My mother used to take care of my father, who has a lot of medical problems. Five weeks ago, when she got sick, I moved in with my dad to take care of him. The plan was that I’d stay with him until mom got back, and we’d see what happens then, but instead my mother died.
I’m still taking care of my father, but it has become increasingly clear that this situation is untenable. I have a computer here, and I can get some work done, but I’m not earning enough money. And I miss my wife. She comes to visit several times a week, but she won’t be able to keep it up.
The only real solution is to put my father into long-term nursing-home care. Even if there were some way to make this home care situation work out, my father is just one more medical complication away from being beyond my ability to care for him. The social worker who helps us with his care has implied I’ll start to develop stress-related problems myself in another month or so.
So, putting my father in a nursing home is the obvious next step, but I’ve been dreading telling him about it. I didn’t want to pull the rug out from under him right after his wife died, but I haven’t been sure how to bring it up to him.
My dad’s got a pretty good thing going here—someone ready to take care of whatever he needs at a moment’s notice—and he doesn’t seem to know it’s got to end. If he knows this isn’t the way things are going to be forever, he’s given me no sign.
Until today. This morning, out of the blue, he told my wife and I that it’s time to think about putting him in a nursing home.