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Bringing husband home after a lengthy stay in hospital

(32 Posts)
Macgran43 Fri 18-Dec-20 23:44:17

DH has been in hospital for almost four months. He had a fall followed by a stroke when he was recovering from the fall. He has lost power in left side and has also suffered brain damage. My dilemma is should I have him at home with a care package or have him admitted to a Nursing Home. My heart wants him home but I know it’s going to be difficult. DS and DD have agreed to help but they have work and family commitments. He cannot stay in hospital much longer. I shall not be able to leave him unattended. Friends are important to me but none will be allowed in the house while the restrictions are with us. While DH has been in hospital I have enjoyed walks and talks with friends. All that will stop. I have not seen DH for six weeks now but will be allowed a visit on Christmas Day. He is not good on the phone, FaceTime etc.

annsixty Sat 19-Dec-20 00:14:42

I hope you will think this through very carefully and not let your heart rule your head.
First things first, how old are you?
Will it ruin your own health looking after him?
The carers will only be there for a very small part of the day.
Will you come to resent him if you never get out of the house, never see anyone?
Are you prepared for getting up in the night to attend to his needs?
You love him very much and want to carry out the vows you made.
Sometimes that is best done by letting others do their job and you spend quality time with him, visiting every day, taking him out for a walk, a coffee together, maybe lunch.
Please consider what is best for both of you, not just him.
Do not let me put you off if you are confident you can do all these things, but, think long term and not the immediate future,
My sincerest best wishes in your decision.

BrightandBreezy Sat 19-Dec-20 00:25:54

A wise and kind post Annsixty. These decisions are heart breaking Macgran43. I was thinking of what I wanted to say to you when I saw Annsixty's post. My best wishes to you as you think through yours and your dh's future flowers

Kamiso Sat 19-Dec-20 00:50:52

Very difficult decision. Would it work for him to go to a nearby nursing home for 4-6 months in the hope that restrictions will have lifted and the situation can be reviewed. I don’t know how reliable home help is likely to be and you might struggle if the staff don’t arrive.

Possibly a nursing home might agree to him having a ground floor room where you can at least see him through the window.

What strange times these are.

Lolo81 Sat 19-Dec-20 03:56:08

Excellent advice from annsixty, wishing you all the best OP x

Dorsetcupcake61 Sat 19-Dec-20 09:04:45

A very difficult and heartbreaking decision.
My late much loved father moved in with me when my mother died. He had vascular dementia. For the first year it was fine,carers came in to help him dress etc which I felt was nicer for him. Then he was unwell and spent over two months in hospital. When he came out he had lost his mobility and his dementia had worsened.
This was the end of 2015 and social care was already struggling. As I have always worked in care I had the experience to support with hoisting etc. My lounge was turned into a bedroom with hoists and a commode and a hospital bed. I would be up at 6.30am to make sure everything was ready for the carers. We would wash and dress dad and hoist him into a recliner chair for breakfast. After lunch carers would come back so we could hoist him on to the bed for a change of position/rest. At tea time they would return and we would host him back into the chair for evening. Around carers returned and we would get dad ready for bed. I slept on sofa as although we had a sensor mat his dementia meant he forgot he couldnt walk/mobilise. My me time was a 20 minute shower every other day. We were allowed so many free hours when a carer who knew dad would sit with him so I could go out,but it was limited. I was lucky in that his care company were excellent and provided a core group of carers so we worked well together and got into a good routine. It wasnt unexpected as he had been very unwell but Dad died after being at home for 3 months. I dont regret and would do it again in a heartbeat. That said I was in my mid 50s and with a lot of experience of care and the care system and by the end I was on my knees.
That was in 2015/16 under current conditions I dread to think what is available with regards to social/home care.
So much depends on your personal circumstances and how much support your husband needs both now and in the future.
How accessible is your home for your husband? Will you be using the services of a local council or can you afford private carers? Carers have specific time slots ,will you be able to support your husband if he needs help at other times? It will be isolating. Good friends will support you and visit,some feel awkward or uncomfortable.
I'm assuming some things havent changed and before your husband is discharged a care and support package should be in place including an assessment for you as a carer.
Due to current restrictions it must be very difficult for you to have an accurate picture of how your husband is ,and also how you both relate to each other. Does he have the capacity to be part of the decision?
Whatever you decide will be so hard,and there will be guilt. For a while I felt guilty that I had not done enough or my exhaustion showed.
Everyone is different. Dont be hard on yourself if you dont feel you would be able to cope. Family can be supportive but you are the one who is there 24/7. There are some wonderful care homes out there and dedicated carers. Make sure you check the CQC report.
I wish you all the best and hope it works out well. It's a difficult decision at the best of times but the complexities of Covid have made it more so.💐

Esspee Sat 19-Dec-20 09:13:21

If you do decide on a nursing home and his condition improves he could then come home. Just look on it as progression from hospital to get him well enough to do so.

