My hus­band’s de­men­tia is un­bear­able

Daily Mail - - Confidential -

Just imag­ine, when young, that we could gaze into a crys­tal ball and wit­ness our fu­ture un­fold. How many of us would want, in ter­ror, to give up right away? And yet, as the days, months and years pass, and we find our­selves ex­posed to stress and pain, how of­ten do we re­alise that far from be­ing de­feated by sad and bad things we never pre­dicted, we have proved our hu­man­ity by en­dur­ing them?

the fin­ish may rarely be wor­thy of the start, and yet some­times it glows like a lone can­dle in a dark world.

I don’t say this to of­fer easy-peasy ‘good comes out of suf­fer­ing’ folk-wis­dom, be­cause that would be an in­sult to what you en­dure. It would also deny the courage — and des­per­a­tion, rage and sor­row — of all those forced to care for loved ones when that duty has be­come a bur­den (yes) they never en­vis­aged.

And yet what I say is still true. Ev­ery day in­di­vid­u­als like you do what you have to do be­cause there seems no choice — and yet that self­less shoul­der­ing of the bur­den of car­ing adds to the col­lec­tive good­ness of the world. Even if you do not know it.

Can I just say one thing? I think it is wrong for any­body to give a prom­ise — or any­body else to ex­act a prom­ise — about the fu­ture when none of us have any idea what cir­cum­stances will be like.

there can come a point in the life of a per­son with a se­ri­ous ill­ness when it is im­pos­si­ble for a part­ner to con­tinue car­ing at home, even with help.

If the time comes when it is im­per­a­tive for your hus­band to be taken care of some­where else, where you can eas­ily visit, then I do not be­lieve you should have any sense of guilt about that. Peo­ple and cir­cum­stances change and some­times we have to change with them.

You clearly have an ex­cel­lent re­la­tion­ship with your daugh­ter and I am im­pressed and touched that she has of­fered to come home to help you. tell me, why would that be so wrong? surely she would not have of­fered if she did not think it prac­ti­cal?

Ob­vi­ously, it would have to be pos­si­ble for her to find part-time work, but if that could hap­pen then in the long term she might feel glad of the chance to be such a help to her mother. You are her par­ents; she is your only child. In my book, that has mas­sive mean­ing and im­por­tance.

It sounds to me as if you should move heaven and earth to ar­range some respite care as soon as pos­si­ble, and go to stay with your daugh­ter to dis­cuss the fu­ture. But never say ‘never.’ Never say you would never ask her to come home. Never say you would never con­sider it bet­ter for your hus­band to be in a res­i­den­tial care with pro­fes­sional, round-the-clock help.

Hav­ing plans and projects gives us a glim­mer of hope. I’m sure you know about the Car­ers trust ( car­ and I think it would be a great idea for you to fol­low up any leads, any­where, join fo­rums to talk to other car­ers, and so on.

You are brave, re­source­ful and grate­ful for the bless­ings you have had. As you take care of your hus­band, day by day, you have ev­ery right to plan and dream to help make your life bet­ter. But please don’t keep your daugh­ter away. You need her.

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