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February 04, 2014



Yes, it does get better. My mother and father moved in with us when my dad had Alzheimers. Our intent was to care for him in our home, which we did for years. There came a time when we could no longer provide the care he needed and had to place him in a home. It was the hardest thing my mother ever did. My father had lost his speech by that time and he would sit by himself with tears in his eyes during those first days. OK, so I said it would get better, right? Within a week my father was very happy in the home due to the constant companionship, activities and very frequent visits from family, which I believe is key. His health improved dramatically due to the constant medical care he received. When he entered the home he was only expected to live about a month, but he gained his strength lived for another year So, yes, it does get better but my heart aches for you because the transition is tough on everyone.


Hugs to you.

shelley Dionne

Don't you dare feel guilty because my goodness, you did the very best you could for as long as you could and that's all any of us can do!! All your decisions have been made out of love, even this one and yes, it will get better..for him and for you. Hang in there and give everything some time. Just continue to love him like you have and hugs.


I am really sorry you are having to experience this. Tough days and emotions, but you are doing the right thing, and he will be better, better!!

Laurie in Iowa

Yes, it does get better. I went through a similar experience when I had to place my father in a nursing home/memory care facility. His 'new' home will become the norm for him soon.
I know how heartbreaking it is for you when you go to visit and all he wants to do is go home.

Margaret M. Staunton

Yes, Nicole it does get easier. I was able to keep my parents at home until they died but I used to work in a care facility as an RN so I have seen what families go through. He will in time be happy there and maybe even think that he is at home. Sometimes it is a good idea to leave him for a few days to settle in before you return to visit. Please don't feel guilty, though you probably will for a while.


It does get better and know that you are doing what is best not just for his care but for yourself as well. When my father went to a nursing home he kept saying, "I gotta get outta here". It was sad, but he had cancer and it was the best place for him. Hang in there.

Barbara Anne

It did get better for us when I had to put Mom in assisted living due to her Alzheimer's and the fact I lived halfway across the country at the time. Those first days she was angry and we sometimes cried together, but after a short time, she was happy with all there was to do, people to visit with, and good foods she didn't have to cook.

I hope you can have a good talk with yourself and your sweetie because - even tho it's hard and you wish it hadn't been the only answer left to you - you made the best decision you could for Grandpa at this time. You know that Grandpa wouldn't have wanted you to ruin your health (caregiving is draining) or your financial well being (also draining) to care for him. You've chosen a facility where he'll be cared for, loved, entertained, be kept warm, dry, safe, and well fed. Those are the essentials. Please refuse to allow guilt to enter your thoughts. You've chosen wisely and with Grandpa's best interests at heart.

Big hugs!

Nancy in Utah

Oh Nicole...I'm so sorry you are going through this tough time. I understand what you mean about the guilt you feel though. My dad build a small apartment onto our home for my grandma and grandpa to live in, so that my mom could take care of grandma who was suffering from Alzheimer's. Grandpa was totally blind but didn't need anyone to care for him other than cooking his meals. He couldn't however, take care of grandma as she sunk deeper in the disease. Mom and dad and I, managed to care for them for three years, before grandma's needs also surpassed the the care we could offer her. Even though both my mother and I were both Nurses Aids trained in Geriatric care, when the time came that grandma needed constant medical care, she of course had to be moved to a nursing care facility nearby. Grandpa went to live with his daughter (he was actually my "step-grandfather", but the only grandpa I ever knew. Point is, I remember what my mom went through emotionally when they made the hard decision to move grandma to the care facility. Mom was devastated and my heart ached for her, even though grandma was beyond knowing who anyone was. It is one of the hardest decisions some of us have to make in our lives. I will keep you and all your family in my prayers for peace and comfort. Big Hugs...

Mary Kastner

Hi Nicole,

It is sad isn't it. My Mom is in a nursing home and I often say "20 years" to myself. We are 20 years apart in age. You have to keep then safe. I keep telling myself that. She is doing OK. They adjust for sure but I understand your guilt that is for sure. Take care of yourself too.

thinking of you a lot,


Yes, it does get better. My MIL has some form of dementia and had to move to a facility when the in-home caregivers insisted she had progressed past the point they could handle. She has been there over 2 years but still vacilates between liking it and insisting she has been at this "hotel" for "over a week" and it is time to go home. But by "home" she means her childhood home. (One issue is that she has a faulty concept of time.) Knowing that she is getting great care is a big help for her family and mitigates the guilt. She wants to be independent but no matter what, we can't roll back the clock and make that happen again. What really helped was when she reached the point where she was used to the new routine and the people, had people to talk to, etc. It took a few weeks for that though.


It is such a hard decision but yes it will get better. hang in there.

Lisa D.

I'm sorry, I know this was a tough decision for you to have to make. He is in the best place for all of your sakes. It sounds from the other commenters that it will get better. Hugs to all of you.


