Feelings of Stress, Hoplessness, Guilt, Anger and severe Depression

by Tonya

I am a 36 yr old single mother of 2 (14 and 8). I am not an only child but I do not know my siblings well. They do not come around nor do they call and check on my father.

My dad was diagnosed about 10 months ago with Alzheimer's. He has pretty much gone downhill since. Over the past few weeks I have fallen into a deep depression and feel completely lost and hopeless. My dad's also gotten worse. He now see's things that are not there, very angry, hateful and mean, almost never makes any sense.

I absolutely don't know where to turn or what to do. His doctor insists he belongs in a nursing home. I have an appointment Monday with her and she wants to put him in the hospital for a 72 hr. evaluation and then a nursing home. I don't know how I feel about the nursing home (he does have his good days where he seems like nothing is wrong).

I think I would be relieved on one hand and the other I would feel extreme guilt. I just don't know what to do. Can anyone offer any advice on putting their loved one in a nursing home? I'm afraid if I continue on this way I will end up in my grave but I feel terrible about "sending him away". Not to mention all the financial questions I have.

I hate to think everything he worked so hard for will be given to the nursing home (people who will never be able to give him the love and care I do). I apologize if this message sounds so "scatter-brained". I have not been in my right mind the past few weeks. Thanks for any help or advice in advance. It is much appreciated.

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Sometimes What's Best isn't What we Think it is
by: Anonymous

I know it's hard to let them go, but sometimes we're trying so hard to do what we think we ought to do that we don't do what our parents really need us to do.

My sis kept our mom with her for four years after Mom's care team recommended full-time care because she felt too guilty to let her go into a nursing home. My brother and I helped out, but even so, sis ended at the brink of exhaustion and suffering from depression, and Mom was miserable.

My Brother in Law finally put his foot down and we moved Mom into a nursing home near us. Before the summer was over, sis was getting back to normal and Mom was happier than she'd been in years. There were people her own age there to socialize with and activities for her to do, and she enjoyed being 'independent' and having her own space. (Okay, she wasn't independent, really, but she felt she was. For example, when she got tired of noise, she could go in her room and close the door without someone thinking she was upset and telling the kids to be quiet.)

Don't get me wrong: my sis isn't one of those self-appointed martyrs who insist on doing everything because caretaking is a source of drama for them. She's a good, loving person who really wanted to do her best for Mom. It's just that Sis thought she ought to do wasn't really what was best for Mom.

As the other poster said, you can have the assessment without committing to anything more. But please consider that what the health care professionals are recommending may be the best thing to do, even if it doesn't feel like it to you.

Do the Evaluation
by: Christine

This is only a suggestion, but how about if you do the hospital evaluation now, but don't sign on for the nursing home just yet. You'll know more after he's evaluated, and maybe you can make a more informed decision.

The nursing home may be necessary, but maybe a change in his at home care and medication will be able to help for a while. At the very least, take the few days that he's in the hospital to recharge yourself a little; you might find that you are able to look at things differently. Maybe you need to keep your dad at home while it's best, but you also need a plan in place for when things get worse - and unfortunately, they will.

Remember that you have to take care of yourself as well as your dad. Maybe a support group? Ask your dad's doctor. And please be well.

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