Decision to put my Dad Long Term in Rest Home. Right or Wrong?

by Diane
(Empire, CA USA)

My Dad, 83, has been sick for several months and is so weak he can't even get up out of bed by himself. He has been in the hospital 4 times since May and is now in a nursing home for physical therapy. It is time for him to come home but his primary doctor says he should not go home. I am the only one to take care of him and I feel I cannot do it anymore. I have a bad back and bad knees. I cannot find anyone to take care of him that the state will pay for and I can't afford private care. My dad has dementia and is wearing diapers along with being very weak. He can hardly drink any fluids without throwing up and he does not eat.


What should I do? I feel so guilty about wanting him to stay there. My mother has been in the same nursing home for years. He doesn't even want to go see her.


Please Help.

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Try Not to Feel Guilty.
by: Anonymous

It's hard, but don't beat yourself up. Try not to feel guilty. It sounds like a facility is the very best place for him now. I know your heart is breaking. (((HUGS)))

My mother is midway through vascular dementia and is at the point where she needs way more supervision than we can give her.

We recently had a family meeting with my Mom's doctor(my siblings are in denial) and he said that sometimes we have to do the hard things, because they are the best things to be doing.

We cannot let our hearts get in the way of care for the parent. Safety and well being have to come before her wishes.

It is a very sad thing to deal with. I am not medically, emotionally, physically or financially able to care for my Mom 24/7. My siblings are not willing to help more.

I am burning out.

She will eventually have to move to a Long Term Care Facility. For now we have outside help, but they need to come often and spend more time. I do not feel guilty at the prospect - it will be the best and safest place for her.

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Going through Same Thing...
by: Leasa

I know exactly how you feel. I am going through the same thing with my mother and she is very angry with me that I cannot keep caring for her in her home.

She is in hospital now because she is so ill (almost died and is still in ICU) but in her mind she fully intends to return home and is guilting me into taking care of her. She cannot weight bear at all, has trouble controlling her bowels, is an alcoholic and heavy smoker...so you can imagine. The doctors and nurses were totally shocked that I had her at home.

I love my mother very much. But, even though it hurts me deeply I know I cannot handle the stress, worry and work of keeping her in her home. I will work hard to get over the guilt, but it is what it is.

Eventually you dad will have to go into care or he will die at home. If he dies at home, you will ask yourself over and over if it was wise to keep him at home. My mom was dying of pneumonia and fighting going to hospital and by the time I got her in she was extremely ill.

I think it's better to love them enough to do what's right and place them with people who are trained to look after their needs. It's hard....I know.

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Sometimes Distasteful Things are Necessary
by: Anonymous

I have learned that I can not be my best when I allow exhaustion, which sounds like you might be there. If you are being sucked dry and can not take care of yourself, or worse yet no longer know how to take care of yourself, it is impossible to care for another person. When that other person's needs spill beyond your well of caregiving ability, something is going to break down.

It is not selfish to consider your own survival and long term well being. Because when you physically or mentally break down to the point of uselessness, who will be there to pick up the pieces of yours or your parent's life. Therefore, I think you should invest in your own preservation even if it means to place your parent in a facility.

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Hard decision
by: mary santa rosa ca

Diane,
None can fault you for deciding to allow your father to go on to a nursing home. If anyone gives you grief about it,it is all on them.

In past decades many families stayed together, many generations, all working together and living together and taking care of the elders. It is so different today. Whatever you decide to do, either way, you most likely will have resentments towards yourself. Look those resentments in the eye and find a way to let them go. Put your stick away and live life.

Will be thinking of you. Write again and let us all know how you and your father are doing.
mary santa rosa ca

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It's Time
by: Christine

Don't feel guilty. A nursing home is exactly what your father needs right now; listen to his physician.

No one person can care for someone so sick all alone. If he can't drink and won't eat he may be just shutting down. At the very least, IV or Bolus feeding is (most probably) necessary - and if you add that to dementia and incontinence, your father is very ill.

Letting him stay in the nursing home is the best kind of love you can give him right now, even though it hurts and makes you feel guilty. Please take care of yourself; you're in my thoughts.

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