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When Is It Time to Look for a Care Facility?

By Janet Ferree, MA

(Page 2 of 4)

Something has to change and so I offer my thoughts on why I ought to send him to a care facility versus keeping him at home. Yours may be different.  I wonít consider the financial aspect, only the rational versus emotional elements of such a decision. The reasons I tell myself and others in my situation why I should send him to live elsewhere include:

  1. He is too heavy for me to care for without risking further injury to him and myself.
  2. Caring for him has caused me increasing stress and mental damage over the years.

  3. Being burned out has made my care for him sloppy and filled with unkind comments.

  4. He would be safer living someplace where there are many people available to assist him, especially if he falls.

  5. He could have more social interaction with others in his general condition.

  6. I have an obligation to be healthy and available to our children and grandchildren (if I get hurt or sick, they will have no functioning parents).

  7. I am entitled to a life.

If I am able to share these rational and compelling reasons with other caregivers, I ought to be willing to listen to them myself.  But I cannot get past the emotions that keep me from acting upon them:

  1. How can I kick him out of his own house, his own bed?

  2. Am I more concerned with his well-being or mine? And whose is more important?

  3. He would be horribly upset and lonely.

  4. I would feel like I am abandoning him; which in a way, would be true.

  5. He would be at the mercy of people who donít love him, very likely donít speak English as a first language, and donít prepare food he is accustomed to eating.

  6. The newspapers often run stories of residential and institutional care facilities mistreating their clients.  What if my husband is secretly used for medical experiments? What if he spends hours in a soaked diaper and tied to his bed at night? What if heís sexually assaulted?

  7. What would friends and family do if I send him away? Would they visit him, or forget heís there?  Would I forget him, too?

  8. Would they let him watch the baseball games and NCIS?


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