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Dear Family,

October 7, 2011
Snow on tree.

Image via Wikipedia

I want to tell you all about how I am feeling about Dad and moving him into the assisted living program. Please understand that this is not a decision I have come to lightly.  This is something that I never wanted to do and the day that it happens will be one of the worst days of my life.

I simply can’t continue to put my life on hold. I am tired, emotionally and physically.  I am tired of the burden that it puts on my family.  There is a limit to what I can ask of them.  I want my daughter to have the opportunity to get back to living her own life.  I want to have time in my life for my husband.  I am tired of the continuous friction with my siblings.

I have thought significantly about what Dad would want in this situation. Several years ago I tried to convince Dad that he should spend his winters with me.  He was adamant that parents should never live with their children.  He talked about having his grandfather live with him and how bad a situation that was.  He said he would never want to be a burden to any of his children.   I also remember that he didn’t move his parents or Mama into his own home even though there was room.  He hired someone to care for them, as we have done for him, and finally he moved them into a nursing home.

The fact that Dad can be in my home and believe that he is in Michigan makes me feel better.

There is so much emotion involved in this for all of us.

For me a part of the emotion associated with this decision is a feeling that I have failed Dad.  But I have reached a point at which I know (intellectually at least) that that isn’t true.  I have had conversations with friends and relatives that have helped me come to terms with this decision.

I will be arranging for Dad to move into a home very soon.   I will be working to make the room as familiar to him as possible with lots of pictures, his books and movies, and familiar objects.  I plan to spend significant time visiting as he gets adjusted.  I will be talking to staff and helping them to get to know him.  I will go to see him regularly and assure that all of the staff know that his family is involved.

This will be very difficult for me.   Your support is important to me.

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