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Don't want to wake - but no choice

Community Member

My lovely 60 yo wife of 18 years is in a nursing home with dementia. She doesn't remember me (or the last 20 years). Before she went in, she wanted to go home (Thailand), her family wanted her home to look after (still think it is OCD - can't get it through to them).

She needs to be home, but medically, she is FAR better off here. Otherwise/ways, she is better to be home - where she has a chance of remembering some of her life.

I know & understand she needs to be with her family, but I am worried she won't get the care there that she would here. I don't doubt that her sisters would look after her, the next generation down (the more self-centered ones) I'm not so sure about.

She's been in the home over a year & I've had less than 3 hours in total with her since. Some of it is COVID related (nothing we can do about that - Thanks Xi!), some of it is her not knowing me. Can't do much about that, either.

I'm stuffed/stuck.
I want her to go back to the village she knows, but know she won't be medically safe.
I want her to stay here for medical (and selfish) reasons, although I have already lost her.

I can't afford to keep her at home (here, with me) - I'm not 4 people & would have to give up work. DSS/Centrelink won't cover the rent, let alone anything like food/electricity - and that is with a comparitively cheap rent here. Nursing home fees are bad enough @ $7500 - 7600/month (6k from NDIS) .

I feel like there's nobody batting with me - plenty on the sidelines, waiting to see if I fall - I can't do the century alone.

I've managed to build up a decent (yet small) bank balance for her. I have life & financial guardianship of her. If I go, the home will go for it. Then ALL of her $ will disappear real quick. I need her to have that to take home.

I'm lost. Alone (not lonely). I need a shoulder with a REAL thick towel on it & some guidance.

3 Replies 3

Community Member

Hi pgsc,

It sounds like you are going through a really tough situation. You sound like an incredibly caring person and genuinely caring for your wife. She is very lucky to have you.

It's really complicated isn't it, with covid making everything even harder. I'm sorry you've had so little time with her. That is really hard and also that she doesn't recognise you.

Have you been able to discuss the situation with her medical and nursing staff at all? Do you yourself have any other family or friends you can talk to about what is best to do?

Does your wife really remember much about her life in Thailand? I'm just wondering how much another move - and a huge one at that - might affect the dementia and possibly make it even worse but I don't know. It's something that might be worth discussing with a medical practitioner?

Your financial situation is making everything even tougher for you by the sounds of it. You seem to be doing as much as you possibly can to help your wife. I hope you are able to take some time to care for yourself.

Carers shoulder so much worry and responsibility. So do look after you too!

I honestly would discuss the situation with her treating doctor if she has one there, and with a senior or trusted nurse if there is one you feel able to talk to.

I wish I could be more help. It must be incredibly difficult going through this alone.

Others here may be able to offer more suggestions than me.

Keep checking in here on BB as you definitely need some support making these decisions and having to cope with the whole situation.

I really admire how much you care about your wife. I also agree with your concerns about the quality of care she might receive elsewhere.

Sounds like you have too much on your shoulders at the moment. I'd be looking for some medical advice regarding the possible effects of a move overseas on her mental state and your concerns about the care she might receive over there.

Are her family keeping in touch with you and are you able to talk with them again?

Please feel free to tell us anything more and I hope others will come by to help here. All the best.

Hi pgsc,

Welcome to the forums and thank you for sharing your story with us here.

We are sorry to hear that things have been so difficult while you try to navigate your wifes dementia and all the costs and care involved. We understand this must be such a tough time for you, especially as you are having to make all these decisions on your own, so please know that you never have to go through this alone, and support is always here for you.

If you would like to talk to someone, the Beyond Blue Support Service is available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 1pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport  One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals.

We hope that you will find some comfort here on the forums. Please feel free to keep reaching out here on your thread whenever you feel up to it.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Pgsc, it's awful being put in a situation like this as it's a thought none of us ever want to contemplate, unfortunately, you can never be sure if she will remember anything and if this does happen it may only be spasmodic, which may upset you even further.

Wherever she goes you don't know whether or not she will be taken care of, so if she did go back to Thailand, you may be told by her sisters that she is doing well, but this can't be proved unless you were there.

I wish I had some answers for you but will keep looking for you.

Take care.