Steps of Faith

Steps of Faith

Friday, December 13, 2013

Well folks....Today is the day!

Well folks..... Today...... my Dad will be moving to his New Home!  It's the day that I've been dreading for quite some time now.  However, I do know in my heart that this is the BEST thing I can do for him.

As many of you know, this is not an easy thing to do......I feel a sense of failure as his daughter, for not being able to take care of him myself.  I have already experienced these feelings once in my life and this was when we had to place my mom in hospice.  I still live with guilt about this.  

Is this crazy or what?  My mom was in such pain and could no longer swallow any water or anything else.  I knew that I couldn't take care of her....(I simply was not trained to handle a cancer patient who only had a few short weeks to live) BUT.....I wanted to do all that I could do!  It just wasn't enough.

Now.....with Dad, I want to be the Superwoman Daughter who can snap my fingers and make everything JUST RIGHT for him.   Guess what?  I'm not.....I can't....
What makes this hard is........"SECRET GUILT"  A "Secret Guilt" is when you know that you have done all that you can do, but your heart tells you otherwise!!!  YOU ARE FACED TO LIVE WITH THIS SECRET GUILT.....BY YOURSELF!!

Why do you have to face it by yourself?  Because those around you may not feel what your heart feels!  Therefore, they have no clue that you are fighting your way out of the "Guilt Trap."  Because they can't feel what you feel.....they don't understand what you are going through.

Another issue is in what I faced yesterday.......Some friends dropped by the house to visit my dad.  As they were leaving, their comments left me toting a huge weight of guilt on my shoulders.  If you saw my would think he was a picture of good health, but Alzheimer's is more than what the body looks like.....and of course, we all know that we can't see inside the mind!!

These sweet friends.....made me question myself as to whether or not we were making the right decision.   "Are you sure he needs to go to a Nursing Community?"   This was one of their questions.   Of course, they have not seen my dad in quite a while, and they have no clue about the
"Sun downers" that takes place while they are safely sleeping in their own beds!

It takes someone being there to make sure that meals or eaten, that medicine is taken properly and at the right time, someone to answer the hundreds of questions that are repeated over and over again.   Caring for an Alzheimer's patient means that you must spend many hours taking care of their hygiene needs....making sure that they don't wear the same clothes EVERYDAY for 10 days in a row.  It's helping them figure out the "all too familiar faces" of those whom they can not longer recognize.  So, to answer the question....Yes, I am sure that it is time to go to a home that can meet my dad's needs.

I have prayed and prayed about this situation and I can honestly say that God has given me Peace in our decision making, of placing dad in a home that I know can adequately take care of him.
Does this mean that I have no more responsibilities?  NO WAY!  I will continue to be there to support him....I will continue to monitor his care.....and I will always continue to put his best interest first.  

Thanks to each of you.....for allowing me just a few moments this morning, to clear my be thankful for a loving God who knows my steps for this day and who will be walking right beside me...

many hugs to each of you!!


Gail Dixon said...

Shug, I think many times people are trying to be of comfort when they say the things they do, not realizing the impact of their statements. You have prayed about it, and you've LIVED the situation, so let people think what they want. You and GOD know that this is the best decision for your dad's safety. No lay person is trained to care for someone with Alzheimer's. I know I couldn't do it. God bless you, Shug and God bless your dad. With God's guidance, all will be well.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I'm sorry about this rough time in your dad's (and yours, too!) life. I know very well what you mean about the guilt. For a long time, I wondered if I should have put my dad in my own home. He had checked himself into a home when he realized he couldn't live alone. I had made numerous trips to the next town where he lived, even in the middle of the night when he pooped his pants and messed up the bathroom and needed help getting everything cleaned up, made midnight runs with him to the emergency room, slept on his couch when he was sick, etc. etc. I still remember those times when he would ask me, when I visited him in the nursing facility, if he could go home with me. That was when the guilt crept in. His dementia was getting worse and I knew that I couldn't handle him. It was very hard when I had to take his phone out of his room because he was constantly calling me and other people at 2 and 3 AM.

All this said to say that I think many of us who have had our parents in a nursing home have dealt with guilt to some extent. We question ourselves as to whether we could have done something differently. In the end, we need to remember that they have the constant care that would be hard for us to give and that our own health and family needs to be taken care of, too. I just pray that when the day comes that I have to go into a home that I am of sound mind enough to tell my children that I know it is best for me and not to ever feel guilty. (Actually, I pray the rapture comes before then!!)

