My wife of 56 years has Parkinson's and dementia. She can just about move about the house with the aid of her stick. Her memory is very patchy, she has to be shown how to sit down on a chair. She behaves like a cantankerous four year old – not fully accepting that there is anything wrong with her. She has had Parkinson's for some 16 years but it has only been some 4 years since walking became a problem and her memory 'dissolved'.
On a couple of occasions, when I was ruched into A&E with first an Asthmas attack – I couldn't breath and then with Sepsis shock and MRSA, she was entered into a Care Home. She stayed a month each time to give me time to recuperate. They were nice Homes – costing me £750.00 a week – but she didn't like it and became ever more disorientated. I bought her home as soon as I could.
We have now come to a bit of a 'crunch'. My own medication for COPD, Hypertension, Diabetes 2 with peripheral nerve damage is such that I am forever tired. What with the Steroids I have to take in order that my knees allow me to stand up but affect my immune system I am in a rather decrepit condition. I do have a Carer come in for an hour to get my wife up, washed, dressed and breakfasted, then another come in for 4 hours on weekdays to do the cleaning, washing, shopping, get lunch for my wife and generally look after her – walk in the garden, trips to the shops, etc. I also have a Carer come in at night for 30 minutes to get my wife sorted and into bed. None of this help is free and it cost me £400.00 per week.
At night my wife get me up a couple of times to go to the toilet and get her back into bed, as this often coincides with me being awake with painful feet (peripheral nerve damage) its not too bad. What is a problem is when she wakes up before 6 a.m and wants me to help her get washed and dressed. Until I have taken my morning medication and had a cup off coffee I am like an ill tempered zombie – I tend to us unCarer type language and put her back into bed turn her TV on to await her Carer to arrive.
Being a Carer does not come naturally to me. I am more of a provider, with my wife being the Carer and this has seen us well for our first 52 years of marriage. My wife shows no positive emotions. Love has nothing to do with our relationship it has come down to a matter of duty – my life is one of turmoil, frustration and worry that looks like continuing to the end of my days.
The question is; do I put my wife into a Care home and have some peace, maybe even meet up with my friends ( who are still about) or continue to do my duty until I drop!