Considering Nursing Home Placement?…
I have been caring for my 90 year old father 24/7 for several years. He has dementia and has developed problems with walking. The cost of caregivers is getting too much for me to handle. If this continues, I will be out of funds. I am stressed and burned out, but, I promised my father and mother I would never put them into a home. I am feeling so guilty. How to know that this is the best decision?
I would first like to address, your feelings of caregiver guilt. Many adult children make promises to their aging parents. The problem is, when making those promises, they have no idea what that commitment will entail. There are boundaries and limits to very person. Many must reconsider their promise, when the situation changes. When you make a promise in the moment, you do not consider that a person may become incontinent of bowel and bladder, and you would have to provide some very intimate care. There are times when the parent you are caring for, begins to act out, sexually, or becomes aggressive. There are many things, when you made a promise, that you could not have imagined or expected.
While your intentions were very good, there comes a time when keeping a promise is no longer a reasonable thing to do. There are two sides to guilt. The good side is, that is forces us to go above and beyond the call of duty, in order to honor our promise.
The bad side of guilt, is that is is the reason form many bad decisions. We make decisions, based on emotions and not logic. Guilt can paralyze your judgement and make you immobile to make any decision at all.
Your father sounds as if he is in the last stages of dementia. He requires 24/7 care. Placing your father into a nursing home is not a failure. You have provided your father with quality care at home. You can now go, from his primary caregiver, to his advocate.
It is a tough transition for many caregivers, but, one you can make. You may need to do this for your own health.