Regretting my decision

My wife was diagnosed with dementia almost 10 years ago at the age of 56. At first it was life as normal but over the years as she worsened I stopped and started work regularly to look after her but as I started to work less and less I had to ask for help. I got 16 hours for carers, 2 six hour days at daycare and I paid extra to fill in the gaps so I could go to work. That worked out reasonably ok for almost 2 years then covid arrived so I’ve spent the last 10 months as her as her full time carer, but she deteriorated quickly under lockdown and after pressure from several directions and mounting financial pressure I relented and arranged to put her in residential care. She went in 2 days ago on Tuesday 19/01/21 and she gets full EMI dementia nursing care. The problem is I regret it now and want her back home, all she wanted was to be at home with me and I now feel like I’ve done her a massive injustice and abandoned her.

Nigs, you want your old wife back, but she has been replaced by someone who needs specialist 24/7 care. We have others on the forum who have had to make the same heartbreaking decision, it takes a long time to recover from all you have been through. Please be kind to yourself, her needs have to take priority. No one wants residential care, but none of the other options were enough.

You may feel like you have done an injustice and abandoned your wife, but you haven’t. You have prioritised her needs, which have become larger. She needs time to settle in and you need time to adjust. This is more difficult during the pandemic, understandably.
I too at times wanted to take my husband out of the nursing home. His needs were to much for me to help him. Wouldn’t have been fair to him, confusing him even more, then me not being able to care for him as he deserved.
It’s early days for you,another part of the ambiguous grief very sadly. Keep reminding yourself, you have doing the very best for your wife, her needs not her wants. Your needs and wants are different too. Time to consider your own needs now, but give yourself time.

Thanks for your kind words, yes you are right I would love to have my old wife back but I would also be happy with my dementia wife back. It was difficult at times but I would willingly do it all again. I didn’t think it would be so upsetting after all she is still alive and I can still see her when I want. I’m sure I’ll get used to it in time.

Sounds to me like you did the right thing Nigs. If she is settled and you like the home and you can see her when you like then it’s a good move. One thing is for certain, none of us is getting any younger and if you fall ill or can’t cope for any reason then it would be a mad rush to find somewhere right for your wife. Take comfort that you are happy with where she is.Take care.

Hello Nigs88. My name is Peter and my experience is almost identical to your so I thought we might be able to share some feelings or just chat if it’s any help . My post are on “Dementia journey “ and I write on here most days really just to get stuff off my chest.

I’m finding it very difficult to come to terms with it all. My wife Bridget has been in a care home with dementia since August 2019 and every day I regret things, feel guilty and want her back here with me so I can care for her. I know is unreasonable to think this way because I couldn’t care for her as the home can. In the end she wasn’t washing, changing her clothes or eating properly and wanted to escape the house, so I had no choice. Fortunately the care home is very good.

Reply if you want. You never know we might be able to help one another

So pleased you found the right thread Peter! Now all we need is Nigs.