How to deal with loved one in care home

Hi all my husband as vascular dementia and mobility problems .he has been in a care home since April he seems settled in there on times but i just cant seem to move on with my life although i got 5 grown up Children its very rare they keep in touch or go to visit there dad being a mum age 73 i find it difficult to meet others in the same Position as myself i have good intentions of going to places but then the quilt sets in an knocks me back .would love to hear from somone in the same postion ,

Hello Valerie
I was in a similar position until May this year. Hubby had been in a nursing home since March 2016, and in hospital and an assessment centre from November 2015. My family fortunately are very supportive.
The guilt monster gets to us all. On the forum we help each other to change the word guilt to sad. We have nothing to feel quilty about but lots of reasons to feel sad. Sad that the situation has happened, but we haven’t caused it.
I started by meeting a friend for a cuppa, and a mooch round, the 1st time I was so anxious, couldn’t have been much company for my friend! All was well, hubby didn’t connect that I hadn’t been to see him . Gradually I moved on to having days out with her, and day trips. Although hubby was never off my mind (isn’t now either) I realised he was safe, being looked after, and it refreshed my own mental well being. Also befriended other visitors at the home. Still in touch now. 1 lady used to pick me up, we would visit, (her dad is in the nursing home).Then used to go to a farm shop and have tea a something nice, or a supermarket cafe. Please don’t let guilt get in your way, as you are important too, and it’s surprising how a day of doing something for yourself can refresh you, and help you to cope with such a devastating situation.

Hi Valerie,

I was widowed suddenly when I was 54, caring for housebound mum and son with learning difficulties. At my husband’s funeral I was given a stern talking to by one of my husband’s best friends, widowed himself when in his thirties. In essence, I was told I still had a life to live and must move on.

That was some years ago, unfortunately soon after my husband died I was nearly killed in a car accident, couldn’t walk for 5 years until I had two knee replacements.

My top tip would be to get right away from everything, home, husband, friends, so that you have time and space to put some things to rest, and start to think about a new chapter in your life.

I found it very difficult to think I what I wanted to do, but gradually I realised that I didn’t want to do any more, which was a lot easier. Only recently I’ve realised that the word “should” featured a lot in my life. “You should do this, you should do that…”
Working these things out is so much easier away from the every day things.

By chance, I found the Mistral Hotel, Maleme, in Crete, for single travellers only. Some guests have husbands who don’t like travelling etc. I learned to laugh and live again there. The food is fantastic, much of it home grown organic, the views are great, 2 pools for 35 people, never a sunbed fight here, and the hotel runs lots of trips out. You are spoiled for choice.

There are lots of good holiday companies dealing with solo travellers, Friendship Travel are one of the best, according to the feedback I’ve had from friends.

I’m still learning so much about myself, although I’m 67, and can truly do whatever I want with my life.
After years of looking after others, what I enjoy most is the ability to sit quietly without that word “should” entering my head once! I’m redecorating my house, neglected in the “caring years”, but most of all I have time to sew my own clothes again. I always used to make my own dresses and blouses, but for years just didn’t have the time to sew. It’s lovely having time to make dresses again ready for holidays in Greece.

If you can find something you like doing just for you, it will be easier to cope with the difficult road ahead for your husband.