Assisted Living – Ended

Bo is home again and I’m so relieved.   Moving him to a continuing care facility didn’t work.  It was a nightmare that lasted a week.

He moved in on Wednesday, and on Thursday evening I wrote this letter to a friend:

 “Yesterday was a truly terrible day — I hope no one else I know ever has to do this.  The only way I got through it was to think of it as a 30-day trial.  My gut told me all day that it wasn’t the right thing to do,  and I felt sick.  In mid-afternoon as we sat together under the pergola in the rose garden, I felt I needed to explain to him why he would be staying. He struggled to understand, then  asked,  ‘But what have I done wrong?  Have I hurt someone?’  My heart broke. 

 I stayed until he was in bed,  then left,  knowing that he would be checked on every 2 hours throughout the night.    I’m staying away until tomorrow as planned, but it’s so hard. 

 So I am really worried and stressed.  I just know that Bo can’t find his way around and is searching for me.  What if he’s wandering up and down the fourth floor hall?  Or gets on the elevator and doesn’t know what to do?  Or …. ”

By Saturday, I was sure he wasn’t placed right.  I heard from the head nurse and from the front staff that he was “totally confused and searching for me.”  He couldn’t really participate in any activities that he was taken to in assisted living;  he went to the dining room but couldn’t handle the menu; couldn’t get to his room unassisted.

But he was making friends all the time.  Everyone knew and liked him.  The young men who were valets and receptionists enjoyed his company and helped him.  The wait staff in the restaurant enjoyed helping him;  everyone said he was so friendly and cheerful,  joking and asking everyone, “Are you having fun today?”

After 5 days I met with staff and a decision was made to take him to the memory center during the day so he wouldn’t wander and search, but I knew that wasn’t right either.  He was in between the two.  Cognitively and socially he was a mismatch, and he knew that he didn’t fit in there.  Our friend Michal visited him and Bo said, “You’ve got to get me out of here.”

So at dinner time on the seventh day,  I brought him home – a relief for both of us. Fortunately,  he didn’t recall all the things that had happened to him.  In fact, he didn’t remember any of it.  But I could see him relax as he came home.  Now I have promised friends (and myself) that I will get in-home care.

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9 Responses to Assisted Living – Ended

  1. Annamarie says:

    Thanks for letting us know. My heart goes out to both you and Bo. I hope you find wonderful home care that you’ll come to love like part of your family. You both deserve nothing but the best. Love you, Annamarie

  2. Maureen says:

    You made the right decision both in trying the facility and in bringing him back home !

  3. Ruth says:

    We have friends who have 24 hr. home care. The caretakers even make the meals for their ” patient” . Like my diabetes, it’s a constant trial and error to keep all on an even keel. You will become good friends with Bo’s caretakers. Praying that you find the right mix for you both. And, that you will be at ease now. Nancy, good job keeping your mind actively searching for the right solution. Think you will be happy with this decision. God bless.

  4. dianne says:

    Glad you know that you need the help and that it has to be a shared responsibility that you no longer have to do on your own. I just hope there is quality help out there for you. So sorry that it didn’t work out better for YOU and BO.

  5. Arleen Mildred Stolzenberger says:

    I’m glad you have decided to see about home care. There comes a time when you have to say “I need help “. It was good that you tried out the facility. Now you know that it’s best to have Bo home with you. I hope you find the right home care person. keeping both in our prayers.

  6. Ine says:

    Nothing will stay the same for anyone of us. Glad to see you are flexible and will make changes to fit both your needs. Who knows what the future brings. As long as both of you are as comfortable as possible. Thinking of you always.

  7. Linda says:

    Nancy, have you considered a couple days a week at an adult daycare program in the interim? That would give Bo some friends with which to visit, while giving you some time for yourself.

  8. Pauline Koch says:

    Nancy, how hard this is for both of you! My heart goes out to you both! Hopefully it won’t take long to find the right help at home! Remember to take good care of yourself as well as Bo!! Hope to see you one day soon.

  9. Pingback: It’s All Right | Alzheimer's Wife

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