(This is a chapter from my book, Dear Caregiver Reflections for Family Caregivers.)
By early October of 2010 a few months before my husband’s death, my stress level was often extremely high. Things seemed to be getting more and more difficult in caring for Wayne. I knew God was guiding me, I had seen that over and over, but it was still difficult.
In early October of 2010 I wrote, “Frankly, there are days when I am not sure how much longer I can do this. However, it seems like every time I am at the end of my rope, some other help falls into place. I will have to keep trusting. I realistically need to also at least look into all the options, including possible nursing home in the future. I hope to avoid nursing home if at all possible, but I may not have a choice.”
Then by middle October 2010, life took some fairly rapidly developing twists and turns in just one week's time. My husband’s motor and processing skills became increasing more limited and my husband’s transfers become increasingly difficult. I was becoming increasingly concerned, and I was feeling that I could not handle my husband's needs any longer. In the mix of all this, my son had lost his job. So in a way, we had two families in crisis.
After somebody talked with me at church on a particular Sunday morning around that time showing concern for my well-being in all this, I decided to have a talk with my son and his wife. I told them that I was getting to the end of my strength in physically handling my husband and that I needed to at least check out nursing homes as a undesired but possible option. My son had already started helping me on nights when my CNA lady did not come. I felt that even that was not enough, however, as I still was handling the days alone at that time.
The upshot of all this was that my son decided (since he was not working) he would come four times a day most days to help me with transfers to the bathroom etc. of my husband. We now had a scheduled plan for this. The idea was that this would buy me time to at least check out other options.
This was definitely God’s timing. A few months after Wayne’s passing on to heaven, my son found a new job (another story of God’s mercy and grace). In the meantime, God provided me with the help I needed as Wayne’s caregiver. It was such a spirit lifter. My son and I were able to care for my husband’s needs until the day of his death, and my heart’s desire of avoiding putting Wayne in a nursing home was fulfilled.
I would not want to relive those difficult care-giving days, especially the last few months. In fact, even remembering those days is difficult. God was with me through it all, however. He always provided. He will provide for you also, dear caregiver.