Ask Dr. Orloff

How do I put my brother with dementia in a nursing home?

Question: I am now facing placing my 50 yr old brother in a nursing home who has been living with us for the past year...he has dementia...We have been assisting him in the past 10 years.Thru the loose of a job, a divorce and now dementia. My husband and I had him live with us because there was no where else for him to go and we wanted to do what we could to help...now he is in a stage that challenges us and is affecting our ability to maintain our own life. He is very isolated with us. The doctor says he needs to be someplace else. We located a good facility yesterday and now I am being overwhelmed with feelings of guilt....I awakened this morning about 4 and prayed for guidance. I have tried reading the book again but something with me is 'triggered' and have been unable to focus. We also placed my mother in a nursing home with the same disease ... she passed when she was 51..I am writing this directly from my heart without editing..so ..sentence structure may be off....My sense is my brother will not want to go anywhere else. He is going from the known to the unknown ... and going from a private room at our home to a semi private room. How do I find the words to tell him....how can I see this differently? My husband and I have talked and he has finally opened up that he feels this is the right time...It is consuming my energy and sometimes I feel like I'm in a sinkhole...My brother thinks there’s nothing wrong with him...its everyone else's fault his life is so messy...I know his disease dictates much of his behavior...but he has become very hostile toward me...I want to honor his journey and ours...If you can direct me toward a chapter or insights I would greatly appreciate it...This morning I felt better and yet the knot in my stomach is there...My major fear is he will get very upset ....I don't want to force him and yet it has to be done...May Gods richest blessings be upon
you…

Answer: My sweet father had Parkinson's Disease with dementia, and in the last phase was in an assisted care facility. It was the best thing possible for him. He had the care he needed, and I could visit when I had my energy back. I also hired caring people to stay with him there, to make sure his needs were met. If that's affordable for you, it's a good solution. Loved ones with dementia can take their energetic toll on and our relationships. We need help. We cannot do it alone. Be certain that you will have a lot more to give when you are rested. It is a very difficult decision, but go deep in your heart, and be sure of the love you have for your brother. Realize also that he has his own higher power that's watching over him. Be loving with how you approach him, but be firm. It will be okay.

My prayers are with you,
Judith

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