I'm sure this is going to be a comment section overflowing with empathy for you & your family. Caring for parents is something so many of us have or will experience. You feel guilty but please don't beat yourselves up…you're doing exactly what Grandpa needs to keep him safe & comfortable. Please remember to take care of yourself & maybe get an extra hug & kiss from Miss E!

Sue Seitz

It is the hardest decision to make and heartbreaking even though it is the right thing to do. We had to do this with my mom this past year due to dementia and she would say I think im going home tomorrow and we'd say great. The hardest thing for me was giving up caring for her, being a nurse that was my calling and responsibility. I felt guilty for awhile but know it was the right thing to do. It will get better but theres always a part of saddness that is just a part of life's journey. Be blessed through this time.

Mary @ Quilt Hollow

How can you not feel guilty? It is a natural emotion that so many before you also felt. My husband's grandmom was terribly upset when they put her in a retirement community home as she did not want to leave her own home. HOWEVER...she settled in wonderfully and ended up really enjoying being among folks her age. She would then chat up about conversations she has had the activities they were doing etc. She even said, "wish I would have moved here sooner." Her time was way to short there...but she sure loved her last days. Give it time....keep in mind that he will soon really enjoy "his age group" and stories told.


Our family was fortunate that our mom was ready to give up her apartment and accept the care of the nursing facility. Not that she was always happy there, my sweet mild mannered mother who never got mad at anyone or said a cross word about anyone, got into a fist-fight with her roommate. Just imagine two 80-something women swinging at each other from their wheelchairs. It is funny to remember but not amusing when it happened. With that said, I just want to point out that time changes everything and there is nothing you can do about it. Guilt is a false emotion.


Such a hard situation to be in and my heart goes out to you. We had to move my GFIL into assisted living after he had a fall in the middle of the night while living with us and ended up in the hospital. He decided he was not going to be happy there no matter how great the staff were and he resented us for putting him there. It was the only option to keep him safe (he was in his mid 90's).

We made the best of it which was all we could do. We would let him rant or pout for a bit and then change the subject. It was really hard on my husband who bore the brunt of it. You ARE doing the right thing!


It will get better. My mom just moved right before Christmas. She DID NOT want to move from her home. When we began the move in process, she said, "this is where you come to die!" Ugh. She hated it! Now, a few months in, she has made friends and plans to meet them for each meal. It was so difficult in the beginning, but things changed pretty quickly. I hope the same is true for you and grandpa! Sending good thoughts to you and your family.

Sherry V.

Hi Nicole,

As everyone else has already said. . . .it does get better. . .but it is brutal until it gets there.

My DH was taking care of his mother for a year before we met. (She was wheel chair bound and extremely diabetic).

After we decided to marry we had planned on having her live with us in my house.

She developed some kind of an infection while we were on our honeymoon & when we came back we had to take her to the hospital.

From the hospital she went to a rehab center. It was those folks that told us the exact extend of her inability to take care of herself. (Up to this point she had been pulling the wool over my DH about how much she was able to take care of herself).

Since we both work we were unable to be home to take care of her during the day. . . and she wanted nothing to do with having in home care (she said that she would not let them in even if they did come).

We were finally able to arrange for a nursing home for her since she needed to have her meds monitored since she tried to "play games" with her insulin.

At first she hated it. . .oh what she would say to try to destroy her son. It was terrible for me to watch.

But within a very short time she was in charge of movie night (oh my the number of movies that woman had!), began calling bingo, appointed herself as "Welcoming Committee" for new residents, etc. (In other words, she took over! LOL)

She was a very domineering woman right up until the end and loved, and loved by, the entire staff & residents of the nursing home.

Sending hugs to you and yours during this very difficult time.


Yes Nicole - it does get better. You have nothing to feel guilty about either. You know that you and your family have done your best. By making this change you really are taking care of Grandpa by realizing that you cannot do everything for him anymore. My mom used to pack her bag all the time at first. That won't last forever. She did settle in and her last months/years were spent quite pleasantly with people who cared for and loved her. Hang in there - it will feel better with time.

Jennifer Gwyn

I haven't been there, in your situation, yet. I feel for you though and know it must be hard. You have tons of support out here!

Miss Jean

Please don't feel guilty. You are doing what's best because you all love him so!

Liz S.

Hi Nicole, Our family hasn't had to do that yet. My Dad passed away from a very brief illness, Mom, MIL and FIL are still doing well... so we haven't experienced a care facility like you are describing. Sending a virtual hug to you and your family to help!

Diane Linford

I just did this with my parents three years ago. I could write volumes about it. Suffice it to say that it was the best thing to do for all of us. The good news is we all live longer these days. The bad news is we all live longer these days and sometimes require extra help. What a blessing that you've been able to do so much for so long.

It is so hard emotionally to do this, but it will get better. My heart goes out to you.

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