When Jerry’s roommate’s wife and I met for lunch, we had so much in common. Mostly, our experiences with our husbands. Her, George, is much older than Jerry. He’s 88. Jerry is 64. He has been ill since 2006. Jerry’s been ill since 2000. Both of us, had come to the end of ourselves. I remember vowing to myself that I would keep Jerry at home and he would die in bed next to me. Our days were completely filled. I made sure of it. We were going to live life to the fullest until we could live no more. There was no way he was going to live in “one of those places!” It was my naive impression that I could take care of him until the end.
Unfortunately, that was not the case. As with, George, Jerry's cognitive and mental decline became too advanced. His needs were far too great and I would actually have done him a disservice to keep him at home. For one thing, physically. I am a woman. He is a man. As much as I tried to dress him, potty him, help him up and down the stairs, in and out of the car, into the bed and out....it became too physical. I became beyond exhausted. Exhaustion breeds impatience. One who is in the final stages of Alzheimer disease requires incredible patience.
Once I saw the care and consistency Jerry was receiving in the facility, I knew, with no regrets, that he was getting the best care. He, in some sort of way, knows it too. Even, today, in his nonverbal way, he gets the message across that “they are good.” His compliance tells me that he trusts them. In a way, I’m glad I placed him while he was still, somewhat aware of his surroundings. Now, he has become accustom to this place. It is his home. He is secure.