Love in the Retirement Home?

by Puzzling Pete
(Scottsdale, AZ)

My Dad was placed into a high-end retirement home about six months ago by my Mom and grown sister who still lives at home with them. I was sad at first and then angry at the both of them for their decision to put Dad in a home. He has dementia bad and is incontinent. He can still walk and tries to talk to people if they give him a chance.

Since he was placed in the home, my sister and Mom have slowly scaled back their visits to the place and now go to see him once a week or every two weeks. The care facility is only 15 minutes away for them. I live about an hours drive away and try to come and see Dad every weekend.

I work five days a week and have a family to take care of at home with my husband. I just found out from a very heated phone conversation with my sister that my Dad has found love at the retirement home. This little old lady and him sit and hold hands and go for little walks in the outside garden area. They eat together and watch television and even sing Karaoke too.

My sister claims that my Dad has been kissing her on the mouth and that he is "cheating" on my Mom. Instead of being angry at Dad, I told her "Good for Him"!. She is furious with me and demanded a reason so I let her have it with both barrels. I said you and Mom threw Dad away like a piece of garbage that wasn't any longer desired so I think Dad deserves to find someone that loves him for the good person he is now and has always been.

Now my Mom and her won't speak to me. Am I wrong for encouraging my Dad with is new found love? I just think he needs to know someone loves him and it isn't coming from his wife anymore. Is this wrong of me?

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Wake up Pete! "You got some apologizing to do".
by: Anonymous

While it can be funny about your dad finding love in the nursing home, this is not funny. It is evident to me that you do not understand how your mother and sister are feeling.

If you feel sad at all for your dad (and I know you do) then they feel a thousand times worse! They tried to help all that they could and had to give up because they could not fix it - the problem with your dad. Fact is, no one can. One can feel very defeated, and for a while that would keep them from visiting regularly.

Actually, if they lived farther away, I'm sure they would have visited more. The same thing happened with me one time. But they are more than likely tired and broken-spirited by what they have experienced while 'caring for your father'.

Scorn, shame, shock, depression, guilt, anxiety, hopelessness. These are just a few of the negative emotions that a family care-giver may have to deal with on a daily basis, not to mention lack of sleep and loss of a social life.

While some may handle it better than others, it can prove to be very difficult for anyone to cope with after some time has passed. You need to wake up Pete! "You got some apologizing to do". Thank them for being there for dad, and try to work together on this. Don't create more emotional stress for your mother.

Some people never recover from the emotional stress of family care-giving and some die before the patient does. This happens mainly when there is insufficient support (emotional, financial or relief) given to the care-giver(s). So don't be too quick to judge if you have not done it yourself!

With Love,
Believe In You.

Love in the retirement home
by: Anonymous

You should`n do the blame game, to look after someone with your fathers problems can be soul destroying, your mother and sister need their own lives and to look after someone with constant needs is taking that life away.

I should know I have just come home after a weeks holiday and I have not even unpacked yet, I have to see to my mother, she is housebound unable to see to herself and is getting worse every day, she can`t make it to the commode without help,therefore I have to wash her urine stained clothes and sheets all the time. She is starting to have dementia and most times doesn't make any sense.

I am waiting for my mother to be assessed and sent into a nursing home, she doesn't want to go but I can`t go on as I am suffering from depression.

So, you can`t look after your father, so you have no idea what it is like, but you and your sister are being very silly about the friendship your father has developed in the nursing home, your sister should realize that he is no longer the person she once knew. He is unaware of his actions and you should try to point this out to your sister.

I hope that you can resolve the differences between you and become friends again.
Your mother has lost her husband and maybe it is hurtful going to see this man that she once shared her life with, I would love to have a conversation with my mother like we used to, it saddens my greatly that my mother whom I was so close to is now lost to me forever.

You have to except that you have in some ways you have lost your father, you don`t want to lose the rest of your family, so it is up to you, if you really want to get back with them, then you will have to make the first move, and even if you think your in the`right`you will still have to eat some humble pie.

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