God bless you and your dad as you go through this difficult time. Hugs.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I am sure you are doing what is the very best for your Dad and in the along run for you as well. You would wear out and as you well know,then you can't be of any support.Don't mind what others say. Believe that as a widow I have heard so many comments,all coming from well meaning people,but people who cannot understand where I am at.I pray that you find true peace about Dad's situation.

Ginny said...

You have prayed about this and God has giving you, peace, so completely accept it. God knows how HARD you have tried where many would have given up long ago, God knows your heart and your heartache. What others think DOES NOT matter. This is between you and God, no one else has walked in your shoes!! Even with all your other responsibilities, you have cared for him for years. But there is a time to let go and this is yours. Plus you are not abandoning him, you will still be there for him. Who AM I to think I can give you all this advice?? I am one who had the responsibility of my grandmother until she died of Alzheimer's. And suffered lots of regrets even though she would not want me to. I am one who had the medical responsibility of my mother and watched her die slowly in a ten day period as she starved. Believe me, no matter WHAT you do, you will always wish you had done more, it is that way with our loved ones. But we can only do so much. Here is the thing...we try as hard as we can, we do as much as we can. Then we pray, do the best thing we can and turn it over to God. DO NOT let this haunt you, you are a WONDERFUL daughter. There are many around here who would never have done anything.

Michelle said...

I will send up a prayer for you Shug. My grandmother went to live in a nursing home a few years ago. She was much the same as your Dad and the sundown syndrome was a terrible thing to deal with. A safe, secure environment really is the best, even when it is the hardest decision.

Lea said...

Oh, Shug!!! I so get it! My Dad is in an Assisted Living Facility and you can bet that it is still work on me. I make sure that he lacks for nothing and I have dealt more times than I care to recall over the whole guilt deal. It is awful and is crippling.

And, I know all too well the ravages of Alzheimers. My MIL suffered from it and we had to put her in a nursing home and it was so tough but it was our only choice and once again, I made sure that she was cared for correctly and had her every need met. There's no way we could have cared for her in our home.

You are making the right decision and let me encourage you to talk to a Christian counselor if you cannot lay the guilt down. It's often so wonderful to be able to talk to someone totally removed from the situation that can offer Godly counsel and encouragement.

Blessings my friend and may the Lord bring you peace and comfort as only HE can. Hugs!

Debbie said...

Every one of us who has had a loved one with Alzheimers has had to make the same decision you're making, and the guilt is inevitable. You are right, the people making those comments don't see your dad in the situations you mention or know what it's like to deal with this condition.
My mom became a danger to herself and others, and had to be watched around the clock while she was still ambulatory. You have other people depending on you and to keep him with you would be a very difficult decision. You'd need lots of support from your whole family and hospice eventually. It isn't easy, and it won't get any easier. I feel so sad that you are going thru this as I've been there and there are no easy answers.
Do what is best for him. Make sure the facility does their job. He should be clean, healthy, and safe. If you have peace about your decision then you can have regret regarding your dad's condition, but you must overcome your guilt or you'll be doubly miserable.
Consider getting in touch with other families who are struggling with the same problem. It can be helpful to connect with others who have a loved one with ALZ.
I had to put my mom into a home the day before Christmas many years ago, and I remember how painful it was. When I got home I had two little ones and a hub to try and have Christmas with and it just wasn't in me knowing where she was. I was sad all the time till she passed away.
Embrace the season, and let your family embrace you and encourage you. God bless you as you deal with these difficult decisions.

Betsy Adams said...

OH Sweetie--You are SO doing what needs to happen. Your friends 'mean well' --but they don't understand the disease. IF you allowed him to stay in his own home, and if something happened to him THERE--you'd NEVER get over it. Where he is going, he will be SAFE. AND--the people there know how to work with the patients... You are definitely doing the right thing. SO---please don't feel guilty, my Friend. God would never expect you to care for your Daddy --or your Mama when she was alive.

Bless you... Please don't feel guilty.

Terri Buster said...

Oh Shug- please do not feel guilt. It doesn't matter where he lives, because you know you will be there for him. I would call that "team care" because you have added extra eyes, ears and backs to help your father. Blessings!

Melinda said...

I know thois was a tough decision for you. As kids we want to be able to take care of our parents because they took care of us. When we can't, it make us feel helpless.
You have mad the best decisoin for your Dad and that is all that

Blessings and prayers for you and your Dad.

M :)

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