Macgran43 Sat 19-Dec-20 09:17:57

My husband and I are in our late seventies. There are places at a local nursing home including a ground floor room where we could have an indoor/outdoor visit. He wants to come home but can I cope?

silverlining48 Sat 19-Dec-20 09:23:31

The advice given is good but making such a decision without having seen your DH for so long is very hard. Has he not been offered a few weeks at a rehabilitation unit where he will get input from therapists and assessment as to his needs and abilities.
There will be occupational therapists and physiotherapists at the hospital who will have assessed your dh, He will also have a care manager:social worker based at the hospital, or might be an idea to contact them on Monday to discuss,
He has had a long stay and just to be brought home without you knowing what might be required is not really fair on him
or right for you. It’s a tough decision which you are being asked to make on the dark.

Humbertbear Sat 19-Dec-20 09:27:15

I think we all want to do our best for our DH but you also have to think of yourself and your own health. It seems to me that both of you would be better off if your DH went into a care home. The pandemic won’t last forever and you will be able to visit him and you will also be able to maintain your own health. Over the years I have seen many friends worn out by trying to care for their partner at home. Social services wanted my father to come home when he had just developed vascular dementia. Thankfully, and i mean this, he still had the wherewithal to say that he wanted to go into a home. He lived there for over 8 years and rapidly became a person who needed constant nursing and attention. My mother’s life would have been untenable. I know you feel guilty about even considering placing your DH in a home, but do think very carefully what your life will be like if you bring home. I would say that unless you can afford a full time live in carer you already know the answer. And please don’t listen to those people who say “I would never do that’ because they don’t know what they are talking about.
I know that my DH would not be able to care for me if I were seriously ill and I have already told my DC who hold PoA that if the situation arises they should put me into a home.

silverlining48 Sat 19-Dec-20 09:28:51

If he was to come home your home should be assessed and equipped with aids to assist care oh your DJ, and that should happen before he is discharged.

silverlining48 Sat 19-Dec-20 09:29:21

Dh not DJ... fat fingers

Situpstraight2 Sat 19-Dec-20 09:33:58

annsixty your post was very helpful and I hope will enable the OP to come to a decision.
The Care home could be viewed as part of your DHs convalescence maybe? See if he improves enough to come home at a later date?
It would be very sad if you became unwell due to looking after your husband, don’t underestimate how much lack of sleep and the anxiety will affect you.

Hetty58 Sat 19-Dec-20 09:37:13

If specialist stroke rehabilitation is needed, it should be available for six weeks.

He's entitled to a full assessment and should have a detailed care plan before he leaves hospital.

His social worker should advise on suitable aftercare for him.

Don't be rushed into decisions and make sure that everything is in place before he leaves hospital.

Personally, I think that having him return home will be too much for you.

Sar53 Sat 19-Dec-20 09:46:45

Macgran43 please listen to all the advice on here and talk things over with your family before making any decisions.
My darling mum looked after my dad after he came home from a long stay in hospital. It almost brought her to her knees, she became ill herself with the stress and strain and eventually had a TIA.
Dad had to go into a home as an emergency as my brothers and I all worked and could not help as much as we would have liked.
Dad had the care he needed and Mum would visit every day. Yes she felt very guilty but it was the best thing for them both.
I must also point out that Mum was only in her early 60's.
Please think long and hard about what is best for both of you in the long term. I'm normal times this would be a difficult decision, in Covid times almost impossible.
I wish you well and send my warmest regards xx

Elusivebutterfly Sat 19-Dec-20 10:45:34

I nursed my DH at home when I was in my 50s. It was extremely difficult, I was so exhausted I lost weight. I think it would be better for someone so ill to be in a nursing home where there are trained, fit staff and for the wife to visit and just enjoy the time together.

