A Myth Believed by The Others


A Myth Believed by The Others

Nursing homes are the answer, for me, when I cannot, on a daily basis, care for my husband in a way that is best for him. I will make that decision should the time arrive and I am open to that possibility. Having said that, my pet peeve is well-meaning folk who bring up nursing home as an option for Robert. They believe I would feel better, have more time for a life and freedom. Freedom is a word that has a high value in our culture. I am all about freedom myself. I think what gets me is that people assume I am not doing "freedom" when I am being a full-time caregiver for my husband. Freedom, for me, is the right to makes choices that best represent my values and that take my best interests in mind. I choose to caretake my husband at home and I choose it of my own free will with a conscious knowledge of what it costs me in terms of my other interests. I admit, when this first started, I was naive about the cost but the realization of the cost has not diminished my choice nor brought regret. I am human so there are moments when I want to catch the next bus out of town. That would not be freedom. It would be running away and running away is not freedom. When someone asks me that famous question about a "facility" I have learned to use the technique Denise mentioned in one of her webinars. I don't explain and I don't complain. I say I am doing what I want to be doing and I am happy with my choice and then I stop.

I got off on a tangent. (Imagine that!) Nursing homes and visiting them regularly exhausts me. Robert was in a few times and I was on the road, thinking about being on the road and what he needed and what the personnel at the facility needed from me. I found it was best to go at least three times a week and usually went four times a week. This was a 60 mile round trip through beautiful country but exhausting. Spending time in any medical setting is difficult. I see so much that people need and I want to help and I have to understand that I cannot help everyone but I can pray. My husband always had something he wanted me to discuss with the personnel at the facility and always wanted just one more thing. I had to learn to toughen up a bit or I would have been in there with him.

My point is, having a loved one in a nursing home is not a get out of jail free card. We are caregivers already and that does not magically disappear when our loved ones go into a facility. When well-meaning friends wish I had more freedom they would do me much more service to offer to sit with Robert for a few hours. As a matter of fact, I am going to begin suggesting that when I am asked. I am going to tell them they are right about the exhaustion and no time for myself. I am going to offer them the opportunity to provide their desires for me in a constructive way in the comfort of my abode. Of course, if someone takes me up on it that means I have to clean house a bit and I abhor cleaning house.  I really don't like that I can't have my cake and eat it too. Which just reminded me of one of the most ridiculous songs I have heard in my life. Humor me for a moment...

"Someone left the cake out in the rain. I don't think that I can take it cause it took so long to bake it and I'll never have the recipe again. Oh no!............"

Caregiving has sucked my brains right out of my head and replaced the void with cotton candy!

Like this article? Share on social


Sign in to comment


Why in the heck are these facilities so far away from home? It seems the posts that I have read on this site and others always express sentiments of the long drive to visit their loved-one? On the one hand it has seemed to me that life would be easier if a person's ill spouse was in a facility but I can also see how it isn't. As a spouse or family member, you still have a responsibility to your loved-one. You don't want them to feel like they've just been dumped off and forgotten about. It's a no-win situation.


Cotton candy brains? That must explain how I'm functioning, too! No, moving your caree(s) to a facility, whether assisted living or nursing home, doesn't end our caregiving, something I find out on a regular basis. And if you are 30 miles away?! I would be totally wiped out. That means you'd have time for visiting and driving, but little else.


Amen! Well-meaning or not the presumption that these people know how we feel and what we need is a pet peeve of mine as well. If they are like my employer, they are telling me to put Mom in a home because they believe it is in their best interest for me to do so - thinking that if Mom was in a home I'd be better able to focus on work. Ha!