As many of you know, I have been struggling with my husband’s dementia. We’ve had windows open and doors shut, we’ve tried being playful, and yet I feel as if I am empty and can’t give any more.
Now I have to put him into a nursing home and the sadness is overwhelming for me. I’ve talked to him, and he’s been quiet and tearful. I have been also. Neither of us are able to say what needs to be said. I need a break and he is no longer able to stay by himself.
When I put my mom into a nursing home it was very different. She obviously needed more nursing care than the assisted living community was able to give her, Of course there is some guilt with that, but not nearly the struggle there is with a husband who has been a constant companion for many years. Now, you know that he will still be alive, but won’t be living with you any longer.
Anyone who is, or sees the early signs of any type of dementia can know what to expect. Some people go through them very slowly, and some go quickly. I just am wondering who will feel more deprived. Bill will know that I am not there and he can’t come home to sleep, and I can’t be there all the time. There isn’t really anywhere we can visit privately unless I take him out of the memory unit. He will miss me terribly. He’ll want to hold me, but I won’t be there, he’ll want to tell me he loves me. He’ll want to tell me he wants to come home. He will have to share a room with a stranger. His balance is terrible and he will be falling down. He won’t like sharing a room with any stranger.
I will be home feeling alone and not knowing what to do. I can go visit Bill, but most of the time I will go home alone. Will I be afraid at night? I won’t have anyone there to share something beautiful with. I will miss his arms around me and his shoulder to cry on.
Who will be deprived the most? We will equally be deprived. We are still looking for those golden years and they are “just around the corner.”