Jane10 Sat 19-Dec-20 10:54:13

Be very wary of being put under pressure to bring him home. If he does come home and you are struggling to cope then it could be very difficult to reverse the decision. He will have been discharged by SW and you could be very much on your own to start a process again. Good luck with whatever you decide. I implore you to read and reread annsixty's post.

annsixty Sat 19-Dec-20 11:02:29

My advice was the result of my own experience
My H had Alzheimer’s from his early 70’s, he was fine with me at home, we coped well.

It was when his needs became physical as well as mental that the problems started.
We were both then over 80.
He had a bad fall, was taken to hospital for 15 days no physio, and in a dementia ward.

When he came home he was barely able to walk, I had 6 weeks with a care package which was free, he then had a major stroke, back in hospital but as he was thrombolised to break up the clot he made a sort of recovery.
Back home I got carers in which I paid for and I got two periods of respite in a care home for him which gave me a chance to get some rest.

The stroke was in April, by October I was on my knees, he had become incontinent, I was up in the night and my own health started to suffer badly, I was exhausted and physically going down hill.

I got SS involved and we managed to get him a place in the care home in which he had had his respite care.
By then his Alzheimer’s meant he didn’t realise he was there for good.
After just 6 weeks he was diagnosed with cancer and he died in April of last year after 4 weeks in hospital.

My own health was badly affected and now at 83 I would be in residential care myself if my wonderful GD hadn’t moved in with me.

Just take time to think very very carefully of the implication of both the choices you have.

LauraNorder Sat 19-Dec-20 11:17:07

A care home would give quantity and quality of care. As you are in your late seventies you will not be able to give the quantity or quality of care needed. If you are run ragged giving care the quality of time together is likely to be poor.
If your husband is in care you won’t have quantity of time but the quality will be so much better.
Heartbreaking decision for you but I think head must rule heart.
Hope you are able to reach a decision to suit you and live peacefully with it.

Grandma11 Sat 19-Dec-20 11:56:57

Macgran43, I understand how difficult this situation is for you, but having been through a similar situation with my late Father earlier this year, I know just how stressful this can be. Please take care of your own health and needs, without rest and relaxation time it is highly lightly that you would quickly become both physically and mentally exhausted, and probably in need of care support for yourself. I followed a similar path with my father, and it was only after he had been in hospital over last Christmas that I realised that I could not cope with the disturbed nights sleep, mountains of extra laundry, dealing with his antics regarding calling the emergency services whilst my back was turned for 5 mins, and sorting out carers who were upset by his comments and rude suggestions to them as they went about their work. In the end, the agency withdrew their services, suggesting that to carry on he would need a 2 carer per visit package, but at over £50 per hour for that, x 4 calls per day, it soon became financially unviable. His Social worker and CPN advised that he would be better off in a good quality rated Care home, so we found a local one that was rated 'Outstanding' by the care quality commission, and they agreed to take him on a trial basis. It turned out to be the best thing for him, and although his behaviour could be difficult at times, the staff were lovely to him, and did everything they could to keep us intouch once the Covid lockdown started. Dad finally passed away in May this year from long term heart problems, but we now have another family member in the same carehome, and she is allowed a bubble of two visitors to visit her every week, they get Covid checked at the reception area, with temp taken ect, then the visit takes place in the residents own bedroom, it works quite well.

MissAdventure Sat 19-Dec-20 12:01:32

Please make sure the decision is yours, because I think that assumptions will be made that you will do the lions share at home. (Because it's cheaper)

I looked after my mum (who didn't have dementia) and it was to the detriment of everything else.

Situpstraight2 Sat 19-Dec-20 15:19:48

You need to decide pretty soon, if we go into lockdown Care homes might close their doors again.

cornishpatsy Sat 19-Dec-20 16:05:10

Giving 24 hr care at home is not sustainable. If he were in a care home you would know he would have attention throughout the night.

If you became unwell ,even with just a cold, care for him could not be arranged for him at short notice.

I do not know if it is feasible, but maybe short home visits if things improve.

to give you and him peace of mind maybe view the care home as a stepping stone for now.

Wishing you well with whatever you decide.

Hithere Sat 19-Dec-20 16:50:24

Agree with hetty58

Looks like his medical needs are extensive.

Davida1968 Sat 19-Dec-20 16:58:02

I agree with Hetty58. In your shoes, Macgran43, I think I would have DH moved to somewhere like a nursing home as an initial step towards his rehabilitation. There the properly trained staff could assess/support him, with a view to him returning home - if that's going to be at all possible. Wishing you a positive outcome for you both - and do look after yourself at this demanding time.