We have made the heart wrenching decision to place my grandfather in a nursing home. Can I just tell you that this is by far the worst decision we have ever had to make with regards to my grandparents. It makes me sick to my stomach to think of my grandfather living in a nursing home. In fact, I kind of feel like it’s worse than death. Our hope was that both of my grandparents would live out their elder years here at home and pass away peacefully in their sleep.
Doesn’t seem to be Gods plan.
I have so many questions for God.
God, why couldn’t my grandfather pass away at home? Peacefully in his sleep?
Why does he have to live through being scared and away from his family in a Nursing Home?
Why does he have to be lonely at night and wishing he was with my gram and his cat?
Why does he have to live with others who are suffering in their own way and have to deal with others outbursts and illness?
Why does he have to be in a place where showers are only weekly and not nightly?
Why does he have to live in a place where he doesn’t have someone to help him right away?
Why does he have to wait for an aid who has a million other patients to tend to, help him get to the bathroom or get dressed?
I am beyond aggravated, sad and honestly, disgusted with the entire situation. BUT the bottom line is he now requires more care than we can give him here at home. His dementia and alzheimer’s disease has been wrecking havoc for years and last week was very difficult here in our home. We are to the point where his safety and the safety of people around him is in question. This decision was not taken lightly and the amount of tears that have been shed is drowning our home.
I snapped this picture yesterday when we got home from a trip to Michaels Crafts. My dad was pretending to direct traffic as they came into the house ;).
Our hope was that the new medication he was put on a few months ago while he was in the hospital for a month, would keep his dementia and Alzheimer’s under control and while it did help, it just wasn’t enough.
The only way I can describe his behaviors is to equate it to someone with multiple personalities. One minute he is sweet as pie. The next minute he is confused and agitated. We have been providing 24/7 care for him between 3 hired caregivers, my mom, my dad, me plus my aunt who worked here 4 days a week from 2pm – 7pm (a retired nurse), we still couldn’t manage his disease and keep sanity in our home. For some reason, my grandfather listens to my dad and I and he does as we ask. He is cooperative and reasonable when we are around but he seems to be having more issues lately with others in the house. The strange thing is, he is amazingly charming and so behaved at camp during the day. It’s like he’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
My grandmother is very upset and has been married to my grandfather for 68 years. While I know this will be tough on her, I think she may feel a sense of relief. She told me this is for the best. Personally, they will probably get along better this way. I feel bad for my dad. My dad is very strong and I have never seen him cry. He is pretty “matter of fact” and not much bothers him but this is hard for him. I can tell. It’s just really crappy no matter what way you look at it.
My grandfather is sad, scared and confused but he is willing to try his best to make his new living arrangement the best it can be. He helped me pack up his arts and craft box last night and we put together a caddy filled with his toiletries and personal care items which he decided what he wanted to take. He had a long talk with my dad and I think my dad made him feel at ease. My grandfather worships the ground my dad walks on and trusts him completely. Hopefully making him a part of the decision will help him remember what is happening and make it a little easier. I don’t know. I don’t know much about any of this. The thing is, with dementia, every minute is different and when you take someone out of their routine, they tend to decline quickly (from what the Dr.’s are telling us) so I feel like we are sending him off to his death. I know that sounds harsh but it’s the truth. Getting old is not easy.
We are moving him into his new home today so please say a prayer giving him strength and the ability to cope with his new reality.