Yesterday was the hardest day that I can remember in my whole life. I took my wife to a residential high care facility where she will stay in the dementia wing. It has all happened very quickly. I rang the facility a week ago with the object of placing her name on the waiting list. Quite out unexpectedly I was told that they had 2 vacant beds and I was welcome to come and inspect. Usually there is a waiting list for beds, especially in those care homes that are run by not-for-profit organisations. This home, which is only five minutes drive away, is owned and operated by Baptcare, the community care arm of the Baptist Union of Victoria. Follow this link to found out more http://www.baptcare.org.au/
In my last post I said I was going away for the weekend. I spent the weekend in contemplation of this new situation in which I had found myself. I rang trusted friends for their thoughts on the matter. After much heart searching I came to the conclusion that for both of our sake’s my wife would receive much better care in the care home than I could provide.
I am not sure yet whether I will be making any more posts on the blog. My full time role as carer has been taken over, but I still care, but in a less practical way. I have very mixed feelings as I write this. The experts tell me not to feel guilty about giving up my caring role, but it is very difficult to not think I should have been able to carry for longer. Officially I was her carer for 14 months, but her diagnosis of dementia was made in September 2011, and there were many signs for 2 years before that that her memory was not as it used to be. On the other hand I feel relieved that she is getting all the care she needs. But I can’t help feeling guilty because I feel relieved. I also feel a sense of freedom, that my life is no longer restricted by the previous caring role. I also feel alone because after nearly 47 years of marriage this the first time we have not lived together. I am told it is OK at times to feel depressed and overwhelmed. I am also told to let myself go at times by crying, screaming or whatever helps. I have tried the former but not the latter.