These are the facts on how it goes when a loved one is in need of care you cannot fully provide no matter how good your intentions are. I have had to make choices for senior care in Queens NY twice now. I call them facts because it is how it has happened for me and the care of my father and mother. My dad got sick when I was young. I did not even have a driver’s license and was trying to keep my dad from wandering away from the house because of dementia. We put on new locks that had to have a key to open the door from the inside. Otherwise he would go out and get lost in the neighborhood while mom and I were asleep.
Dad needed care around the clock. Someone always had to be home with him. It meant missing school when mom had to be somewhere else, and it meant mom rarely going anywhere at all. When the dementia got bad enough that dad did not recognize mom or me, he would get highly agitated and violent toward these “strangers” who were in his house. It was tremendously sad and stressful to the point of extreme that no one should have to go through. We waited too long to place dad in a care facility. Once we finally had to do it for safety and sanity reasons, he was fine. He got the care he needed, and we got rest. I had dropped out of high school, but I was able to successfully complete a trade school education. Mom made friends and began to thrive again.
About 15 years later mom needed to be placed in a care facility. She was home bound and making mistakes with her medicines. She fell a couple of times and needed rehabilitation. Then, when she fell again, we asked the doctor if there was a long term care option for her. My wife and I worked very long hours just to get by. We could not quit or cut back without losing our home, and mom needed care we could not be there to provide. Again, after a couple of weeks in the care facility, mom was doing great. The social worker said she would call it home in no time. I did not believe that until one day she did refer to it as home. She liked the staff and her roommate. She was thriving again despite our perspective of it being a bad situation.