility.
This is not a decision that comes easily to anyone.
Think about it. You’ve spent decades living with the love of your life. Your days are structured around each other; the ebb and flow of all those hours are what you crave and enjoy.
You are faced with what will most certainly be an irreversible decision to leave your wife in the hands of others. You feel guilty, regardless of how well-informed and appropriate the decision.
Your wife’s days will take on a new routine without you, and your daily regimen will not even be recognizable. You’ll rattle around an empty house that begs for your wife’s presence; a TV viewing time that’s missing her ongoing commentary about the state of the world as depicted on the news. Waking up those first few days you’ll wander into the kitchen and make a single cup of coffee where before you brewed a pot.
Most days you’ll not even finish your breakfast before you’re out the door to spend the day with your sweetheart because your house is no longer a home without her.
And all the while, the guilt you feel will surpass your feelings of loneliness and sadness. A guilt that is unavoidable, although not warranted.
I recently wrote about the crabby old lady one might encounter in a nursing home or medical setting. I encouraged my readers to respect her. Now I’m encouraging you to respect the person who placed her there, the person who finds himself alone in this world and doesn’t know how to function in it.
Reach out to him, encourage him, adopt him.
He’s hurting too.
7 thoughts on “A loved one’s move into memory care”
February 27, 2015 at 8:26 pm
Almost 2 years ago I put my husband into a facility. It lasted a week and he returned home — for a number of reasons. But I can tell you that the day I took him, thinking he was there to stay, was the worst day of my life.
February 27, 2015 at 8:50 pm
I believe it. I’m sorry.
February 27, 2015 at 4:58 am
A timely post for me and mine.
We have just started looking into residential care for MIL, and it’s been a pretty soul-destroying process so far…
February 27, 2015 at 6:12 am
Your quest is a difficult one but not impossible. Please look at the articles on my blog found in the Senior Housing section. Specifically, you might find these articles to be of help: Selecting a senior housing community, https://babyboomersandmore.com/2011/10/02/selecting-a-senior-housing-community-easy-for-some-not-for-the-rest-of-us/; Avoiding the pitfalls of selecting senior housing, https://babyboomersandmore.com/2011/10/09/avoiding-the-pitfalls-of-selecting-senior-housing/. I wish you and your family the best.
February 26, 2015 at 10:34 am
This story rang very true for me, as I recalled the day I placed my wife in a memory care residence. Her care needs from early-onset dementia were such that she could no longer reside with me at our home. I made sure her room was indeed her new home, filled with paintings, pictures, furniture from our home, and other familiar things. In those early days, her caregivers also engaged in redirecting her as I was leaving, as she would otherwise follow me, wondering where I was going and why I was leaving.
These memories are both painful and pleasant, as I recall both the heartache associated with her relocation, as well as the “new beginnings” that emerged as I looked forward, not backward, and took things one day at a time.
February 26, 2015 at 10:49 am
Thank you for giving us a glimpse at your own experience, Someone. I’m certain the first days/weeks away were difficult for both of you but it appears you did all the right things to provide her a welcoming space.
February 23, 2015 at 2:35 pm
Thank you for sharing this moving story, Irene. Such a difficult decision to be made. Yes indeed, he is hurting too.