My partner had a stroke 20 years ago and has recently been diagnosed with vascular dementia. I have retired to care for him and have arranged for him to go to day care one day a week so I can get out for a bit. I employed someone to come in for one evening per month but she has stopped after he made suggestive remarks. So I have very little social life.
He is less and less able mentally and physically. His legs tremble a bit when walking but luckily he’s more amenable to using a wheelchair than previously. It takes all day to do anything and although I am a patient person and qualified nurse my patience runs thin at times as does his.
I’m 62 and want to have some life before I get old myself. I feel he needs and may even thrive in residential care but struggle to raise the subject as I know it will be the end of his normal life and he’ll see it as me wanting to be rid of him, playing on my guilt.
My plan is to quietly explore care home options in the local area over the next few months and have a few nice weekends away together (they are always more trouble than they’re worth). Then try to raise it with him when I have more information. He’ll need a financial assessment but will self fund to begin with.
Any thoughts on how I can finally steel myself to raise this sensitive issue and make this life-changing decision?
One of the underlying problems of many carers is the fact that we are all getting older, carers and carees alike.
Carees needs increase with age as our own strength and stamina decrease.
At some point, it becomes impossible to care alone any more.
On the forum, we try to look at NEEDS, as opposed to WANT. Of course no one, carers and caree alike, wants to be ill, or old, or tired.
You used the phrase “the end of his normal life” but realistically, he hasn’t had a “normal life” for a very long time, and neither have you.
You need more help. Two options, either provided at home, or in residential care.
When did he last have a Needs Assessment from Social Services, and you, a Carers Assessment?
I would also suggest that you had some counselling, exploring the options with you and supporting you through this.
When I had competing demands on me, when I was ill, this was hugely helpful.
On the outside I’m really resourceful, always helping others, well educated, but the “real me” was getting suffocated with family demands when I too was ill. Counselling gave me back my true self, learning to step back sometimes, and to see things from a different perspective.
In your situation, just because you are a nurse, doesn’t mean you want to nurse 24/7!
A possible move into a care home ?
AGE UK … the experts in this field … some guidance for you :
Care and support for the elderly | Age UK
A whole host of sections off that page detailing with the whole aspect … including financial parameters … and
an advice line :
We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 055 6112.
Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year.
We also have specialist advisers at over 140 local Age UKs. >
Also , an online virtual assistant !
Feel free to bounce anything off us here on the forum