Today’s Washington post has a powerful letter from Collington Resident Alice Nicholson on the value of support groups for those caring for those who need to be placed in a nursing home.
Regarding the Feb. 9 front-page article “ ‘I won’t put you in a nursing home’: A vow that sometimes can’t be kept”:
Caring for a loved one is among the hardest jobs there is. I urge anyone facing such a situation to find a support group, whether through a social worker, hospital, church or organization such as the Alzheimer’s Association. They can be great sources of information when one faces difficult decisions and seemingly inevitable feelings of guilt. Just knowing you are not alone is a great comfort.
Four years after my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, he and I moved to a life-care community; a year and a half later, I moved my husband to the memory unit. Along the way I’ve been grateful for the comfort and guidance of my fellow caregivers in two support groups.
Alice Nicolson, Mitchellville
The original article describes the difficulties faced by those who have pledged to their partners not to place them in nursing homes. Joan and I, because we are in the different environment of a continuing care retirement community, have each asked us to make the opposite promise; “Promise me, when the time comes, that you will not try to do the impossible, promise me that you WILL put me in nursing or memory unit.” We have each made the promise to the other.