I can’t put Dad in assisted care or a nursing home. I promised Mom I’d take care of him.
Sound familiar? It’s a caregiver dilemma that is heard around the world, a promise made from the heart that is now tearing out the heart of the caregiver who made it. But should a caregiver be bound to a promise made when she had no idea what Lewy had hiding up his sleeve?
Let’s look at this another way… Image a six-year old girl, promising the little boy next door that someday she would marry him. Maybe you vowed such a thing years ago and now you shake your head at your naiveté. The little girl had no idea how her life would change in the years to come. She could not comprehend the challenges, and twist and turns that are inevitable as life moves forward. Should she now feel guilty for marrying a different man? Is she a failure because she broke her promise?
The same can be said for being a caregiver for an illness like Lewy Body Dementia. Until you’ve gone night after night without sleep, cleaned up urine and feces from the carpet, the toilet, and your LO (Loved one), and had your LO call you every name in the book (and then some), you can’t really comprehend how difficult this challenge can become. Even hearing stories from other caregivers can’t prepare you for what you may face. For many caregivers, the stress and difficulties reach a critical point where something has to change in order for the caregiver and other family members to survive. The decision isn’t an easy one and often carries a lot of guilt.
The following is a list of 7 reasons shared by caregivers from an on-line support group for why they decided it was time to place their loved one in a care facility. Read the rest of this entry