Moving a loved one into long term care is never easy
Blog by Bettina Reid | April 15th, 2014
Today was likely one of the hardest days in my grandmother's life as she had to move my grandfather into a long term care facility. I always thought losing her 1st husband, my birth grandfather 24 years ago was hard. I am sure that it was.... But for many reasons this time is much different.
Slowly over the last few years my grandfather has deteriorated and the worse he gets the harder it has been for my grandmother to care for him. My grandfather has dimentia, which is to be expected for someone in his 90's. Some days he remembers people and other days he doesn't. He hasn't been able to tell you simple things like what day of the week, or time of the year it is for a while. Most people are just people whether he should know them or not. It is incredible how the mind works though. I visit him often, but because of work my husband is lucky to see him once every few months and today he recognized him. But not only does he recognize him by name but also to know that he hasn't seen him in a long time. This isn't the 1st time he has recognized him over me too, it is the strangest thing. Now even though he knew my husband he prcoeeded to comment on how long it has been as though he hadn't just commented that. Which shows his dimentia is progressing more and more each day.
I think the hardest though, is when he started to not know who my grandmother is. It doesn't happen all the time, thankfully she can laugh it off. But I am sure inside it is tearing her apart, piece by piece. As she slowly loses the man she loves and the man who used to adore her.
As a family we have all been trying to convince her that she needed him to go into a long term care facility so that she didn't get too worn down and sick herself. But like the rest of us she is stubborn and no one was going to make that decision for her until she was ready. I am very proud of her, as I know making this decision was likely the hardest she has ever made. It would be for me and has definitely brought about many conversations between myself and my husband regarding how we want to handle this when our time comes. But the reason I am so proud of her is that she made this decision not for herself, but because she has realized she couldn't give him the care he needs. Even the care workers in Kin Village were impressed because coming to that conclusion doesn't always come easy for families and usually doesn't happen until after they have seen the care the facility provides, if they come to that conclusion at all.
Kin Village has impressed our whole family with not only their facility, but the fabulous staff that will be working with my grandfather. They have him in a very comfortable room and did everything they could to not only help him but us as a family to get him settled. The transition is always the hardest the first few days and will likely be harder on my grandmother as she goes home to an empty home tonight. The realization that he will never again fall asleep next to her at night....brings tears to my eyes.
I blogged about getting older last month and once again that realization has hit me in the face hard. I have been together with my husband 24 years and we are learning to cherish every day as they seem to be going by quicker and quicker all the time. I feel like before I know it, we will be in our 80's and 90's going through the same thing as my grandparents. Don't get me wrong they have both lived long lives. To live to be in your 90's is an accomplishment, to have had a second chance at love as they both did is a gift.