At some point during the further progression of Alzheimer’s disease in my life, my wife and grown children will probably have to consider placing me in an assisted living facility, nursing home or convalescent center.
Today, while I still have cognitive ability, I want to provide them with my opinion regarding this matter.
My dear loved ones:
- You are faced with making a decision you would rather not make. I understand and have come to know that, at times, love, does indeed hurt.
- You love your father as I have loved you. We have grown to respect each other’s opinion, even when it is contrary to our own.
And, if I can no longer speak in the future, you must know that I would always want to be home, here with your mother, here with the love I have come to know and derive comfort from. And, yet, even as you have known me, you must realize there are health concerns which must be placed at a higher priority than love.
There are two significant advantages, which come to mind, that assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and convalescent centers generally offer over what home care can provide, These are:
- 24 hour a day medically trained staff.
- Programs designed to stimulate our minds and the exercise of our physical bodies.
You see, my grown children, even if you offer your mother your help to keep me home, just a little longer, you are only deferring an inevitable decision.
Please, place me in a long term care facility when either of these two situations arise:
- When you see stress building up in your mother. When you may
observe signs that her mental and physical well-being are suffering because of the care she is trying hee best to provide to me.
- When my own physical and mental well-being dictate assistance provided to me beyond what any one person at home maybe able to offer.
At times, love may require self-sacrifice. I love you and your mother and do not want my situation, which is something bad, to become something worse.
Helen Keller once wrote:
“I am only one; but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”
You love me. You will do as I ask, even if it hurts. Sometimes, love is this way.
My dear ones: Let me do the something I can still do.
Copyrighted Tim Brennan 09/27/00