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alzheimers and nursing homes
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pamofallon posted:
my 81 year old father in law, recently had to put his wife back in a nursing home due to the 85 year old wife being aggressive and a danger to him. he lives in texas and we live in illinois, and he has came here due to fear that she is going to get out, or fear that he will once again go to see her, and just take her back home, when she cries.i had to take him to er last night due to chest pains, and after spending the night, and having stress tests done today, the dr. told us, his heart is that of a 20 year old, that he is just depressed and has acid reflux. any advice i can give him that will help him not feel so guilty, and something to make him see, that she has to stay where she is for her sake as well as is. and that it will get easier?
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cjh1203 responded:
What a sad situation.

Did the doctor prescribe an anti-depressant for your father-in-law?

It sounds like a nursing facility is probably the best place for his wife to be, but her doctor should have been able to give her something to calm her aggression.

I can understand why he is depressed and struggling with guilt, not because he placed her in a facility, which definitely seems like the right decision, but because he is so far away from her. He probably misses her, is very worried about her, and feels that he abandoned her. I imagine those are pretty normal feelings under the circumstances.

If you can find an Alzheimer's support group, that could be a big help to all of you. Guilt is, unfortunately, something that a lot of spouses and family members deal with.

Would it be possible for him to move back home, and make arrangements to prevent him from being able to remove his wife from the facility? That way, he could at least visit her and it would probably help ease some of his depression and guilt.

His wife will almost surely settle in where she is, and will probably be quite content there, but it can take some time. If he can just hang on a while, they can both adjust to the new situation. It must be really hard for him to be so far away from her.

Some other people here may have more suggestions for you. In the meantime, I think an Alzheimer's support group could be a good place to start.

Good luck. I hope you'll keep us posted.

Carol
 
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Judith L London, PhD responded:
Hi,

It's really hard when a couple has been together for such a long time.

Have him contact the Alzheimer's Assn - 800-272-3900 - or go to www.alz.org . He needs a support group!

Mesnwhile, he should be assessed and treated for depression.

Keep encouraging him to keep his wife in a qualified memory residence for her safety and well-being as well as his own. Research reports that the caregiver is even more at risk from the stress of caregiving than the person with the disease.

So glad you wrote in,

Judy
 
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pamofallon replied to cjh1203's response:
thanks carol. and he has not moved here to illinios, he is just visiting right now. he likes the ideal of alzheimers group.
 
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pamofallon replied to Judith L London, PhD's response:
thank you judy. our dr here started him on prozac, and acid reflux meds. he is going back to texas next wens, and i will be calling his dr. there to make sure she keeps him on this,cuz it truly has made a big difference in him. he was only with this wife 6 years, but he is a man who beleives its love and his place to care for any wife he has had. i am checking in the alz. site for him so he can go and talk to others who r goiing thru the same. thank you
 
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cjh1203 replied to pamofallon's response:
I'm so glad to hear that he's able to go back home. That seems like the best thing for everyone involved, and I'm sure he'll be much happier there.

How wonderful that the Prozac has helped him so much. HE's fortunate to have someone as caring as you to look out for him.

I hope that you are able to find him an Alzheimer's support group in his area, and that he'll attend the meetings. I think it will make a world of difference to hear about the experiences other people have had, and get some practical advice and moral support.

Please keep us posted. It sounds like things are definitely headed in the right direction.

Carol


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